Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam

A platform for exploring the global issues facing society in the future – that is the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. IASS scientists here pursue transdisciplinary research on an international level in the areas of sustainability, climate change and earth systems.

The global challenges of climate stability, energy security and resource efficiency call for ambitious and innovative approaches transcending scientific and geographical boundaries. The IASS Potsdam provides space for developing new ideas, encourages lateral thinking and facilitates scientific excellence. Researchers at the IASS address the ecological, economic and socio-political dimensions of sustainability – the Institute aims at exerting an influence on society by acting as a platform for science and a link between research, politics, and the economy, thus contributing towards shaping public opinion.

The IASS was conceived at the Nobel Laureate symposium "Global Sustainability – A Nobel Cause" held in Potsdam in October 2007, and mandated by the Federal Government at the subsequent Climate Research Summit held by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and from the the Alliance of German Science organisations. The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies was founded in Potsdam, on February 2, 2009.

The purpose of the Institute is to analyse existing knowledge and generate new ideas, thereby making a key contribution to the development of a national research strategy on climate protection. It is a permanent platform for bringing together guest scientists able to produce top level research in a stimulating environment. Outstanding researchers from all over the world gather at the IASS Potsdam to participate in scientific exchange, collaborate on complex issues and discuss their views. The Institute draws on the expertise, knowledge and innovation potential of qualified fellow scientists, ranging from exceptional young scientists to Nobel Laureates.

The exchange of dialogue with relevant representatives from science, industry, politics and society results in ongoing examination, and the new approaches emerging towards the range of IASS issues, guarantees their visibility within society. A network with top level national and international research institutions are being established, and partnerships with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), among others, also help establish the IASS as an integral part of the Potsdam science community.

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