The IASS fosters science and research on global sustainability by:
• conducting inter- and transdisciplinary research on sustainability issues with the aim of understanding and guiding transformations towards sustainability;
• supporting dialogue at the interface of science, policy, civil society, and the private sector;
• Forging strategic partnerships in and beyond the academic world;
• communicating its findings to decision-makers in the political sphere, the private sector, civil society and the public at large through appropriate channels and media products;
• inviting experts from within and outside academia to pursue innovative ideas and to enhance and support established strategic dialogues.
The Board of Directors has developed three overarching research questions to guide the work of the IASS in its second funding period (2017–2021):
• What are the characteristics of a sustainable society?
• What knowledge is needed in order to understand transformation processes towards sustainability, and how can this knowledge be generated in cooperation with actors from science, politics, the private sector and civil society?
• What processes are required (and how should they be designed) in order to effectively apply this knowledge in the development of concrete transformation processes towards more sustainable societies?