We are in a period of rapid globalization and change.
Increasing, ever-changing demands are being placed on agricultural and environmental systems worldwide. Accounting for agricultural production, energy consumption, environmental impact, and several other variables will be key if we aspire to sustain the health and well-being more than 9.6 billion people by 2050. To address these problems, we will need leaders and complex adaptive problem solvers who can think broadly and boldly. However, our current education and professional training systems are focused on specific disciplines, and linear thinking. We lack the systems thinking and leadership necessary for addressing the global challenges and complex problems we face.
This is the charge of the Challenge 2050 Project — to develop human capacity to meet the needs associated with a population projected to exceed 9.6 billion by the year 2050.
Through an integrated process which differentiates the University of Florida and IFAS from other preeminent institutions, interdisciplinary students, faculty, industry partners, and policy-makers come together to meet the needs of our dynamic societies globally. Through innovative dialogue, initiatives, coursework, research, and advocacy efforts, we create a foundation for addressing the challenge.
In addition to engaging industry in partnerships with innovative initiatives involving students, the Challenge 2050 Project also provides training and professional development opportunities for building industry leadership capacity across the five systems and social sectors.