To gain insight in how policy makers work and learn, in-depth interviews were held with seven dutch policy makers working on global sustainability issues. The focus of the interview was on the information needs, information gathering practices, and working styles of the policy makers. Our results indicate that policy makers have a strong need for information on linkages between different policy problems, and on different cultural perspectives on those problems. Information gathering is marked by an emphasis on information filtering towards the policy issue at hand. Finally, policy makers appear to be predisposed to an application-oriented working style. The combination of an application-oriented working style with a policy-driven search for information seems inadequate for satisfying policy makers’ information needs. Current learning practices among policy makers appear to be inadequate for coping with complexity.