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2023-2024 Networking Groups

During 2023-2024, one research networking group will meet around the topic described below.

Brand NU SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
Despite its status as a top-priority matter, “sustainability” remains an abstract idea. Consensus on the urgency of sustaining a healthy planet led to the adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by all United Nation Member States in 2015. However, the implementation of the SDGs in institutions of higher education - in particular, in our integrated missions of research, education, and service to the community - remain amorphous at best.

In this interdisciplinary research networking group, we will bring together faculty and staff from across Northwestern to co-design a shared, strategic vision for what “sustainability” means on our campus. We will build off the insights formed from last year’s Design+Nature Networking Group to identify “Brand NU SDGs” that can help Northwestern position itself to lead not only in its priority areas but also in how sustainability is integrated into the mission of higher education more broadly.

Each quarter, we will (i) highlight intersections of ongoing research activities and opportunities for improving their impact on sustainability-focused efforts at Northwestern, (ii) cultivate a shared mission of improving sustainability literacy for our students through our teaching efforts, and (iii) identify opportunities for collaboration on campus and beyond to meaningfully contribute to shared sustainability efforts. In this way, we envision the SDGs serving as a framework to foster collaborative interdisciplinary conversations about how we as Northwestern can define what sustainability means to us, how we can enhance our instructional activities around improving student literacy on these themes, and how we can ensure that the impact of our efforts go far beyond our campus.

We anticipate this luncheon series will result in increased interactions and new collaborations among participants that are necessary to help Northwestern define what sustainability means to us and contribute to the broader international conversation.

 The group will be led by Ryan Truby, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and Cécile Chazot, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, both in McCormick.

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