Research to Impact Series: Convergent Team Building and Stakeholder Engagemen

The number of natural climate-related disasters – droughts, wildfires, floods, extreme temperatures – have risen by a staggering 5-fold in the last 50 years. With 11,000 disasters attributed globally, these have costed us over 2 million deaths and US$ 3.64 trillion in losses. A recent report on global energy perspectives stated that even if all countries with net-zero commitments deliver on their aspirations, global warming will reach 1.7°C by 2100. We not only need to act now, but we need to act fast!

Cornell is uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of energy research, education, and transition, a necessary pillar to slow down the disastrous impact of climate change. We have clearly identified leadership and world class expertise in many of the ingredients necessary for energy technology innovations. Additionally, we have unmatched strengths in the fields of agriculture, architecture, business, social sciences, a newly founded school of public policy, and a newly launched multi-disciplinary department of design tech with the vision to integrate human-centered design with technology development that can enable holistic solutions to make a true positive impact on climate change.

How do we bring this all together in a way that the whole is more than the sum of its parts? How do we lead energy transitions and make an impact as a university and set an example and inspire others around us? How do we educate our students to become future energy leaders?

I view convergent team building and partnerships and stakeholder engagement as the two essential strategies to achieve meaningful and sustained impact. These, if done successfully, will enable us to lead large multi-institution, multi-stakeholder center-level collaborations creating an impact at national and international scale. In this talk, I will share my vision for the future of Cornell energy and how I propose to execute convergence research and education, and stakeholder engagement across campus

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