International Alliance of Societies for a Sustainable Future


- is committed to a world that is sustainable and balanced, where the wellbeing of all biological species and the natural environment is upheld. We work towards preparing all generations to face and overcome the challenges of sustainable living.

Our vision is to establish an international scientific network that recognizes, communicates, and actively works to counter the sustainability crisis. We aim to offer a unified front, fighting for the goals of sustainability across borders and cultures.

Webpage of SFS: Link

Name Short Description Link
Carbon Footprint Carbon Footprint Calculator For Individuals And Households Link
Footprint Calculator How Big Is Your Enviornmental Footprint? Link
Climate Change 2023 A Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Link
Broken Record – Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again) United Nations Emissions Gap Report 2023 Link
Renewables 2022 International Energy Agency Link
Country Overshoot Days 2024 Earth Overshoot Day Link
Welcome to Climate Visuals, a Climate Outreach project Powerful Images on Climate Impacts Link
Test and Explore Cross-Sector Climate Solution Climate Interactive Link
Climate Change: We Get the Discussion Going Klimafakten Link
#ShowYourStripes ‘Warming Stripe’ Graphics Are Visual Representations of the Change in Temperature Link
Sustainability Climate & Sustainability Strategy by EPFL Link
Joining the Climate Fresk Movement Tool for climate education Link
Authors Magazin Title DOI
Crutzen, P. J. Nature Geology of mankind Link
Wackernagel, M., Schulz, N. B., Deumling, D., et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Tracking the ecological overshoot of the human economy Link
Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., et al. Nature A safe operating space for humanity Link
Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., et al. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment The emergence and evolution of Earth System Science Link
Herrington, G. Journal of Industrial Ecology Update to limits of growth: Comparing the World3 model with empirical data Link
Armstrong McKay, D. I., Staal, A., Abrams, J. F., et al. Science Exceeding 1.5°C global warming could trigger multiple climate tipping points Link
Jørgensen, P. S., et al. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Evolution of the polycrisis: Anthropocene traps that challenge global sustainability Link
Supran, G., Rahmstorf, S., Oreskes, N Science Assessing ExxonMobiles global warming projections Link
Yao, F., Livneh, B., Rajagopalan, B., et al. Science Satellites reveal widespread decline in global lakewater storage Link
Rödel, J., Frisch, A., Damjanovic, D. Journal of Materials Science The scientists’ responsibility in communicating the sustainability crisis Link

Sustainability crisis and the scientific societies

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Humankind and, in general, all life on earth, face a fundamental sustainability crisis. We have realized many decades ago that both our sources and our sinks on our planet are limited. International treaties have been adopted, panels have been formed and assessments have been published. Yet, almost all nations regularly fail to comply with their goals. Many potential barriers to swift actions exist, and sustainability in its many facets reveals complex interdependencies and rebounds. Humankind relies on an infrastructure in terms of energy supply, housing, and others, which take decades to change. At the same time, we face tipping points, which describe an irreversible acceleration of degradation of our fundamental life’s resources. This concerns not only the climate crisis, which is visible in so many nations with floods and heat waves and a surge of new temperature extremes and costs due to mitigation and adaptation. No, the problem also lies in a set of planetary limits, including a terrifying loss of agricultural soil, an increasing level of acidity in the oceans, enhanced nitridation, and loss of biodiversity and natural habitats. In this situation, it appears obvious, that scientists, meaning all scientists beyond our representatives in international panels, need to respond. We need to inform ourselves across the disciplines and disseminate available information into society. We need to spell out that a transformation of society is required combining technological advances and a change in lifestyle with a reduction in demand for our planet’s sources and sinks.

Read the Full Paper (opens in new tab)

American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 101, No. 7 | 3

letter to the editor

To the editor:

As scientists, we are trained to address the vital challenges of mankind. We believe that we will advance the wellbeing of people by providing available resources, warmth, communication, and mobility, and for this reason we chose this profession.

Some of us work on applicationoriented problems to provide answers to societal needs, or at least needs society is convinced it needs. Other scientists solve basic scientific challenges, either for the thrill of challenging discovery or to lay the groundwork for new approaches to solving application-related questions. Therefore, it seems natural that we consider ourselves vital in solving mankind’s quest for ever-lasting sustainability.

Two worries come to mind.

1. We may have read the “Limits of growth,” published 50 years ago by D. H. Meadows et. al.1 We also may have read the last report of the International Panel on Climate Change.2 Why, then, if scientists are educated about the limits of our planet’s resources and the futile combat to keep the problem at bay, do we still expect ourselves to be the true heroes?

2. If our politicians are correct that we need at least 2% of economic growth (in China, the number was said to be 9%) to keep going, then we are certainly worried about our laws of thermodynamics and about our simple mathematical understanding that an exponential function is prone to hit a ceiling in a confined sample. Right?

The answer to these worries is rather simple: Scientists will not provide the solution to an unsolvable, ill-posed problem. In traveling from international conference to international conference, meeting in new fancy hotels, we may have an enormous carbon footprint and may be a part of the problem ourselves.

So, what to do?

Science is not the complete answer to the world’s most pressing quest for eternal sustainability. It is, however, a key junction to connect economic models to reality and can provide a reality check for the latter.

If we had guts, we would confess to a grain of humility and would say we can assist to reduce the imbalance between resources and mankind’s abuse of resources, but the problem is a sociopolitical one in the end. As Mahatma Gandhi put it in 1992, “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.”

More so, if we would accept that every nation and every human being is entitled to the same energy consumption and same mineral resources, we would realize all that’s required is a grain of humility and a generous share of empathy.

This knowledge may not increase our research dollars; possibly we should even reduce our own carbon footprint to retain some credibility.

Does that sound rough and awfully inconvenient?

Yes, but as researchers we are still needed on two fronts.

1. Apply our understanding and application-oriented research to power toward sustainability.

2. Persevere on basic research as, in the end, true innovations may stem from goal-oriented basic science where—with an open eye— we discuss new phenomena desperately needed for lasting sustainability. But we also have responsibility as educated citizens, communicators, and teachers. Specifically,

1. Discuss the biggest challenge of this planet in your colleague’s circles, in your community, and with other groups, and pledge to limit your carbon footprint by reducing your mobility, heating/cooling, consumption, etc. For example, forfeiting an international return flight from Los Angeles to London reduces carbon footprint by 2.9 tonnes, the equivalent of more than the carbon footprint of an Indian or Brazilian citizen per year.

2. Get vital interest groups into the discussion. For example, why are high-school students forming powerful interest groups while undergraduate and postgraduate students are only slain with our demands to study lecture notes? Why are they not standing up as they did some decades ago?

In the end, the path is blatantly clear: Scientists need to move society onto a straight—but rocky and long—path to sustainability. The alternative is a path that is convenient only for a short distance and leads to the wide-spread disaster you may read about in other documents.

Beyond the simple suggestions, here are some recommendations.

• Read the three references provided.

• Embrace “A grain of humility and a

generous share of empathy.”

•“Come on!”3


Jürgen Rödel, FACerS

Technische Universität Darmstadt,



1Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William W. Behrens III, “The limits to growth,” Potomac Associates (1972)

2Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Climate change 2022—Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability,” IPCC website

3Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Anders Wijkman, “Come on! Capitalism, shorttermism, population, and the destruction of the planet,” Springer, New York (2018)

Link to Podcast

What will it take to mitigate the effects of climate change? Jürgen Rödel, professor and ceramics group leader at the Technical University of Darmstadt, discusses the most concerning effects of climate change, shares how he became active in advocating for sustainability, and describes what individual and organizational actions can be taken to preserve the Earth for future generations.