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Who we are

We are a university research institute that creates change towards sustainable futures by conducting independent project based research for Australian and international clients.

Our researchers come from varied backgrounds, including engineering, architecture, management, economics, science, the social sciences, international studies and political studies. Most have worked in both government and commercial environments, so we know how to deliver independent and practical solutions to suit the needs of a diverse range of clients. We are small enough to offer our clients personalised service and large enough to offer a diversity of research skills.

Mission and objectives

Our mission is to create change towards sustainable futures.

Our organisational objectives are:

  1. To be a world leading sustainability research institute
  2. To support communities, government and business to create their own change towards sustainable futures
  3. To deliver a cutting edge transdisciplinary postgraduate research program in sustainable futures
  4. To progress public dialogue as well as motivate and facilitate action
  5. To be an exemplar of participation within the UTS community
  6. To value and enrich our supportive and sustainable workplace

View/download ISF Strategy 2013-2016

Our history

The Institute has been conducting project-based research across Australia and internationally since 1997 when the Premier Bob Carr officially launched the Institute in the atrium of the Australian Technology Park in Redfern.  
Starting with a Director, an Administrator, two Research Fellows and five PhD students our income stream has grown so the Institute now has around 57 staff and 21 postgraduate students.  
Karla Sperling made history by graduating from ISF with the world’s first PhD in Sustainable Futures in 2002. Since then several of our students have graduated and continued on to highly successful careers.  
When we moved from the ATP to our current premises at 235 Jones Street in 2005 we conducted a sustainable office fit-out to maximise amenity and minimise the environmental impact of our office. 
Over the years Institute researchers have worked with the Facilities Management Unit and other UTS researchers with sustainability expertise to improve the sustainability of the University. In March 2008 the UTS Environmental Sustainability Initiative was launched – for details see http://www.green.uts.edu.au/

The Institute continues to be involved with this Initiative as a member of the UTS Sustainability Steering Committee and several of the six working groups.