Institute to share ideas globally

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The Earth’s population is projected to reach 7 billion this year and could exceed 10 billion by 2050. How will the world handle this population growth and rising consumption worldwide?

RIT and B. Thomas Golisano, RIT trustee and the founder and chairman of Paychex Inc., would like to assist in solving this complex global challenge. Golisano and RIT President Bill Destler announced they will commit to sharing the model of sustainability education developed at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability with five partner universities in developing countries around the world.

The announcement was made in September at the closing session of the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York City.

“The Golisano Institute for Sustainability is producing the first generation of professionals with the vision and know-how to deliver on the promise of sustainability,” Golisano says. “It is imperative that we take a global approach and accelerate strategies to promote a sustainable society.”

The RIT education model will be used to assist the following developing countries: Dominican Republic, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and Peru. RIT will develop close working relationships with partner universities over a five-year period. RIT will create educational materials and guidebooks, curriculum advisory groups, faculty exchange programs, graduate student participation and a mentorship program. The commitment is valued at $2.3 million.

“The ultimate goal of this commitment is to greatly expand the capacity of universities to develop professionals with the expertise necessary to address local and regional short- and long-term economic, environmental and industrial sustainability needs,” says Nabil Nasr, RIT assistant provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

The Golisano Institute was formed in 2007 with the help of a $10 million gift from Golisano. It currently houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs with a focus on sustainable production as well as master’s degrees in sustainable systems and sustainable architecture.