The United Nations has been the major international body that has researched and documented global challenges and needs. Most recently 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were developed, following the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
These SDGs (see Figure 4) challenge its 193 member countries to transform the world by unifying under a common agenda on sustainable development (UN, 2015). The challenges, most of which are exacerbated by a changing climate, range from poverty and hunger to clean water and energy concerns. The goal is to overcome these challenges by the year 2030.
Therefore, using these global challenges as our basis, the Center of GRS will work on building resilient communities by focusing on the four inter- related themes of water, infrastructure, energy, and climate, over the first few years of the Center’s tenure.
These themes offer an opportunity to encourage collaboration not only across the schools in Norwich’s College of Professional Studies (CoPS), but also across the university with faculty experts in allied areas as we consider not only the environmental and economical resilience in view of climate change impacts, but also the political, psychological, and sociological considerations in our designs and solutions.
The Center for Global Resilience and Security intends to fulfill a niche; that of including security in the same context as climate change. A number of departments, institutions, and centers research climate change impacts from various perspectives, but Norwich is uniquely positioned, to take on this complex challenge because of the following factors:
The nature of our institution, partners, and student body, where service, and leadership are ingrained, and where academic silos and bureaucratic processes are This allows for ease of collaboration and quick and timely action on pressing matters.
Leaders like our first Distinguished Leader in Residence, GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, who are not only able to envision climate change impacts beyond the traditional scientific ones, but have the connections and perspectives to help the Center and Norwich engage in the necessary research activities and make them available to the global communities that seek climate resilient solutions.
Expertise within the College of Professional Schools (CoPS) in areas ranging from legal and technical water quality/quantity, SCADA systems, smart grid, transportation systems, sustainable and resilient construction, on both large and small scales, to health, finance, business, innovation, entrepreneurship, etc.