Welcome to Arizona State University and the nation’s first School of Sustainability where faculty, staff, and students are embarking upon one of the boldest, most comprehensive approaches to sustainability attempted at any university. We are engaged in a global-survival experiment, in a time when sustainable solutions must be envisioned and implemented.
Sustainability is the “reframing” of the debate over human-environment relationship critical to ensuring quality of life for future generations – whether the human life-support system on earth can continue indefinitely, or whether it is changing the world in radical ways that will lead to new, undesirable states for people and the planet. The debate has evolved from past polarizing conversations of either development or environment to discussions of how humankind can transform its economic growth system into a sustainable approach that does not threaten earth’s life supporting systems. Simultaneously maintaining or improving ecological integrity, human well-being, and social justice for present and future generations is the grand challenge of sustainability.
Sustainability uses an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to understand interactions between people and the environment. This systems approach is also fundamental for designing effective solutions to sustainability challenges. Some of the challenges that guide the research and curriculum of the School of Sustainability are:
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important area of research and education within the academic community as a reflection of trends in society, industry, and government. The School of Sustainability will continue to lead in the development and delivery of new interdisciplinary models of education to create the next generation of sustainability experts.
The Global Institute of Sustainability is already successfully engaged in collaborative relationships with colleges and programs across the University and with institutions and corporations worldwide – with the aim of creating a a talented and skillful community to address complex environmental and social challenges. The Institute and School together lead and facilitate ASU’s commitment to university-wide sustainability.We will continue to work closely with the broader ASU community and other partners to create a comprehensive transdisciplinary approach to knowledge generation, cutting-edge research, and innovative solutions for sustainability. I welcome your contributions to our goal of discovering and creating solutions for a sustainable future.