The Challenge 2050 Project at the University of Florida

We believe in the power of human beings to change the world for the better. Aware, connected, creative human beings make innovative and inspired decisions. We cultivate the capacity for adaptive leadership and social responsibility in the next generation of global change-makers.

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Roselyn Byrd

rose-bwRoselyn graduated the University of Florida with a dual degree in Economics and Sustainability Studies with honors. She focused her specialization in food systems as she completed her certification in Global leadership and Change (The Challenge 2050 Project Certificate). During her sophomore year, she circumnavigated the world, exploring five continents, while studying with the University of Virginia Semester at Sea program. She witnessed first-hand the multifarious and pressing issues dealing with food scarcity, environmental degradation, climate change and severe urban poverty. Those experiences created an itching urge to come closer with the underlying roots of social injustice and environmental degradation. So the following summer she spent in Rio de Janeiro, researching and studying the class divisions between the overpopulated, undernourished, infamous favelas.

When she returned to UF, she was determined and motivated to dedicate her studies and her career goals in bridging the gap between economic development and sustainable food systems. Sustainable agriculture became her passion as she help developed the first UF Community Farm and aided in the foundation of the Field and Fork Food pantry. She also spent endless hours at her internship with the Office of Sustainability increasing environmental awareness through planning and hosting multiple symposiums, summits and community events. In her final semester at UF, she gained a new passion for interpreting data through software programs, now you’ll even find her learning code and analyzing regressions in her free time. Pursuing graduate studies in econometrics and international development is in her near future but during her gap year she will be interning in Human Resources with the vegetable seed leader, HM Clause, in Davis. She will be working with their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and will be garnering knowledge in the international vegetable seed industry. She believes this century is the optimal time for innovation, modernization and results. The current food systems will exhaust themselves and cripple with new age agriculture demands if there remains no change. For her, sustainable development encompasses these issues with an opportunity to render positive change and lasting economic growth. She believes her generation holds a heavy responsibility to transform our foods system while creating positive economic and social change. Even though these conundrums are complex and intricate, she has certainty that as a global team, it will be accomplished.