College of Architecture and Planning

Universities of the Future Initiative

Universities of the Future (UF) will educate students to address the profound challenges of the immediate and long-term future if humankind, as we know it, is to survive. They will educate students:

  1. To address the major regional and global environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st Century,
  2. To accelerate knowledge systems including knowledge-generation, knowledge-application, knowledge-management and knowledge–diffusion to promote ecological, social and economic systems that are more healthy and productive after intervention than before,
  3. To live within and teach others to live within nature’s universal laws and local/regional limits, and
  4. Help communities understand local regions and pursue eco-economic and community development that builds environmentally-responsible, socially-just, and economically-viable communities.

Universities of the Future will educate people to address today’s major global challenges including global warming, water shortages, dying oceans, collapsing economic systems, and a myriad of crises across diverse systems (environmental, social, and economic) through accelerated knowledge systems. They will facilitate the shift from accelerated consumption and degradation to accelerated efficiency and regeneration.

In contrast to current university focus on disciplinary “boxes”, Universities of the Future will promote whole-systems thinking, educate people as systems thinkers, and teach people to develop the tools, infrastructure, ways of thinking, and ways of collaborating necessary to solve today’s profound problems. They will educate students to lead societies to sustainable communities.