Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)

The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam is still a young research institution, open to young talents and green technologies. Founded in 2009, the IASS conducts transdisciplinary research to combine relevant forms of knowledge from across science, society and policymaking in order to initiate and support societal transformations towards sustainable development.

Building on the momentum of the 2007 Potsdam Nobel Laureates Symposium and the resulting Potsdam Memorandum, the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany developed a concept for a novel research institute, thus laying the foundations for the institute’s establishment. Founded in February 2009 by the German Federal Government, the Federal State of Brandenburg and the members of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, the IASS promotes science and research on global sustainability and fosters dialogue at the intersection of research, politics and civil society.

Striving for global sustainability
– The IASS pursues this goal across three thematic areas that are linked to key policy processes at the national and international levels: the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in, by and through Germany; the decarbonisation of energy systems in Germany and abroad; and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Research with a transdisciplinary approach
– Over 150 people are currently employed at IASS, including around 100 researchers from over 30 different countries in a range of projects that spans the humanities and the natural and social sciences. Researchers at the IASS use innovative methods to fill knowledge gaps and generate actionable solutions to urgent sustainability challenges by actively engaging with and involving stakeholders from society in research and peer review processes.

A green light for sustainable transformations
– The Institute’s strategic focus lies on sustainability challenges where it sees considerable need for transformation or where it anticipates that the development of actionable solutions will create a high potential for transformation.