UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge
I recently took on the role of faculty director of the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. I was one of the original faculty founders of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, the university-wide endeavor that connects scholars across campus and partners outside of UCLA to make Los Angeles the first sustainable megacity by 2050.
Launched in 2013, the long-term goals of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge are to achieve 100% renewable energy, 100% local water and enhanced ecosystem health for Los Angeles County by 2050.
This is a full circle moment for me. Seven years ago, I was part of a group of faculty who sat down to brainstorm what UCLA could achieve for sustainability if we worked together. In this new role, I lead all campus sustainability efforts to grow partnerships between UCLA's students, faculty and external stakeholders from the government, business, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.
Since we launched, the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge has accomplished more than we ever thought was possible. For example, Grand Challenge staff and UCLA faculty co-wrote the LA County sustainability plan (https://ourcountyla.org) and significantly influenced the mayor's Green New Deal (https://plan.lamayor.org).
Now we are working with the key implementation stakeholders to support their efforts. But the stakes are even higher today as we have begun to experience direct impacts of climate change - draught, fires, power failures, etc.
I’m honored to have this opportunity to accelerate UCLA’s impact and create a more sustainable future for Los Angeles.