TiSSA was built up in 2002 as result of an European TEMPUS-TACIS-Project by the initiative of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Uwe Otto (Bielefeld University, Germany), Doz. Dr. Olga Borodkina (St. Petersburg State University, Russia), Prof. Dr. Walter Lorenz (Free University of Bolzano, Italy) and Prof. Dr. John Harris (University of Warwick, Great Britain) to enhance and promote the international scientific and professional discourse about Social Work and its relation to society, especially against the background of fundamental transformations of 'the social' in the context of globalization. Since the first TiSSA Plenum in 2003 in St. Petersburg, Russia, the network has grown and effectuated a broad international connection for a critical discourse about social professions.
The organization of TiSSA Plenum and PreConference of the PhD-Network are conducted by three organizational units:
1. The international TiSSA steering committee
Responsible for the ongoing advancement of the general scope and objectives of TiSSA, the general topic, date and place of the upcoming TiSSA conference, evaluation of the organizational structure, time table and presentations as well as proceeding on site and the international dissemination of TiSSA.
2. The local organizing committee
Responsible for the national monitoring and dissemination of upcoming TiSSA conference to care for a sustainable input on the development of social services in the host country, the organization of field visits and the support of local (student) volunteers to introduce them in scientific community discussion.
3. TiSSA executive board
The chair of the international TiSSA steering committee and the chair of the local organizing committee are responsible for executing the TiSSA Plenum and PreConference of the PhD-Network.
Moreover, the efforts of TiSSA are encouraged by a broad international network of financial and ideological supporters. The international 'Social Work and Society' Academy is open to all scientific as well as professional institutions, which would like to join the ongoing work and future development.
As such, TiSSA provides a forum for involving professionals and academics in innovative discussion on theory and practice at the cutting edge of the social professions. Its overall aim is to identify how the needs of a wide range of societies experiencing transition can be met through the generation of new knowledge, concepts and models. The organizers of TiSSA assume, that socio-economical developments indicate categorically that social work has to deal with its relation to the respective societies in a critical way, in order to build out a clear professional profile for the future, for a renewal of perspectives and to improve its agency. Any site of economic, political and social transition poses a challenge to social professions to reflect on new approaches to social work. In doing so, The international 'Social Work & Society' Academy focuses on
- promoting a comparative approach to the analysis of social work and society
- enhancing the development of knowledge, skills and experience
- shaping organizational changes and new governance processes
- analyzing quality criteria and reflecting on best practice
- encouraging the international dissemination and exchange of information on significant developments