Social-Ecological Research at ISOE

ISOE is one of the leading independent institutes for sustainability research. For more than 30 years the institute has been developing scientific bases and future oriented concepts for politics, civil society and the economy – regionally, nationally and internationally. 

We find sustainable solutions to complex issues. For people and the environment.

We take a targeted and case-specific approach to the pressing global problems of water shortage, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and land degradation. In finding sustainable solutions to concrete conflicts we take social and economic as well ecological conditions into account. Social ecology as the science of societal relations to nature provides the theoretical basis for our research.

We integrate knowledge and differing interests. For practical, future orientated concepts.

We integrate the various interests and knowledge of stakeholders into the research process. This way we help ensure that problem-solving concepts are more readily accepted and implemented in the field. We are convinced that the complex problems of the future can be best solved via integrative methods.

We communicate openly and continously. For more transparency and greater commitment.

We see it as one of our main tasks to present our research results to both scientific and societal audiences for discussion. To this end we publish regularly, we provide consultation for decision makers and participate in public debates.

We create space. For fundamental changes within society and the sciences.

We adopt a critical position in order to avoid that today's solutions will be tomorrow’s problems. Instead of pursuing rigid objectives, we look at change in terms of corridors for possible and desirable developments. That way, alternatives can develop with respect to thinking and acting.

We practice co-operation. With our partners and with our staff.

We are partners in local, regional, national, and international networks and cooperations. We see ourselves as a learning organisation, and feel committed to a responsible and participatory approach towards power and influence.

We engage in transdisciplinary research. For new perspectives and innovative solutions.

Our research comprises consultancy-oriented and academic science, basic and applied research, natural and social sciences, as well as the general areas of science and society.