With over 40 unique sites around the world, from Iceland to South Africa and Paraguay to Australia, we have a unique local lens on critical global challenges. We have networks of partners in each of these sites, connecting us to important developments in communities, government, academia, activist groups, and the private sector. This global network provides opportunities to understand the role of local context, to share best practices, and to integrate understanding around projects such as social enterprise development, early childhood education, job readiness training, climate adaptation, and many more.
Some of the impactful projects we have worked on recently include advancing legislation on plastic bans, designing and building composting toilets, developing innovative curriculum materials for climate change teaching based on “serious games”, creating spaces for community garden and urban food production, designing efficient ‘smart’ boilers in institutional settings, supporting refugees settlement and integration, improving systems that monitor and enhance public safety, remediating groundwater.
Our contributions in these areas start with our project-based learning program that allows students spend two months on-site with faculty advisors working on teams with partner organizations. Faculty directors foster these networks from year to year, and work with partners to integrate and expand on student projects, for example by transferring knowledge among our network, advancing methods or project outcomes, and disseminating work among academic and practitioner communities. Our partners are the heart of the network. They continually drive change in their communities, agencies and sectors, and invite us to engage with them in collaborative initiatives that allow us to learn, share and contribute where we can.