Institute for a Sustainable Future
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Welcome to ISF!

ISF is a not-for-profit organization working to support and improve ecological health, through advocacy, research, consultation and education. ISF works to build, support and replicate models of success. Consistent with its ecological approach, ISF engages in campaigns which foster relationships and collaboration. ISF recognizes science and the arts as equally important in building a healthy, sustainable world.

ISF provides expertise on environmental toxins, health care design and healthy food systems and has presented and consulted internationally.

Commons Health Care

ISF is a founding member of the Commons Health Network. Distinct from our conventional health care delivery systems, a "commons" health care system is community driven  (rather than hospital driven), focused on prevention (rather than treatment),  employs local or bioregional knowledge and solutions, involves regenerative design and promotes integrative medical approaches. For more information and to join the network visit The Commons Health Network helped launch the Commons Health Hospital Challenge, a community clinician called to action on three key prevention initiatives.


Interconnectedness and Systems

Underlying all our work is an appreciation for and recognition of relationship. It is how change is made and provides the ability to think creatively about multi-benefit solutions. So, for example by working towards safer chemical policies, we can enhance the health of individuals, workers that make our goods, our environment and community. It draws on the science that links global chemical contamination throughout the web of life.

ISF Presents at Mercury Free Healthcare Conference, Penang, Malaysia

Similarly, our work on food systems forces the recognition that the issues of justice, access, nutrition and environment and others are false distinctions. They are one and the same. The International Agriculture Assessment highlights the interconnections between human rights, democratic decision making, community health and agroecological.

Again, we apply this approach to our work on a community driven primary treatment model in healthcare. We recognize not only the dehumanising aspect our our current treatment model, but that in the quest for resources neccesary to fuel a healthcare system which represents now approximately 18% of the GDP, we are unintentionally adding to the burden of disesase. So for example, would it not make sense for hosptials to support food that is health promoting and work to reduce and eliminate this common driver of chronic disease.For more information...

ISF Executive Director Recieves National Thought Leader Award
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ISF has been working with a statewide group of organizations to support the right to share seeds, without regulation. This includes the St. Paul Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Council, Gardening Matters, Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council, the Sustainable Economies Law Center, and the Duluth Seed Library.  Find below letters of support for these principles from:

New report highlights efforts supporting healthy, fair, accessible and sustainable food. ISF’s “The Western Lake Superior Good Food Movement Status Report”, details the transformational progress by organizations and collaborations from across the Northland in advancing a healthy, fair, and accessible bio-regional food system.

A 20% by 2020 Local Purchasing Toolkit - A Report to Support Local Food Purchasing (pdf) includes the first regional directory of producers currently supplying the largest institutions and restaurants in our region. The report is intended to support regional restaurants, hospitals and universities market their commitment to local foods, and support regional producers and food businesses.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership helps increase the variety and consumption of vegetables. Across the country a variety of health insurance providers are including CSA's in their wellness initaitves and/or providing CSA rebates. Take our quick survey and show your interest in having CSA's be included in your helath insurance plan as a rebate or wellness offering!
Report to be launched, March 2013, forward by Institute for a Sustainable Future, Executive Director Jamie Harvie. Flier (pdf)
ISF is led by Executive Director Jamie Harvie (bio) a nationally recognized food system authority.
Our Support
The work of ISF is supported by the ISF Foundation, donations, private foundations, and through consulting work on projects consistent with our mission. Funders have included the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Loyd K. Johnson Foundation, Cedar Tree Foundation, USDA and more.