Addressing global challenges: Monash Sustainable Development Institute launches

MSDI launch

From ending poverty and protecting the planet, to gender equality and creating sustainable cities and communities, the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI), launched today, will focus on finding answers to these and other significant problems facing the world today.

The Institute will concentrate Monash University’s world-leading research, delivery and education expertise to focus on the complex global challenges posed by the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Monash President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the Monash Sustainable Development Institute would be a catalyst in advancing solutions to significant world problems.

“Monash is home to wide-ranging expertise in the field of sustainability and collaborates extensively with government and industry. The creation of MSDI provides a vehicle through which to harness and exploit this expertise in new and innovative ways, in partnership with industry and government. This is all about finding solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing our planet,” Professor Gardner said.

The MSDI builds on the success of its predecessor, the Monash Sustainability Institute, whose notable successes include emission reduction by creating pathways for deep decarbonisation, and efficient urban water management systems which will bring cleaner water to thousands across Indonesia.

These successes will be enhanced and extended as the new Institute brings together the University’s world-leading researchers and technological capability with experts from government, industry and civil society. They will work collaboratively on large-scale interdisciplinary projects to seek answers to complex global challenges.

MSDI Director, Professor Rebekah Brown, said the Institute would build on its local success in translating research into policy and practice to work with partners in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

“Monash’s research excellence is substantial in areas related to sustainable development, and we will use the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for impact-focused interdisciplinary research projects to address global challenges.

“In consulting with our partners, we also know that employers are looking to Monash to equip students with the knowledge, expertise and skills they need to create change in the world and shape a sustainable future.

“MSDI is developing a Leadership for Sustainable Development specialisation as part of Monash’s Masters in Environment and Sustainability. And we’re working with the Monash Business School to develop programs to encourage sustainable development and leadership in organisations,” Professor Brown said.

MSDI Chair, Professor John Thwaites, said the Institute was uniquely placed to act as a broker within Monash and between Monash and other organisations that have an interest in Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific region.

“As the regional host of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in the Australia-Pacific, we are able to bring together leading national and international thinkers to accelerate practical problem-solving for sustainable development in the region,” said Professor Thwaites.