Caveats and Disclaimers

The Security and Sustainability Guide


Our project is a constant Work In Progress.

There are thousands of guides to countries and cities, as well as flora and fauna. It is time for some guide to the rapidly growing number of security and sustainability organizations. But this is no easy matter, because human organizations are in flux, intertwined, and more difficult to classify.

The basic criterion for inclusion in the Guide is an organization that appears to be relevant in some way to security and/or sustainability, and has a stand-alone website.  But separate websites exist for important programs within large organizations, e.g. there is an “International Security Program” at Harvard University, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and at the not-so-large New America Foundation.  Cross-referencing is used where appropriate to reduce confusion and optimize access, but the practice is not yet standardized.

Most organizations offer a proud history of their achievements and when they started.  But roughly one-third do not indicate a start-up date, while others began with different names or missions, which creates complications, noted where possible.  Most organizations provide the location of their main office, and some even offer a map for visitors, but many have several offices worldwide that appear roughly equal.  Many other “virtual organizations” do not indicate any geographic location, although nearly all offer an email contact.  Subsequent editions of this Guide will attempt to get more information on start-up dates and location, but perfection is unlikely.

A quick indicator of organization size is provided by an actual or estimated count of staff and/or members or subscribers.  This is tricky because staff counts may or may not include administrative staff, associates, part-time or visiting fellows, interns, graduate students, or volunteers.  Many security organizations do not offer this detail.  Membership organizations may inflate their numbers to include former or inactive members.  This very rough measure of size will be refined to some degree, but can never be precise without getting into huge and distracting detail.  Some estimate is better than none, but above caveats should be kept in mind.

Organization descriptions are based on information provided on the website.  We often quote organization slogans, mission, and/or vision statements, but in many instances condense these statements or select the most relevant themes.  If we have misstated or overlooked major programs, activities, or publications, we apologize and hope that organizations will offer corrections.  Correspondence with listed organizations is a major task, however, but will be undertaken in the future if resources are available.  Some organization descriptions are intentionally much longer than others, which may reflect large organizations with many important activities, or simply websites with more interesting and important information.

This material is not copyrighted because it is a work-in-progress.  If you use it—and we hope that you will—we ask that you cite our efforts in the usual scholarly manner.

On a personal note, we have learned a lot from preparing this Guide—about organizations that we always had only a dim knowledge of, important organizations new and old that we never knew about, and about the many UN-related organizations (35 identified here).  In these uncertain and stressful times, we are especially excited about the many new ideas and initiatives listed here that may lead to accelerated action and progress in addressing challenging security and sustainability issues.

We welcome feedback as to important organizations that we have overlooked—doubtlessly many—and suggestions on how to make this Guide more useful and user-friendly, and how to distribute this information as widely as possible.


A Geographic Index or Annex will be provided in a future version of the S&S Guide.  Not surprisingly, the vast majority of S&S organizations are located in cities of Northern Europe (concentrated in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bonn, Copenhagen, Geneva, London, Oslo, Paris, and Stockholm) and in North America (concentrated in Boston, New York, Ottawa, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Washington). This is partially due to the constraints of language, and partially due to the nature of the organizations covered in the guide.

A Date of Founding Index may also be prepared so users can keep abreast of new and recently-formed organizations.

#   #   #    Michael Marien, David Harries, Michael Sales

The Security & Sustainability Guide is organized in four parts. The A-Z Organization Index listing of 1,716 organizations in Part 2 is necessary but may prove formidable to many users.  Part 1 thus provides several Overviews to introduce users to the Guide from several perspectives.

Part 1: Overviews

Major Categories Index
Lists the most important subjects in the full Part 4 Subject Index and the number of organizations in each category, with links for easy access.

Notable Organizations
Briefly describes 50 of the more important and/or interesting organizations described in Part 3.

Recent Sustainability Leaders
Provides brief descriptions of 40 global leaders in security and sustainability thinking.

Information Portals
Arrays 150+ organizations generally with >200 items of information available, including “In-House Portals” of the major research organizations and “Scanning Portals” that assemble information from outside of their organization.  This section with its own “Quick Index” essentially serves as a unique “Portal to Portals.”

Part 2: Organization Index

Provides an alphabetical listing of 1,800+ organizations, including 500+ organizations with more extensive descriptions in Part 3.  A mere listing of an organization name does not offer much help because many centers and institutes appear pretty much the same.  Thus, for ready identification, each of the organizations includes date of founding and location (if available), and one or two lines—occasionally three lines—of information about what the organization does, often with abbreviations to conserve space. It should be remarked that the SSG started as offline document, which made those restrictions necessary. We work hard on supplying each listed Organization with more detailed information and a link to their website. Click here for more info.

Part 3: Organization Descriptions

Abstracts of 500+ organizations include date of founding, location of primary offices, website, mission and vision, areas of concern, sample publications, head leader, and number of staff and/or members. Not all of this information is available on websites or from Wikipedia, and is sometimes inconsistent among them. Our objective is to expand the listings, and improve and update basic information on listed organizations in subsequent versions of the S&S Guide. Click here for more info.

Part 4: Subject Index

This is by no means complete, but, as noted above, it will be expanded and refined in subsequent editions. An index that groups organizations under meaningful keywords and headings is essential, and one that is partly done is far better than none. As in Part 2, entries generally include founding date, location of major offices, and brief descriptions. Click here for more info.

Part 5: New Reports & Publications

Notable Online Reports
Lists a Top 20 and More of recent reports from leading organizations that are free for downloading.  Many of them can be considered as leading edge thinking about security and sustainability.  A report on these under-appreciated reports is available here.

Essays and Reviews
Contributions of our own, in which members of the SSG team aim to put  issues into focus that desire more attention. Many of the subjects that will be covered here are inspired by the work and publications of the organizations listed in the Guide. Our goal will be to highlight insights from those important contributions to the public body of knowledge regarding the condition of our planet, the state of global security, and humanity as a whole.