Since its inception, the AGS has pioneered a research approach that brings together multi-disciplinary research teams from the partner institutions. The first set of sponsored research projects was launched in 1997 with support from the Avina Foundation. Since then, the AGS has worked with farsighted leaders from global businesses and industries, governments and NGOs worldwide to provide innovative and practical solutions to critical issues in sustainability in the areas of energy and climate, mobility, urban systems, water and agriculture, cleaner technologies, and policy and communications.

The AGS has four research initiatives:

  • Sustainability under Rapid Demographic Change
    The demographic structure of most developed countries is changing dramatically as a result of people living longer but having fewer children. At the same time, these societies must make drastic changes in the use of energy and natural resources
  • Urban Futures Initiative
    Urban Futures – the dramatic increase in urban populations around the world and its implications for global sustainability – is an AGS focal area. The AGS has convened seminars and workshops on this theme and is publishing the conclusions
  • Energy Pathways
    The energy flagship program identifies – and communicates to decision makers – robust transitional systems or energy pathways that bridge today’s energy technologies, infrastructures, and markets, to future sustainable systems.
  • Food and Water
    The food and water program focused on three aspects: security for well being, balance between systems, and education and outreach.