The main objective of the proposed Research Network Project is to establish a dynamic network dedicated to map key areas where more knowledge about island societies is needed to facilitate promotion of sustainable development. The network will bring together Croatian, Estonian, Finnish and Swedish experiences and knowledge and scholars from five countries to identify challenges and opportunities for island societies in current times. Island research is a relatively new research area and there is still an extensive need for conceptual development as well as empirical knowledge. Islands are more vulnerable to environmental risks and they are affected by negative demographic development. Fragmentation on islands and in archipelagos is accentuated by contextual factors where the socio-economic and cultural distance to urban areas is often expressed as a historical social and economic subordination. Some islands are small and governed by mainland society, others are nations and make all decisions concerning the island. Islands are influenced by geopolitics and by the existence or absence of a coherent island policy. Researchers and policy makers highlight the need for increased knowledge about socio-economic and political issues, societal and welfare issues, resource use. Moreover, previous research lacks a critical gender perspective on island studies. The proposed network will contribute to fill identified research needs.