Membership Status: Statutory Member

About Us

Social justice has been a constant in the Institute of Cultural Affair’s mission and has always told its story within the context of the “moral issue of our times.” Today global climate change confronts sensitive and responsible people everywhere with a huge moral dilemma. Therefore the ICA is focused on engaging communities, organizations and individuals in programs of sustainability.

Our Mission

The mission of ICA-USA is to build a just and equitable society in harmony with planet Earth as it empowers the cultural dimensions of society.

Our Values

HOLISTIC SUSTAINABILITY: True sustainability occurs when there is a balance of economic, environmental and social systems. ICA focuses on cultural responses at the intersection of these three systems to maximize impact.

PARTICIPATORY ENGAGEMENT: ICA facilitates positive change through inclusive participation; teamwork and collaboration; individual and group creativity; and positive action, reflection and learning.

COLLABORATIVE ACTION: The ICA aims to build partnerships and cultivate an environment of collaboration rather than competition.

TRANSFORMATIVE BEHAVIORS: The goal of all ICA programs is to create a shift in mindsets, values and behaviors, resulting in effective caring for the planet earth.

Our People

Lesley Showers
Executive Director

Karen Snyder
Program Coordinator

Our Activities

ICA GreenRise Learning Lab

In the US, a strength and key asset of the ICA’s sustainability work is the ICA GreenRise Learning Lab, an eight-story building located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. The building was donated to the ICA in 1972 in recognition of the initial Fifth City community development work. ICA GreenRise is a ‘learning laboratory’ for people to dialogue about sustainability and what is possible to do within a mixed-use building. With a number of sustainable retrofits, including a 485 solar panel array, the building is a place to meet, collaborate, share resources, and learn sustainable practices. In 2021 the GreenRise launched the “Carbon Free Building Demonstrations” program, an Uptown collaborative of six buildings with the goal of becoming carbon free by 2030.

Technology of Participation

ICA’s Technology of Participation facilitation methodology harnesses the energy and wisdom of a group to build consensus and create and implement strategic plans. Currently, the ToP Network consists of over 130 licensed trainers and certified facilitators who deliver facilitation services and training across the nation.

ICA Social Research Center

The ICA houses the Global Archives, hosts the Global Schedule of Events and collaborates with the ICAI. ICA staff and volunteers have organized the sixty year history of the EI/ICA into nine collections of historical documentation (e.g.community projects in all 24 global time zones, Town Meetings, inner life exercises, transformative courses, and publications of books and periodicals). This information is available on the website – icaglobalarchives.org – for the purpose of sharing wisdom and tools with people concerned about social and environmental justice. The Global Schedule of Events on this website connects people around the world with these resources and enables dialogue with today’s creative responses to challenges.

Location & Contact

4750 North Sheridan Road
City: Chicago
Zip Code / Post Code: 60640
Country: USA

Phone Number: 0017737696363
Email Address: ksnyder@ica-usa.org