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GRI shares Northeastern’s innovative approach to embracing resilience as a university-wide theme, at NCSE 2018

The science, business, and education of sustainable infrastructure: “Building resilience in a changing world,” was the theme of the National Council for Science and the Environment’s (NCSE) 18th National Conference and Global Forum.

The annual event aims to convene institutions and individuals from both the public and private sector who are creating and using environmental knowledge, in a bid to improve the scientific basis for decision-making on environmental challenges. This year’s Forum was held in Washington, D.C. and featured Global Resilience Institute (GRI) Associate Director Dr. Jennie Stephens and GRI Distinguished Senior Fellow Vilas Mujumdar at one of the sessions, to explore the opportunity of university engagement with the “Global Resilient Imperative.”

University Engagement with the Global Resilient Imperative
In our increasingly turbulent world, universities have huge potential to engage with non-academic stakeholders to advance resilience of all kinds at multiple levels including strengthening individual resilience, community resilience, infrastructure resilience, and ecosystem resilience. Institutions of higher education hold a unique position in society as critically important places of knowledge production, analysis, and knowledge dissemination. Institutions of higher education have the unique potential to encourage synthesis and integration of different types of knowledge and to enhance the application of knowledge for social change. This session explores the potential for university initiatives focused on strengthening resilience. The Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, a leading a university-wide interdisciplinary effort to advance resilience-related initiatives that contribute to the security, sustainability, health and well-being of societies, provides an example of the potential of engaged academic work in this critically important area.
-Session Description, Symposia Overview, NCSE 2018

Mujumdar and Stephens, also Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at Northeastern University, were joined by Ruby Woodside, Innovative Services Manager at Second Nature; and Meghan Chapple, Director of Office of Sustainability, at George Washington University.

“The NCSE conference was a great opportunity to share Northeastern’s innovative approach to embracing resilience as a university-wide theme to strengthen impactful engagement with the world,” Dr. Stephens said. “The Global Resilience Institute is a unique model of transdisciplinarity, and we learned a lot about how other colleges and universities are strengthening campus resilience.”

GRI is leading a university-wide interdisciplinary effort to advance resilience-related initiatives that contribute to the security, sustainability, health and well-being of societies. The institute’s research and educational mission is to develop and deploy practical and innovative tools, applications, and skills that drive social and technical changes which strengthen the capacity of individuals, communities, systems and networks to adapt to an increasingly turbulent world.  GRI accomplishes this by facilitating new interdisciplinary research collaborations; working in close partnership with industry, government, communities, and non-governmental organizations; and engaging in external outreach to inform, empower, and scale bottom-up efforts that contribute to individual and collective resilience.

For more information about the NCSE or its annual conference visit ncseconference.org

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