We are rapidly approaching 2050, a world where 9 billion people will enjoy more health and wealth while adjusting to the realities of accelerating urbanization, interdependency, resource scarcity, climate stress, and multipolar geopolitics. The challenges and opportunities of sustainable development are enormous—too complex to be solved by any single profession, discipline, business, government agency, or nation-state. CLiGS programs and projects emphasize three areas where challenges and opportunities will be the most pronounced: urban, policy and institutional, and international perspectives.
Infrastructure for Sustainable Development
Infrastructure systems weave the fabric on which society is organized and operates. Particularly in urbanizing regions, planning, developing and managing for greater sustainability, resilience, and economic competitiveness will mean reconceptualizing infrastructure. CLiGS is dedicated to building and sharing knowledge around the advancement of infrastructure systems that support sustainable forms of development. CLiGS’ work focuses on issues including green and ecological infrastructure innovations, collaborative processes for developing community-scale energy plans, watershed-scale planning and management, and leadership for urban sustainability.
- Dominion Energy funding for green infrastructure education programs
- Build and maintain GreeningtheGray.org – clearing house for green infrastructure info
- Partnership with Gauteng City-Region Observatory to explore green infrastructure solutions for Johannesburg region
Enterprises in both the public and private sectors are engaging in strategic planning and change management to improve their performance on a variety of sustainability metrics important to their internal and external stakeholders. CLiGS focuses on the principles of organizational development and the rapidly evolving theory and practice of sustainable enterprise planning and management, including strategies and tactics of change management, stakeholder analysis and engagement, indicators and monitoring, transparency and accountability, communication, and, most of all, the leadership necessary to generate direction, alignment and commitment for enterprise-wide change. We work with clients and partner organizations to embed sustainability principles and practices throughout their enterprise.
- Partnership with World Business Council for Sustainable Development on range of sustainable enterprise programs and projects
Climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts demand new forms of collaborative leadership and innovation on the part of public and private sector organizations, including businesses and cities. CLiGS Climate Leadership is focused on facilitating the development and scaling-up of cross-sector solutions to pressing climate change challenges and opportunities. Behavior change and cultural transformation among individuals and organizations are key elements and outcomes of this approach.
- Work with Arlington County, Virginia on evaluating their new Community Energy Plan
As nations around the world become increasingly integrated economically and politically, so too will the environmental challenges become resistant to being solved by any one nation. Sustainable development in the 21st century will require professionals that can orient themselves in a global context and respond to factors like global supply chains on local ecosystem services and communities. Our programs provide opportunities and training for students to appreciate conservation and development beyond the US, especially in rapidly emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
- Integration of International Residency as part of the Executive Master of Natural Resources program
- Brokering the Yunnan Sustainability Network in China
- Examining cross-sector partnerships in northern Brazilian Amazon to promote sustainable soy production
- Developing guidelines for sustainable hotel operations in southwestern China
- Exploring challenges of human-wildlife interactions posed by swelling urban populations in Mumbai, India