Sustainable Systems
Research Foundation


The Sustainable Systems Research Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit green think tank based in Santa Cruz, California. SSRF seeks to create a sustainable Central California Coast through local, participatory community development of sustainable energy generation, urban agriculture, backyard housing and compostable design and procurement . Our philosophy is that the best form of activism is that which benefits the community, is reproducible and scalable and easily adopted and adapted to other places. Learn more about our work and projects below.



SSRF’s education programs seek to offer high school and university students and post-graduates the knowledge and know-how to hone skills needed for success through hands-on training in sustainability-related systems design and development in areas such as energy, food, water, transportation, waste, and housing, among others.


SSRF staff and interns conduct applied research focused on local and regional “wicked” problems and issues, such as waste management, recycling and waste, affordable housing development, sustainable urban agriculture and planning for the transition to renewable energy and power

Public Policy & Advocacy

SSRF works on local environmental issues, such as the local recycling crisis, analyzes their causes and consequences, develops proposals to deal with them, and advocates for these proposals.​

Project Incubation

SSRF offers an intellectual environment, skills mentoring, and workspaces to engage and stimulate enterprising students, post-graduates and individuals who seek to launch sustainability-related projects, services and goods.​

Learn how solar + storage microgrids can bring power home and provide everyone with a basic income through solar electricity.

Learn about growing food on small urban farms and gardens.

Explore how plastic waste can be reduced by changing purchasing practices.

Learn how SSRF is working to create the Green Economy through education, internships and hands on activities

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