The Equity and Justice Research Group at IIASA leads the justice debate in global change research and sustainability science using mixed, systems-based, and participatory methods.

EQU research aims to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to solving other global environmental, climate, and sustainability challenges, both on its own and as part of broader IIASA initiatives, by developing and applying conceptual and analytical frameworks for integrating equity and justice aspects into systems analysis. Scientists in EQU analyse the diverse perspectives on justice, assess unjust and unethical practices, and identify just governance options, contributing to universal ethical and compassionate support in times of crisis. 

EQU researchers pioneer innovative and transparent mixed methods, with a special focus on qualitative systems approaches, to come to terms with diverse ideas of justice and the governance of complex societal challenges. To bridge the gap between conceptualization and implementation, EQU researchers develop and employ participatory processes that provide a safe space to co-produce options for transformative change. This stakeholder inclusive way of conducting research means putting people's lived experience at the center of our work to solve “real problems” that our society faces. Across the board, we aim for systematic and transparent research, and make our processes and output accessible to all.  

In EQU, we lead and live by example in the practice of sustainability and social justice. In our team, we appreciate and harness diversity in views and work styles, and foster an enabling and collaborative work environment. We remain self-reflected and open-minded. The research group works closely with other IIASA research programs and external partners to position our research activities in a systems analysis framework that is well-grounded in ethics. 

Models, tools, datasets

stakeholder groups

Social and Policy Simulations


Plural Rationality Approach (PRA)


Dynamic Model of Multi-Hazard Mitigation Co-Benefits (DYNAMMICs)



Systems approach to EU wildfire risk management project (FIRELOGUE)

African landscape with Tsiribihina river during dry season, Madagascar


Kreatives Ideenteamwork-Konzept





Armon Rezai profile picture

Armon Rezai

Research Scholar (EQU)

Jonas Peisker profile picture

Jonas Peisker

Researcher (EQU)

Thomas Thaler profile picture

Thomas Thaler

Research Scholar (EQU)

No image available

Jan Sendzimir

Guest Research Scholar (EQU)


Science4Policy Podcast

22 May 2023

Science for Policy Podcast: Transdisciplinary research for policymaking

Bárbara Willaarts and Thomas Schinko join SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Acadamies) for an episode of their Science for Policy Podcast! They explain why transdisciplinary means more than just collaborating with other areas of science, why co-creation means more than just working with policymakers to understand their needs, and why both are needed to give really good quality policy advice.
Team meeting

04 May 2023

Researchers from Norwegian Geotechnical Institute visit IIASA

Researchers from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) visited IIASA on 24 April to finalize a five-year collaboration on nature-based solutions for meeting climate and biodiversity targets, and to plan a proposal to continue their collaboration.


Illustration of Vienna Skyline with Color Buildings, Blue Sky and Reflections.

16 May 2023

Would Vienna still be Vienna without migrants?

What would Vienna look like without migrants, and what kind of socioeconomic implications would such a situation have? IIASA researchers Anne Goujon and Thomas Schinko delved into these questions in response to a recent public debate on the topic.

Jigsaw puzzle collaboration/co-creation concept

08 May 2023

Stakeholder engagement, co-production, and transdisciplinary research

Co-production is a term that has been cropping up more and more in discussions about public involvement and is fast becoming an integral feature of many research processes and proposals. Susanne Hanger-Kopp explains why not every project can or should include elements of co-production and how to make the most of such processes when they are used.

04 December 2022

IIASA and Austria: supporting Austria into a sustainable future

Options Magazine, Winter 2022: IIASA researchers have been working closely with all levels of Austrian society including scientific institutions, policymakers, and the public to help the country move towards a more sustainable and just future.
IIASA and Austria