- Key elements
The Institute of Social Ecology in Vienna is a subdivision of the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies at Klagenfurt University. Founder and head of the Institute of Social Ecology is Marina Fischer Kowalski. Research and teaching at the Institute of Social Ecology deals with the interrelationship between social and natural systems in the context of sustainable development. Research is structured into four main fields (i) society’s metabolism, (ii) land use change and human intervention in natural systems, (iii) environmental history and cultural evolution, and (iv) transition studies.
The IFF Institute of Social Ecology has a rich experience in the development of concepts and indicators to monitor biophysical aspects of economic development. It has been involved in Material and Energy Flow Accounting (MEFA) since the early nineties and contributed to developing international methodological standards at OECD and EUROSTAT. In a number of European Union funded research projects it has established an extensive database on the long term development of material and energy flows in the 15 European Union countries as well as in South East Asian and Latin American countries. It participates in international research programmes (e.g., IHDP, SCOPE, MAB) and currently contributes to international research on global environmental change with two IHDP-IT and IGBP/LUCC endorsed research projects. It is also involved in policy consultancy for the Austrian Government, the OECD, and various NGOs.