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Clean Growth Incubator rollout event Oct. 14

September 29, 2020

The ASU Laboratory for Energy And Power Solutions (LEAPS) and several ASU faculty have been working with the Center for Strategic Policy Innovation for several months to develop ways to enhance renewable energy development opportunities in medium-size cities across the U.S. The LEAPS lab is led by sustainability scientist Nathan Johnson.

After substantial discussion and refinement, LEAPS is ready to introduce the Clean Growth Incubator Template and webinar-enhanced training Platform.

The event has a vital goal: to kick-start significant economic development and job creation at the local level through the build-out of clean, renewable energy. It especially targets local government leaders, urban planning professionals and clean energy experts. Learn more and register.

Watch: Global Futures Panels at the UN Global Compact

September 29, 2020

Thank you to all of the Global Futures faculty and researchers who participated in last week’s UN Global Compact. The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory was able to showcase 142 faculty, staff and external partners to an international audience across 36 hours of programming specific to sustainable development, planetary systems, innovation, complexity and global futures.

You can find all of the recorded content on the UNGC YouTube Channel and we encourage you to share these sessions with your networks as it pertains to the advancement of your research.

NEON Biorepository adds cryo collections space

September 29, 2020

In 2018 the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) named Arizona State University as its primary location to house a national biorepository for the next 30 years. Hundreds of thousands of biological samples collected over the next three decades from 81 field sites across the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, are to be curated by ASU’s Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center (BioKIC) and Natural History Collections and be made available to the greater scientific community. Nico Franz is the principal investigator.

According to Franz, ASU Biocollections and the NEON Biorepository has just completed phase one of physical renovations, with the addition of a nearly 4,000 square feet of "cryo collections" space, for NEON organismal and environmental samples stored at -80 degrees and in liquid nitrogen. Read about the original grant on ASU Now.

NSF issues call for sustainable regional systems proposals

September 29, 2020

The National Science Foundation has issued program solicitation NSF 20-611, Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks (SRS RNs). Full proposals are due by January 11, 2021.

NSF will hold an informational webinar on October 27, 2020, from 2:30-3:30 pm EST to discuss the SRS RNs solicitation and answer questions. Webinar registration and more information.

The United States is made up of regional systems comprising interdependent urban and rural systems and every community category between urban and rural. Urban systems are dependent on rural systems for the provisioning of food, energy, water, and other materials and natural resources, while rural systems are dependent on urban systems for markets, manufactured goods, and medical resources. These systems are also connected by ecological processes that both influence and are influenced by human behavior. The vital interconnection of urban-rural systems underscores the critical need for the advancement of sustainable regional systems (SRS). The goal of this solicitation is to fund convergent research and education that will advance sustainable regional systems science, engineering, and education to facilitate the transformation of current regional systems to enhance sustainability. To further the advancement of SRS science, engineering, and education, NSF will support Full Scale proposals and Planning Grant proposals for Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks (SRS RNs).


Environmental Humanities Initiative announces distinguished lecture, reading series

September 29, 2020

The Environmental Humanities Initiative's 2020 distinguished lecture with Elizabeth Hoover has been rescheduled to November 5. The lecture will be accompanied by a reading group event series.

Elizabeth Hoover's work focuses upon Native American food sovereignty and seed rematriation; environmental reproductive justice in Native American communities; the cultural impact of fish advisories on Native communities; and tribal citizen science. She serves on the executive committee of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance and the board of North American Traditional Indigenous Food.

Her first book, The River is In Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community, is an ethnographic exploration of Akwesasne Mohawks’ response to Superfund contamination and environmental health research. Her second book, a project-in-progress, From Garden Warriors to Good Seeds; Indigenizing the Local Food Movement, explores Native American community-based farming and gardening projects and the role of Native chefs in the food movement.

Register for this live online event.

Nations United: Urgent solutions for urgent times

September 29, 2020

A new, 24-minute film called Nations United has been created by the United Nations on its 75th Anniversary and to mark five years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. In the midst of a pandemic radically transforming our world, Nations United tells the story of the world as it is, as it was, and as it could be. It focuses on the solutions and action we need to tackle poverty, inequality, injustice and climate change.

