Our underlying vision is sustainable development and the related mission is to foster the continuous process towards it. Our role is to support science in developing techniques, methods and structures to be able to substantially contribute to this process.

Parts of today’s science systems need to change under the paradigm of sustainable development. Implementation-oriented, outcome-driven and integrative research is a challenge for traditional academic set-ups and structures. Problems include complexity and uncertainty, time frames and often inadequate funding. A main part of our mission therefore lies in developing reform strategies for the science system. Another major task is supporting implementation-oriented research at project level for stakeholder involvement, science communication, integrative designs and responsible management.

We enjoy being part of the development of a new and growing scientific field that fosters awareness and prepares for solutions beyond the established fields of basic and applied research. We call it implementation-oriented and outcome-driven or quite simply sustainability science.

Imagine a scientist who one day becomes a professor because his CV includes contributions towards e.g. saving a rainforest in Africa, sustaining the livelihoods of the rural population living near the forest, or because of his or her contribution to sustainable water supply in Spain or Arizona… When this vision becomes real – and not only as a rare exception – we will be able to declare our current mission fulfilled and will move on.