The McGill Sustainability Sciences and Technologies Initiative:
Developing the McGill Grand Challenges
How can we ensure the prosperity of people today without endangering the well-being of our neighbours or our future generations? This is the question that sustainability sciences and technologies aim to answer. Sustainability sciences and technologies describe research that involves the development and implementation of innovative materials and technologies (CleanTech) that can replace those whose production or use is unsustainable, redesigning existing technologies to eliminate their negative impact on Earth’s natural capital, and working with communities to improve increase food production while maintaining or restoring ecosystem services.
What all of these pursuits have in common is that they are far too complex and too wide in scope and scale to be addressed by existing discipline-based research structures. In order to effectively answer the questions posed in sustainability sciences, we must work across disciplines and in new institutional configurations.
McGill’s Response – The Sustainability Sciences and Technologies Initiative
With the need for an integrated, transdisciplinary response in mind, and supported by university funding, McGill is launching the Sustainability Sciences and Technologies Initiative (SSTI). The SSTI aims to create a hub of expertise and centre of excellence in the field of sustainability sciences and technologies. This hub will bring together McGill’s many experts in a number of fields and provide support and seed funding for transdisciplinary teams to tackle some of the most complex and challenging issues in sustainability. Its research activities will be based on a small number of Grand Challenges – areas in which McGill expertise can make a tangible and significant impact.
Help shape the SSTI
The SSTI invites McGill researchers to participate in a series of activities that will connect those researchers who are interested in participating in SSTI projects, develop the Grand Challenges, and support development of the first series of SSTI projects. We invite members of all faculties to come and see how to participate in this exciting and singular McGill-based initiative.