The Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS), formed by MIT and universities in Japan and Switzerland to pool research resources and engage the business community, will hold its annual meeting at MIT from January 22-25.
The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and the University of Tokyo joined MIT in founding the group in 1995. The presidents of all three founding universities-Charles M. Vest of MIT, Jakob Neusch of ETH and Hiroyuki Yoshikawa of the University of Tokyo-will attend the sessions at MIT. The first annual meeting was held in Tokyo last January.
In a statement written for the meeting's program, President Vest said, "From Asia, Europe and North America, the Alliance partners bring diverse views and experiences to the definition and implementation of sustainable development. Furthermore, each of us brings an extensive network of relationships with other institutions in the developed and developing worlds to further enrich our programs.
"We look forward to a lively and productive exchange of information and perspectivs among the participants at this meeting."
The universities founded the AGS to build new knowledge about complex issues that lie at the intersection of environmental and economic goals. Researchers from the three universities are working together to develop and promote effective new policies and processes to deal with sustainability issues such as energy for the 21st century, environmentally conscious design and manufacturing, future cities and mobility. When the AGS was formed, the universities pledged to share their research findings with governments, industry, public interest groups and other universities.
Plenary sessions during the annual meeting will be open to the MIT community, including a discussion by members of the AGS International Advisory Board entitled "Industry as an Agent of Change: What Could a Partnership Between AGS and Industry Do to Address Sustainability?" It is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 24 from 3:30-5pm in the Wong Auditorium (Building E51).
The panel, with Dean Glen Urban of the Sloan School of Management acting as the moderator, will also explore tactics for building such a partnership. The Advisory Board members participating in the discussion will be Livio D. DeSimone, chairman and CEO, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing; Stephan Schmidheiny, chairman, UNOTEC, AG; Edgar S. Woolard, chairman, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., and Professor Jose Goldemberg of the University of Sao Paulo.
In another session open to the MIT community, Professor Nazli Choucri of the Department of Political Science will offer an introduction to the Global System for Sustainable Development (GSSD), a cyberspace information system developed at MIT that coordinates worldwide environmental activities. The session will be at 5pm on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Faculty Club (Rm E52-600).
For further information, contact conference coordinator Megan Van Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org>.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 15, 1997.