ICIS is Maastricht University’s scientific institute for sustainable development. ICIS vision is that research, education and learning for sustainable development provides a knowledge base for policymaking and innovation in the pursuit of sustainability. ICIS contributes to the scientific debate about sustainable development, but also tries to achieve a constructive social impact towards sustainability in practice. Therefore ICIS collaborates intensively with other partners, such as governments, business, NGOs and other research institutes. ICIS is hosting MUST, the Graduate School which offers a PhD programme and Master programme in Sustainability Science and Policy.
ICIS, your knowledge partner for sustainable development.
Prof. Pieter Glasbergen received the Life Time Achievement Award (LTA) for his research on Partnerships for Sustainable Development at the CSSI conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Last year researchers from ICIS, Maastricht University’s institute for sustainable development, created an inventory of projects seeking to make a sustainable change to people’s energy consumption. Together with 10 research partners in the EU Horizon 2020 project ENERGISE, they gathered information on more than 1,000 projects and initiatives in 30 European countries.
Challenges in food, water and energy systems are locally and globally connected. For local actors, including cities, it is difficult to anticipate whether solutions to one issue in the FWE-nexus are sustainable across food, water and energy systems, both at the local and the global scale. The GLOCULL project therefore aims to develop an Urban Living Lab approach for innovations in the FWE nexus that are locally and globally sustainable. To support future implementation of this approach, guidelines and a participatory assessment tool kit will be developed through co-creation in 7 Urban Living Labs, based on an integrated assessment of local-global interactions in the FWE nexus and transdisciplinary action-research in the local Living Labs. On May 16th ,17th and 18th GLOCULL university partners came together in Maastricht to discuss the Living Lab experiments and project deliverables and to visit SUPERLOCAL, the Dutch Living Lab under investigation.
“The effects of sustainability labels on producers have scarcely been studied, let alone in Indonesia. We’ll be filling this gap by looking at how Indonesian producers experience the daily reality of sustainability labels, thus shining a light on the Southern perspective in an otherwise predominantly Western story.”
"Complex global problems such as sustainability are on the rise, not to mention problems like climate change, declining social cohesion and lack of citizen participation. “These are big issues for which the national government isn’t taking responsibility.”
“I don’t know if it’s feasible, but in my ideal world zoos are places where you nurture endangered species with a view to releasing them into the wild. But that wouldn’t be a park you could let people into."
"In my research program on partnerships we aim to better understand and define the roles and functions of various types of collaborations of businesses, nongovernmental organizations and governments, the architecture of the arrangements, the conditions that determine their performance, and the implications in terms of governance for sustainable development."
Finding optimal regulatory approaches for a dramatic reduction of greenhouse gases at the right governmental scales across the world is at the heart of the debate on climate change. Not only efficiency and effectiveness, but also questions of equity and transparency have to be addressed, next to the fundamental question of who is going to decide the stringency and content of such climate law: the legislator or the courts?
ICIS works from sustainability science, an emerging field trying to bring together science, policy and society to find answers to sustainable development challenges and to formulate new pathways to contribute to sustainability.
ICIS researchers are involved in the conceptualization of sustainable development (making it operational in a meaningful way); the study of systems of governance (how sustainability issues are taken up by different actors); evaluating sustainability initiatives in business, policy and civic society; and theorizing and empirical analysis of innovation trajectories and sustainability transitions.
The Maastricht University Graduate School of Sustainability Science & Policy (MUST) is based at ICIS, which offers a PhD programme and Master programme to study the complex challenge of sustainable development in an international and interdisciplinary ambience. ICIS provides also sustainable development courses at Bachelor level for other units at Maastricht University.
The PhD programme offers the opportunity to specialize in a sustainable development topic. In the Master programme special attention is paid to sustainability assessment in the broader context of innovation and governance for sustainable development.
Topics ICIS focuses on: