The PoleStar Project explores alternative futures. Named for the star that guided voyagers through uncharted waters, Tellus Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute launched PoleStar in 1991 to develop appropriate methods for sustainability assessment and conduct collaborative studies.
An adequate conceptual and computational framework for sustainable development requires three kinds of integration: across issues (to reconcile environmental, social, and economic dimensions of development), across time (to take into account the needs of future generations), and across space (to bring into focus challenges that appear at different scales).
The PoleStar System is a centerpiece of this effort. Designed as a flexible tool for quantification of integrated, long-range scenarios, it has been applied in numerous global, regional, national, and local sustainability studies.
PoleStar analyses are unique in considering unconventional futures of structural discontinuity for the uncertain decades ahead. By examining a wide spectrum of plausible scenarios, the PoleStar Project can more clearly illuminate the urgent policy, behavioral, and value choices we now face.