Competitive Sustainability Center


Competitive sustainability includes any sort of sustainability, as defined by the United Nations, that provides a competitive advantage.

The Competitive Sustainability Center in Saunders College of Business at RIT leverages the strengths of both the college, and RIT, to help new and existing businesses, non-profits, and government agencies find and pursue competitive sustainability opportunities. Currently, the center supports $2.5 million in external-grant-funded projects, and has active projects in over 15 countries on four continents.  We also encourage our affiliates to publish their findings, and we work with RIT students, alumni, staff and faculty on competitive sustainability projects as appropriate.

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Administrative Team

Director, Principal Investigator

Mihloti Williams
Program Administrator

Program Administrator

Israa Ameen Thiab
Visiting Assistant Professor

Visiting Professor

Khant Oak Soe
Research Program Manager

Research Program Manager

Lyndsey McGrath
Director of Global Programs and International Partnerships

Global Partnership Outreach and Development

Primary Investigators

Sara Armengot
Department Chair
Jerrie Hsieh
Muhammet Kesgin
Associate Professor
Emi Moriuchi
Associate Professor
James Myers
Associate Provost for Int'l Edu and Global Programs
Atia Newman
Associate Professor
David Schwartz
Director of the School of Interactive Games and Media

Current Funded Activities

Sustainable entrepreneurship through culture and language

Sara Armengot is principal investigator on a project funded by the Department of Education on Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Curriculum for Applied Modern Language and Culture that supports developing sustainable entrepreneurship through culture and language.  This project involves developing and running a course for RIT students in which they explore the language and culture of a specific country, culminating in a visit to the country during the summer to refine their ideas about a sustainable business relating to that country.  The countries RIT is currently working with include France, Italy, Japan, Peru, and Taiwan.  The course will run for the first time in the spring of 2024, with the visits to take place in the summer of 2024.

Economic sustainability for immigrants and refugees

Jerrie Hsieh is principal investigator for the Hospitality Workforce Training Program for Refugees and Immigrants. This is a project funded by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation that addresses social and economic sustainability by equipping immigrants and refugees with the skills they need to find employment in the hospitality industry, which is currently suffering a labor shortage.

Female circular entrepreneurs in Jordan

Clyde Eiríkur Hull and Eric Williams are co-principal investigators on a project funded by the United States Department of State, overseen by the United States Embassy to Jordan, that supports training and supporting primarily female circular entrepreneurs in Jordan.  This project has eight Jordanian-owned circular economy ventures in our partner business incubator in Jordan, the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship.

ASEAN circular entrepreneurship training

Clyde Eiríkur Hull and Eric Williams are co-principal investigators on a new project funded by the United States Department of State in partnership between the U.S.-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation (STIC) Program and the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership (USASCP).
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Games for cybersecurity and physical resiliency design

David Schwartz is the principal investigator on a project funded by the United States Military Academy (West Point) to use game design principles to develop resilience, including identifying threats, considering options, and working through solutions in a simulated environment.