International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS)

As a global network of sustainable development professionals the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) links researchers in academia and implementation practice from all continents to each other. Accomplishing the urgent and far-reaching changes which are needed in our single-planet-society to achieve a fair and clean sustainable society, requires worldwide close collaboration and maximum exchange of knowledge, experiences, best practices and critical reviews. The ISDRS provides a wide platform with it`s 2200+ society members and LinkedIn group members, it`s topic groups and annual conferences. We have three membership levels, with increasing benefits and access to this worldwide community of practice. The ISDRS is closely linked to major scientific journals. Follow our latest discussions and announcements.

Company details

PO Box 80115 , Utrecht , TC 3508 Netherlands

Locations Served

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Environmental - Environmental Science and Research
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

The official name of the organization is the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS), first officially registered in Hong Kong in 2006. At that time ISDRS was built on a 13-year tradition of successful International Sustainable Development Research conferences originally in the UK. We are continuing this tradition and organize yearly conferences under the ISDRS flag, with in 2014 the 20st conference in row. We generate and disseminate knowledge and educate others about sustainable development.

The Society was founded by Professor Richard Welford, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand and Dr. Jouni Korhonen. At the time of establishment Richard Welford was an acting professor at University of Hong Kong and Jouni Korhonen was a Research Professor at the University of Tampere. The founding of the Society was announced at the 2005 conference in Helsinki, Finland, and formally launched at the 2006 conference in Hong Kong.

Objectives of the Society

  • To generate research and knowledge about sustainable development.  As a research society, we have an obligation to facilitate the work of those who labor to create new knowledge regarding sustainable development, as broadly defined.
  • To disseminate knowledge about sustainable development.  Consistent with knowledge generation, the Society also obligates itself to the task of spreading knowledge worldwide for the benefit of those with a similar interest.
  • To educate others about sustainable development.  Sustainable development places multiple and urgent demands upon global and local societies who will eventually determine the degree to which the Earth’s resources are sustained.  Thus, the ISDRS feels compelled to become involved in the practical work of sustainable development.
  • To establish an information exchange for sustainable development.  Given the proliferation of sustainability entities and venues, the Society will strive to provide a coordinating role for linking all these efforts together.

The ISDRS is governed by the Board of Directors. The President of the Society is Professor Walter Vermeulen at Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Innovation, Department of Environmental Studies and Policy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.


The ISDRS governs itself at three distinct levels: Green+ members, Board of Directors, and the executive committee constituted by the elected officers (i.e. executive board members).

Green+ members elect annually at least two new members to serve on the Board for a period of three years. Any Green+ member is eligible to be nominated for a board position.

The Board of Directors consists of 13-21 members coming from as wide a geographic and discipline range as practical. Board members will be able to stand for re-election once (unless elected to executive office).

The Board officers (executive function) shall comprise a President, a Vice-President, an Executive Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Director for Communications, who form the Executive Committee. All shall be elected by and report to the Board as requested. In cases of behavioral misconduct, the Board has the sole power to remove an officer from her or his function by a vote of two-thirds of its voting members.

The primary responsibilities of the Board of Directors and its members are:

  • To select the site for the annual meeting of the Society;
  • To elect the Board officers (Executive Committee), who must be existing members of the Board;
  • To approve the annual and special reports of the Executive Secretary;
  • To approve the annual and special reports of the President;
  • To conduct the business of the Society in matters not delegated to the Executive Committee or an ad hoc committee;
  • To abide by its own decisions, whether from an physical or virtual meeting;
  • To establish an Audit Committee whose function is to oversee the finances of the ISDRS and online voting processes, this committee shall be formed by at least two Board Members, Officers are not allowed to join this committee;
  • To approve the annual and special reports of the Treasurer and the Audit Committee.