Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

In Brief

IASS, Potsdam; Klaus Topfer


(2009, Potsdam;

Mission: “to develop transformative knowledge which is needed to pave the way towards sustainable societies through transdisciplinary research.” Created on the recommendation of the Alliance of German Scientific Organizations. The overarching topic: sustainable development in the Anthropocene. Currently concentrating on three focal areas: Transformation of Energy Systems, Understanding and Governance of the Earth System and its Resources, and Economic and Cultural Perspectives on Sustainable Development. Presently has 27 projects in 4 areas: (1) Global Contract for Sustainability Cluster (on transformations that must take place, including sustainable economic activity; director: Prof. Dr. Klaus Topfer); (2) Earth Energy and the Environment (e.g., combustion of methane without CO2 emissions); (3) Sustainable Interactions with the Atmosphere (e.g., a sustainable atmosphere for the Kathmandu Valley); and (4) Enabling Technologies for Sustainability (e.g., CO2 as an asset). Many publications, e.g. Theories of Sustainable Development (Routledge, 2014). c.130 professional staff. Chair: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Karin Lochte. Executive Director: Prof. Dr. Dr. mult. Klaus Topfer (former Director General, UN Environment Programme).

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