Centre for Living Sustainability


The Centre for Living Sustainability (formally the Centre for Remote and Sustainable Communities) aims to surface the voices of marginalized and remote communities and people across the Highlands and Islands and Internationally. It takes an interdisciplinary and creative approach to research and entrepreneurship to understand complexity, change and uncertainty. Now and in the future, the sustainability of communities is important in navigating social, environmental and economic challenges and contributing to transformational change.

View from Glen Docherty viewpoint

Through creative and innovative research, we seek to contribute new ideas for inclusive sustainable development that challenges inequalities embedded in hierarchies of knowledge and social norms in communities. This may include understanding processes of intersecting aspects of inequality, including gender and sexuality, age, race and ethnicity, religion, disability, but also include issues of access to education, employment and justice. It also requires understanding many layers of changing contexts, including historical and recent/ current conflict, transitions in politics and governance, environmental and climate change, cultural and social norms, mobility and migration, and personal and power relationships.


  • Sustainability – with a specific focus on cultural, social and natural resource ownership and management, leadership, regional and international development, third sector activities, entrepreneurial thinking and public service delivery to remote and marginalised communities.
  • Access and inclusion – with an emphasis on identifying inequalities with remote and marginalised communities in and on the move between rural and urban areas, and working with academic policymakers and other stakeholders to address such inequalities;
  • Intergenerational perspectives – intergenerational community driven research and a focus on child and youth rights provides a re-energised and rejuvenated vision for future generations. Listening to children and youth rather than making assumptions about their perspectives is important in order to face rapidly changing contexts whilst supporting them in their aspirations.
  • Enterprising innovation – connecting research, education and (local) businesses facilitates innovations in knowledge exchange and entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Navigating change and complexity – particularly in relation to political, cultural, social and environmental change including climate change, local-global linkages, demographics, migration and technological advances. We apply a change-scape approach that means treating people in communities as agents of change within landscapes of change within different Scottish and global contexts.


Key information and contact details

Dr Vicky Johnson, Director

Centre for Living Sustainability, UHI Inverness, 1 Inverness Campus, Inverness, IV2 5NA