Transforming Universities in Ways that accelerate the Transition to a Sustainable Future.

Universities need to become more useful societal partners in solving problems in sustainable development (i.e. problems requiring a dual focus on improving human well-being and protecting the environment). This requires breaking down the “external walls” that separate universities from society, as well as the “internal walls” that create barriers between the different kinds of university expertise needed for problem-solving. We have implemented innovative approaches that are strengthening the capacity of universities for stakeholder-engaged, solutions-driven, interdisciplinary research. More than 200 faculty and 800 students from 17 universities representing the natural and social sciences, engineering, and design have now participated in our sustainability research program (e.g. 60+ projects focused on water resources, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, climate change, renewable energy, materials management). Our ultimate goal is to change the world by changing the world’s 10,000 universities.

Tags: sustainability, sustainable development, collaboration, team science, university-stakeholder partnerships, transdisciplinarity