Collaborating for a sustainable future

A US university provides a service to society by blending scientific research, education and practical solutions, while helping support companies towards stewardship by bringing together the people and tools needed to address some of the world’s most difficult problems, from climate change and environmental degradation, to poverty, disease and the sustainable use of resources.

Much of humankind is vulnerable to natural disasters, extreme poverty, infectious disease and a host of other challenges. One in six people on the planet subsists on less than USD 1 a day. The world’s population is expected to increase to nine billion by 2050. Human activity is straining the planet’s resources, threatening the health of our environment and ability to thrive.

The Columbia University Earth Institute brings together people and tools needed to address some of the world’s most difficult problems, from climate change and environmental degradation, to poverty, disease and the sustainable use of resources. The Earth Institute focuses on the protection of earth’s environment and the spread of social and economic opportunities for all people, working on the fundamental belief that the world already possesses the tools needed to effectively mitigate climate change, poverty and other critical issues. The Institute, under the direction of Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, comprises more than 30 research centres and some 850 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, staff and students.

Working across many disciplines, the Earth Institute studies and creates solutions for problems in public health, poverty, energy, ecosystems, climate, natural hazards and urbanization. Earth Institute experts work hand-in-hand with academia, corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and individuals, advising national governments and the United Nations on issues related to sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as educating the next generation of leaders in basic sciences and sustainable development.

Under the stewardship of the Earth Institute Faculty, the Earth Institute moves beyond the usual academic boundaries to create a multidisciplinary approach to questions of Earth’s sustainability. During its monthly meetings, the Faculty guides the intellectual agenda of the Earth Institute while maintaining its overall academic integrity. Appointed by the Provost of Columbia University, Earth Institute Faculty members provide advice and guidance to University and Earth Institute leadership in the following areas: leadership in developing new, crosscutting research and educational activities, intellectual balance, curriculum development, new appointments and visitors, the fellows program, and convening and reviewing of conferences (e.g. State of the Planet Conferences), workshops, and seminars.

Examples of Earth Institute Initiatives:

Water Water
Climate and Society Climate and Society
Energy Energy
Urbanization Urbanization
Hazards Hazards
Global Health Global Health
Poverty Poverty
Food,  Ecology and Nutrition Food, Ecology and Nutrition
Ecosystems Health and Monitoring Ecosystems Health and Monitoring

 

Filed in: Research in service of society, Supporting companies towards stewardship
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