The complexity of sustainability requires a multidisciplinary global approach for assisting governmental, scientific and industrial stakeholders to (a) share a common understanding of the challenges, (b) access to relevant knowledge bases, and (c) the expertise and perspectives. All of this must take place in what is, in effect, "real time”. Further, diverse users have different purposes, capabilities, missions, and priorities, with goals and at different levels of development.

Many search engines generate extensive results, which often require user time and selectivity. By contrast, GSSD seeks to provide more focused (and smaller volume) content with high quality, supported by intellectual coherence and reliable knowledge and tracking methods.

User Type Examples
Public sector Formal national, international, & inter-governmental levels
Private sector Commercial and non-commercial uses at all levels
Professional groups Formal and informal, all levels and contexts
Decision-makers Diverse levels, contexts, and institutions
Policy leaders Agenda setters for consensus-building
Knowledge providers Generators & distributors of different knowledge types
System developers Creators of new operations, tools, and functionalities
Students Various fields, levels contexts with diverse needs
Educators Formal & informal capacity enhancers