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Connecting ideas, policies, people and action as a gateway to sustainable

We are a community of researchers from across the university, committed to delivering world-leading research around global sustainable development.


Our vision: a purpose-driven research institute

The Institute for Global Sustainable Development’s vision is to be at the forefront of knowledge creation that enables transformations towards a more sustainable, prosperous, healthier and just world for all. We will connect ideas, policies, people and action as a gateway to sustainability research at Warwick.


Our mission

To enhance Warwick’s leadership in transdisciplinary research on global sustainable development.

The Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD) provides a focal point for Warwick’s sustainable development research, contributing towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but still challenging of them.

It undertakes world-leading transdisciplinary research and capacity development to tackle global challenges and enable transformative change of human-environment interactions. It also provides support to the Warwick research community to meaningfully and responsibly engage with global sustainable development challenges.

By establishing equitable partnerships with researchers and non-scientific stakeholders across the global North and the global South, IGSD works on challenge-led research projects that cross the boundaries of disciplines in the humanities, natural and social sciences, and achieve impact towards the SDGs.


Our story

Established in 2019, the Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD) provides a focal point for Warwick’s sustainable development research, contributing towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but still challenging of them.

It undertakes world-leading transdisciplinary research and capacity development to tackle global challenges and enable transformative change of human-environment interactions. It also provides support to the Warwick research community to meaningfully and responsibly engage with global sustainable development challenges.

By establishing equitable partnerships with researchers and non-scientific stakeholders across the global North and the global South, IGSD works on challenge-led research projects that cross the boundaries of disciplines in the humanities, natural and social sciences, and achieve impact towards the SDGs.

Our current Director, Professor Elena Korosteleva, took up their role in April 2022.


Strategic delivery

To deliver our mission, we will:

  1. Grow and consolidate the IGSD’s own cutting-edge research by focusing on three thematic areas:
    • understanding change, diversity and sustainable development in socio-ecological systems through the lens of complexity;
    • multidimensional aspects of governance in the Anthropocene; and
    • societal resilience as self-organisation to meet global challenges.
  2. Showcase and connect Warwick’s social, economic, and environmental sustainability research to serve as a gateway to transdisciplinary research on sustainable development at Warwick
  3. Champion and be recognised for our leadership as a Centre of Expertise on global sustainable development research at Warwick, nationally and globally.

Our activity

  • We will deliver large-scale research programmes, leverage interdisciplinary expertise and working in partnership with transdisciplinary, non-academic connections across the globe.
  • We will bring researchers to Warwick to explore together new funding opportunities and to think about the connections between disciplines.
  • We will launch a Transdisciplinary ECR Sustainability Training School (ECR STS) to develop transdisciplinary sustainability research skills, community, and policy impact.
  • We will support researchers at Warwick by fostering an Internal Sustainability Network (ISN) to articulate the change they expect to see in their research, by using approaches such as Theory of Change, and this will include the development of thinking around more effective engagement with policy frameworks such as the UN SDGs.
  • We will seek to attract global talent through schemes such as global professorships.
  • Working alongside Warwick's Global Research Priorities programme, our activity will include a rolling schedule of events in support of network building.
  • We will work with research centres, programmes, and institutes to highlight and visualise the breadth of the contribution Warwick makes to GSD research.
  • Community building and forging a sense of connection across the variety of sustainability actors at Warwick will also be important, and we will do this by building a network of GSD research fellows and champions, who will act as an academic liaison point with departments, enabling us to connect and coordinate the various strands of GSD research at Warwick.
  • We will seek to cultivate a supportive GSD awareness culture that shares best practice to enhance research, for example by delivering transdisciplinary methods labs.
  • An international Advisory Board consisting of policymakers, practitioners and other non-academic stakeholders will advise and support us as we strive to enhance the impact of sustainability and GSD research at Warwick, ensuring that where we know “what works”, we are sharing it.
  • Research impact will be a key area of focus, with a flagship biennial Sustainability Policy Impact Forum (SPIF), providing strategic policy recommendations for UNFCCC COP and other decision-making bodies such as the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
  • An annual Sustainability Research Festival, with an academic & local communities’ focus, will be developed in partnership with the Warwick Institute of Engagement.

For more information about Warwick's Global Sustainable Development degree programmes, see the School of Cross-Faculty Studies