An Independent ISIE

In the foundation of Industrial Ecology as a field of study, Yale University has been a nanny taking on and nurturing an idea that had been conceived by industry scientists. Yale started and still owns the Journal of Industrial Ecology and hosts the International Society for Industrial Ecology. The support of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies was an asset, providing both credence and administrative support. Over time, ISIE has strengthened itself, with multiple strong centers of activity growing in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. Yale does not offer much flexibility with respect to how tasks are organized and staffed. On my recommendation, the ISIE Council decided last summer to commence a process of identifying a new organizational model for ISIE and incorporating the society as an independent legal entity. As part of this process, the aim is to create a slimmer organization native in the web and enhance the capacity of the society to organize scientific progress. We have now hired the volunteer who revamped our website, Paul Hoekman of  Metabolism of Cities from Cape Town, as an interim executive director. Together with ISIE officers, he will help us identify appropriate solutions to the operations of the society and implement those approved by the Council.

At the same time, Yale has also sought support for the Journal. Graciously, Tsinghua University with Shi Lei and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) with Richard Wood and their teams have taken on substantial editorial tasks that were so far supported by and executed at Yale.

Industrial Ecology has emerged as a highly successful scientific endeavor based on the merit of its founding ideas and approaches, propelled by the dedication of scientists and with the support of select institutions. ISIE has contributed to the creation of a scientific community that shapes the career path of young scientists. As platforms for communication and exchange, ISIE and the JIE are strong assets that will depend on the continued support of its members.