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About us

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


Our Vision

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.


Our Mission

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

The current environmental crisis, the continued expansion of many social inequalities and consequent slow progress towards the targets of each SDG demonstrate that conventional perspectives on human development and environmental sustainability as stand-alone issues are insufficient to tackle the complexity of the current challenges. We need to develop innovative ways of knowing and doing that can enable transformations of human-environment interactions towards a sustainable future.

IGSD will play a central role in achieving the University of Warwick’s six strategic priorities, providing a focal point for research that crosses disciplinary boundaries and has a transformative impact towards and beyond the SDGs. By building global partnerships, it will expand the reach of Warwick’s research, and through targeted support and a focus on innovative methods for transdisciplinary research, IGSD will enhance Warwick’s ability to deliver excellent, impactful research that results in positive change.


Our Strategy

IGSD will deliver its vision and mission by pursuing the following four goals:

IGSD will produce and co-produce knowledge that crosses boundaries and extends our understanding human-environment interactions and sustainable development. Our approach addresses environmental sustainability and human development through the analysis of human-environment interactions, transcending boundaries between science, humanities, and social sciences. We will continue to develop world-leading research expertise that engages critically and constructively with sustainable development frameworks (e.g. Agenda 2030, UN SDGs) and will develop innovative transdisciplinary methods for co-producing research whilst empowering stakeholders and communities to achieve global impact; for instance, by advancing new methods for the analysis and visualisation of geospatial sustainable development data and collaborative mapping.

At Warwick, we will help establish thematic transdisciplinary networks and research programmes, which address challenge areas in collaboration with academics of different disciplines, the Global Research Priorities and research centres. We will engage with stakeholders outside the university and in different countries, linking them in with Warwick’s thematic networks in a way that informs and supports innovative new research. Based on the establishment of equitable, meaningful and enduring partnerships, our research community will value cultural, gender and epistemic diversity.

We will provide expertise on methods to meaningfully and systematically embed impact to sustainable development throughout research project design, delivery and evaluation. Our approach to project monitoring and evaluation will be evidence-based, reflexive and participatory, adapting to different contexts and embedding perspectives of end-users and beneficiaries. We will collaborate in translational activities and the synthesis of evidence that can lead to step changes in policy and decision making on global sustainable development.

We will educate the next generation of leaders in research for global sustainable development, fostering exchange and mutual learning of a community that includes early-career and established researchers. In addition, we will deliver a world-leading interdisciplinary PhD programme in global sustainable development. We will contribute to the development of capacity in our internal and external communities to capture funding to scale up research and impact.

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