New climate video series centers on diverse youth voices

September 24, 2020

Alexandria Villasenor speaking at climate action eventClimate change may feel formidable, and people worldwide are already experiencing its effects, but our future is not yet decided. Catastrophe is not inevitable.

Countless people around the world, recognizing the urgency of this moment, are taking climate action in a way that draws from their personal experiences and passions. A new PBS video series in collaboration with the Arizona State University Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory is telling the stories of some of these courageous, innovative and captivating people.

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Writers from around the world envision the future, earn spot in new magazine

September 23, 2020

Graphic that says "Envisioning the Future: A story contest 2020"In April, Arizona State University’s Narrative Storytelling Initiative invited people worldwide to write a short story on what they think the future holds, based on our current world. No science fiction, no fantasy, but an imagined future reality.

The results are in, and they’re illuminating. Enjoy the top five in a new magazine displayed on Issuu: Envisioning the Future, Volume 1.

The initiative received 43 submissions from around the world — with 20 from the ASU community — for its story contest in partnership with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. Adaptation to a changed reality was one of the recurring themes among most of the stories, which ranged from 400 to 700 words, said Steven Beschloss, director of the Narrative Storytelling Initiative.

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West Coast Fires: Will they finally push us to act?

September 21, 2020

In our latest piece on Medium, co-authors Peter Schlosser and Steven Beschloss examine the wildfire outbreak across the western US and if this is finally the climate-oriented moment that will move people to take that next step towards impact and change. "In short, are these fires, is this deadly pandemic, is another round of pounding from hurricanes, capable of awakening a reluctant, distracted public? Has the alarm bell grown so loud that it can’t be ignored any longer? Have we reached a tipping point when Americans and others walk to their proverbial window and shout: 'I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore'?"

You can read the piece on Medium. To ensure you don’t miss any Global Futures Laboratory Medium posts, follow our Medium channel directly, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn where we announce all new posts.

Growth in plastic waste could exceed mitigation efforts

September 17, 2020

Plastic trash floating underwaterToday, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber and Associate Center Director of Biodiversity Valuation and Assessments Beth Polidoro published a Science article titled “Predicted growth in plastic waste exceeds efforts to mitigate plastic pollution.”

In addition, 18 researchers from other universities and NGOs co-authored this publication including ASU Conservation Innovation Lab graduate students Erin Murphy and Miranda Bernard.

This work emerged from the center’s Plastic Emissions Working Group supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

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New study shows soil as significant carbon sequestration driver

ASU Now | September 17, 2020

rich soil with single sprout illuminated in sunlightAs harmful atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to increase, understanding the planetary carbon balance has become the single most important scientific question.

A new report by two leading ecological scientists at Arizona State University quantified the global soil carbon sequestered by roots plus the amount leached into the soil. They revealed that climate and land-use are major influencers of belowground carbon sequestration. The study, “Global patterns and climatic controls of belowground net carbon fixation,” also found that the amount of carbon sequestered belowground changes with precipitation but its effect varies among large vegetation types.

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COVID-19 and Democracy: Can parliaments come to the rescue?

September 14, 2020

The Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University are co-hosting an informal panel debate for International Day of Democracy. Can parliaments learn from the past six months to become stronger and more effective institutions that impose checks and balances on executive powers to better serve the people?

Featuring experts from around the world, the panel will be moderated by Foreign Policy managing editor Ravi Aggarwal. Read the flyer for more information and register online to attend and receive the recording.

Binational discussion on urban mobility of the future

September 14, 2020

This year has changed the way we move about our cities and communities, and what that movement means. As cities roll out and begin to implement their reopening plans, we find ourselves at a crucial moment to examine and rethink the inequality blueprinted into the roads, tunnels, sidewalks and bus stops of urban areas like Mexico City and Phoenix.

