Established in 1974 by Murray Bookchin and Dan Chodorkoff, the Institute for Social Ecology is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to the study of social ecology, an interdisciplinary field drawing on philosophy, political and social theory, anthropology, history, economics, the natural sciences, and feminism. The ISE has offered intensive summer programs, a year-round B.A. degree program, workshops on issues such as biotechnology and global justice, fall and winter lecture series, internship opportunities, an expanding catalog of online courses, and a speakers bureau. In addition, the ISE is involved in research as well as publishing and activist projects.
As an educational and activist organization, the ISE is committed to the social and ecological transformation of society. It is the ISE’s core belief that the human potential to play a creative role in natural and social evolution can be realized, thereby allowing us to foster communities free from hierarchy, social inequity, and ecological degradation. The ISE views the global penetration of systems of domination into daily life, the centralization of political and economic power, the homogenization of culture, and the strengthening of hierarchy and social control as impediments to human freedom and the root causes of the current ecological crisis.
The ISE has been a pioneer in the exploration of alternative technologies and ecological means of food production, like organic gardening and permaculture. Studies at the ISE have combined theoretical and experiential learning in community organizing, political action, ecological economics, and sustainable building and land use. Over its history, the ISE has strived to be an agent of social transformation, demonstrating the skills, ideas, and relationships that can nurture vibrant, self-governed, ecological communities.
For 50 years, from the antinuclear and ecology movements to the contemporary climate justice movement, the ISE has inspired individuals involved in social change to work toward a humane, ecological, and liberatory society. Join the thousands of students from around the globe—from Liberia to the Philippines, Italy to Iran, Norway to Uruguay, Israel to Ethiopia, the United States to Japan, and many more—who have attended the ISE in order to not only remake themselves but remake society as well.