The Sustainability and Development Initiative envisions the creation of a professional society for scholars and practitioners in the field of sustainability and development. The primary goal of the society would be to support interactions among and capacities of its members, through the Sustainability and Development Conference, informational and training workshops, skill development opportunities, and small grants. Grants could potentially facilitate interactions, research, and technologies related to sustainability and development. In particular, grants would support students and scholars from lower income countries in their conference participation, research, and publication goals.

The society will be interdisciplinary, serving its members rather than any given discipline. Ultimately, the society will house the annual Sustainability and Development Conference, the proposed open access journal, and other activities which may develop from the SDI.