• A positive impact on the transition to a sustainable society

    We develop excellent and relevant knowledge, collaborating with citizens, politicians, policy makers, NGOs and firms to learn from each other and influence decision-making.
  • Photos of sprouting shoots

    Cutting edge interdisciplinary research

    Our signature cross-topical themes—governance, modelling and transitions—cover central aspects of sustainability research and policy. Our five sustainability challenges, which include circular economy, energy, food, land and water, highlight our research strengths.
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  • Five research sections

    Our 260 researchers have a home in one of five research sections: Environmental Governance, Environmental Sciences, Innovation Studies, Energy & Resources and the Urban Futures Studio. Together we are the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development.
  • Come and study Global Sustainability Science!

    Transformative education

    Society faces a multitude of complex sustainability challenges which require new ways of thinking and doing. We educate the change agents of the future through our two Bachelor's and six Master's programmes.
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Explore our research

  • News

    • What if universities would support scholar-activism?

      Academics, frustrated by limited impact on the ecological crisis, are turning to scholar-activism. Embracing this could foster new knowledge, networks, and social change. Blog by Lisette van Beek
    • Funding for research on Climate Smart Forestry in National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug

      The European Forest Institute has awarded €140,000 to the Research & Education Hub Utrechtse Heuvelrug for research into climate-smart forest management on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug.
    • A speculative co-production of the future?

      For the opening keynote for the 16th Nordic Environmental Social Sciences Conference, Josie Chambers chose not to focus on the dominant ways people have been co-producing knowledge and action for sustainability. But rather, to take stock of the field and ask: what exactly are we co-producing? Are we producing knowledge that reinforces how the world is? Or are we imagining and prefiguring explorations of how the world can be otherwise?
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  • Events

    • 3 Jul

      Advertising a Better Future — by Jean Railla

      Join us on July 3rd for an engaging Friends of the Future with Jean Railla, former creative advertiser, founder of the Creative Lab for Social Impact and clinical adjunct professor at New York University.
    • 3 - 5 Jul

      Utopia*Art*Politics Sessions

      Join us for the Utopia Art Politics sessions with keynotes by Lola Olufemi (author of Experiments in Imagining Otherwise) and Stephen Duncombe (co-founder of The Center for Artistic Activism) from 3 to 5 July at BAK—basis voor actuele kunst, in Utrecht.
    • 8 - 12 Jul

      Futuring for Sustainability Summer school 2024

      From 8-12 July 2024 the Urban Futures Studio hosts its annual 'Futuring for Sustainability' summer school in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Master- or PhD students can apply until 15 April 2024.
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