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What we work on

Transformative Sustainability Research

The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) conducts research with the goal of understanding, advancing, and guiding processes of societal change towards sustainable development. Our researchers collaborate with diverse actors from science, policymaking and public administration as well as business and civil society to develop a common understanding of sustainability challenges and generate potential solutions. The Institute pursues a research approach that is transformative, transdisciplinary, and co-creative.

About us

In brief

Award for Natalia Realpe Carrillo

The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) has awarded IASS Klaus-Töpfer-Fellow Natalia Realpe Carrillo the "Most Innovative Organisation for the most promising innovative digital impact management tool at SAM 2021 for the decentralised renewable energy sector" in the course of the African Microfinance Week 2021 (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance, SAM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

Who owns the deep seafloor?

Four thousand metres below the ocean surface is a strange, dark world that science is still learning about. In a world hungry for new tech to combat the climate crisis, some have their eyes on the minerals in the deep sea. ABC-Podcast with IASS researcher Aline Jaeckel.

News

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Conference

"Climate Engineering in Context" enables collaboration across continents and disciplines

The consequences of climate change are becoming more and more obvious, and time is running out to achieve the Paris climate goals. In the climate protection debate and in many climate models, a growing role is played by "negative emissions", which are to be achieved with the help of “climate geoengineering technologies”. At the conference "Climate Engineering in Context", which took place from 4 to 8 October, international experts invited by the IASS discussed the scientific, ethical, political, and social dimensions of these technologies.

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wpn 2030

Fit for the Future with a Sustainable Financial Strategy

Finance is becoming increasingly important as a lever for sustainable development in all policy areas. In mid-May 2021, the fourth Advisory Council Dialogue 2021 of the Science Platform Sustainability (wpn) 2030 and Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN) took place. The results and impulses can now be found (in German) in the paper “Finanz. Macht. Zukunft.”

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Appeal to Policymakers: Plan More Citizen Participation

As the course is now being set for the coming legislative period, policymakers should focus more on citizen participation. A team from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam and the Institute for Research on Democracy and Participation (Institut für Demokratie- und Partizipationsforschung – IDPF) in Wuppertal have formulated a 7+5-point plan

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FIRST FACE-TO-FACE MEETING

Sustainability Advisory Board Develops Impulses for Energy Transition and Sustainability Strategy in Brandenburg

For the first time since it was founded in February, the Brandenburg Sustainability Advisory Board met in person on October 7 2021. The meeting at the IASS focused on the focal topic "Implementation of the energy transition in Brandenburg and CO2-free industrial processes”, as well as key considerations for improving the state’s sustainability strategy.

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Dossiers

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Sustainability in Brandenburg Dossier

Brandenburg is facing major sustainability challenges, such as agrarian transformation, energy transformation, mobility transformation, transformation of Lusatia, adaptation to climate change, promotion of rural areas, revitalisation of the economy after the Corona pandemic, and water supply and water protection. As a Potsdam institute, the IASS is actively involved in sustainability work in Brandenburg.

Systemic Risks Dossier

Modern societies are vulnerable to “systemic risks” such as pandemics, financial crises, or climate change. Due to their complex and interconnected nature, systemic risks pose a particular challenge to conventional approaches to risk analysis and management. The research group on systemic risks at the IASS analyses risks and opportunities around transformation processes for sustainable development and, in a second step, develops policy recommendations for the governance of systemic risks.

IASS Research on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Dossier

By endorsing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community signalled its commitment to tackling global challenges through cooperation. The Agenda provides a blueprint for reconciling economic growth with social justice and environmental sustainability.

Brazil: Strengthening Resilience in Times of Crisis Dossier

With 200 million citizens of diverse ethnicities, Brazil is the largest and most populous nation in Latin America. Brazil is also home to most of the world’s largest rainforest: the Amazon. The Brazilian economy is the ninth-largest in the world but has languished in recent years. A group of researchers at the IASS is casting a spotlight on sustainable development and democratic change in Brazil.