What is IHOPE?

IHOPE is a global community of researchers who share a strong interest in both the past and the future of our species and planet Earth.

Our website offers news of interest to the IHOPE community, and along with other activities (e.g., workshops, conferences) presents idea-filled examples of partnerships that demonstrate how the past can build future durability into communities and regions.If you would like to join us, see the Membership page.

We facilitate collaboration among the environmental sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, in addition to indigenous and local communities, citizen scientists, modelers and scenario builders, resource managers, decision makers, complexity thinkers and practitioners in fields such as architecture, engineering, and law.

We are knowledgeable in fields that are necessary to interpret the combined past of the planet and the history of our human presence, but our goal is a just and sustainable future.

IHOPE researchers share a long term, human scale, place-based approach that can be folded into the global system. Without this integrated perspective, the understanding of sustainability, resilience, and vulnerability is impoversihed. 

IHOPE encourages theoretical pluralism, so long as widely accepted scholarly and ethical standards are met.

IHOPE builds networks but does not fund research.

If you have a project in the spirit of IHOPE that you would like to showcase on the website, contact us at the International Project Office.


  1. IHOPE demonstrates the relevance of the past to the future of people, landscapes and regions.
  2. IHOPE investigates the complex interactions which result in the sustainability and vulnerability of societies.
  3. IHOPE integrates perspectives, theories, methods, and networks from the social and Earth system sciences, the humanities, and communities of practice.
  4. IHOPE recognizes that integrated knowledge requires equity, trust, and respect among communities of research and practice.
  5. IHOPE invites worldwide networks, collaborations, and exchanges.


At the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme’s (IGBP) 2003 conference in Banff, Robert Costanza and colleagues addressed the meeting’s challenge: how can the Earth System and human societies be viewed as a single system?

IHOPE thus began as an initiative of IGBP’s core project Analysis, Integration and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES). IHOPE was also a project of the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP), thus linking environmental and social global efforts. In 2015, IGBP
and IHDP were dissolved and IHOPE, along with other global programs, was consolidated within the Future Earth framework. Under the guidance of Kathy Hibbard (2003-2009), the US National Center for Climate Research (NCAR) was IHOPE’s first home.

IHOPE was then hosted at the Stockholm Resilience Center (2009-2011) and then at Uppsala University’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient History (2011-2018) under the guidance of Carole Crumley.

Learn more

Chase, Arlen F., and Vernon L. Scarborough (editors). 2013. The Resilience and Vulnerability of Ancient Landscapes: Transforming Maya Archaeology through IHOPE. Volume 24, Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, Wiley, Hoboken, NY.

Costanza, R., L. Graumlich, and W. Steffen, eds. 2007. Sustainability or Collapse: An Integrated History and Future of People on Earth. 96th Dahlem Workshop. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Costanza, Robert, Sander van der Leeuw, Kathy Hibbard, Steve Aulenbach, Simon Brewer, Michael Burek, Sarah Cornell, Carole Crumley, John Dearing, Carl Folke, Lisa Graumlich, Michelle Hegmon, Scott Heckbert, Stephan T. Jackson, Ida Kubiszewski, Vernon Scarborough, Paul Sinclair, Sverker Sorlin, and Will Steffen. 2012. Developing an Integrated History and future of People on Earth (IHOPE).

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4:106-114. DOI 10.1016/j.cosust.2012.01.010 Crumley, Carole, Tommy Lennartsson, and Anna Westin, eds. 2018. Issues and Concepts in Historical Ecology: The Past and Future of Landscapes and Regions. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

der Leeuw, S., R. Costanza, S. Aulenbach, S. Brewer, M. Burek, S. Cornell, C. Crumley, J. A. Dearing, C. Downy, L. J. Graumlich, S. Heckbert, M. Hegmon, K. Hibbard, S. T. Jackson, I. Kubiszewski, P. Sinclair, S. Sörlin, and W. Steffen. 2011. Toward an Integrated History to Guide the Future. Ecology and Society 16(4):art. 2.

Meyer, William J. and Carole Crumley. 2011. Historical Ecology: Using what Works to Cross the Divide. Atlantic Europe in the First Millennium BC: Crossing the Divide. Tom Moore and Lois Armada, eds., pp. 109-134. Oxford: Oxford University Press.