Panelists include sustainability scientists Diana Bowman, professor in the School for the Future of Innovation and Society and associate dean for international engagement in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, and Ram Pendyala, director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, as well as Fátima Masse, project coordinator, Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad.

Join a Sept. 22 binational discussion to consider the future of mobility in a pandemic- and climate change-battered world. The event will be held in English. More information and registration.

The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index and the future of development

September 14, 2020

Join the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory Tuesday, September 15, 10:00 - 11:30 am AZ time, for a panel discussion with members of the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative team working on advancement and implementation of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). This team has worked with countries around the world in designing and computing National MPIs.

Learn about the MPI and gain insights into the personal perspective of key figures working around the world to address the missing dimensions of poverty in global development policy and practice. This event will consider links to the informal economy / human economy, inequality and justice challenges, and explore implications for addressing compounding global crises related to COVID-19 and the "new and differently poor" in terms of future development processes. More information and registration.

This event is being hosted by the Human Economies Focal Area of the Global Futures Laboratory. All are welcome to attend.

From fashion incubator to PPE manufacturer

September 14, 2020

When FABRIC, Tempe's fashion incubator, learned of the urgent PPE shortage, they stepped up and to date have sewn over 200,000 reusable isolation gowns that meet FDA regulations. Join us Sept. 15 (1-2 p.m.) for a virtual talk with 2 business & fashion innovators from FABRIC. More information and to register.

This week: UN75 Global Governance Forum

September 14, 2020

ASU faculty, staff and students are invited to register for the livestream of the 2020 Global Governance Forum, Sept 16-18. The event features a session, Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century, moderated by GFL’s Amanda Ellis at 9am AZ time on Sept 18. In connection with the world body’s 75th anniversary, the UN75 Global Governance Forum seeks to promote a more inclusive and effective United Nations through dialogue and recommendations that better harness the ideas, capabilities, and networks of both state and non-state actors for achieving the UN’s commitment to peace, sustainable development, human rights, and a stable climate. More info and register.

Sign up now for free: Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education

September 14, 2020

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory has signed on as a host institution for this year’s Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education. As a host institution, we have unlimited registration passes for the ASU community. Sign up using the instructions below to gain free access to this great event.

  1. Click here to register. If you are a Presenter or Student Presenter, use the Presenter link provided in your acceptance email and add the Discount Code to receive a free registration.
  2. Fill out all the relevant fields. Be sure to use your institutional email address only ( or
  3. On the Submit Payment page, enter the following Discount Code: ASUEDU091020. This will drop your total to $0.00.
  4. Complete your registration.

GCSHE is a virtual conference taking place on October 20-22 that offers 3 full days of live content and networking, plus thirty days of on-demand access (through November 22). Explore the session types and tracks, and view the schedule.

Porter addresses new concerns about state’s precious resource

September 11, 2020

Arizona recently received a drought one-two punch: The state will receive another reduction of Colorado River water and the Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a dry winter in the Southwest.

Last year the state received its first-ever cutback of Colorado River water under the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan. The cuts are a plan to keep Lake Mead, a reservoir at the Arizona-Nevada boundary, functional. Water levels for both Lake Mead and Lake Powell have precipitously dropped as a result of historic overallocation and a drought that started in 2000.

Read the ASU Now Q&A with Sarah Porter of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at the Morrison Institute on how these new developments will impact the Copper State and its residents.

Roseland, Boone on healing segregated cities

September 10, 2020

American cities represent part of the nation’s long and grim history of discrimination and oppression against Black people. They can also be part of the recovery from all that harm.

Thus begins a new essay in The Conversation penned by sustainability scientists Mark Roseland, director and professor in the School of Community Resources and Development, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, and Christopher Boone, dean of the College of Global Futures.

The piece, published Sept. 10, addresses how cities can partner with community land trusts to provide affordable housing and help low-income and historically oppressed families.

ASU launches Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory to transform the world for a better future

ASU Now | September 9, 2020

Artist rendering of new ASU building ISTB7The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory represents the next quantum leap in the evolution of Arizona State University as one of the world’s premier centers for studies of sustainability, Earth's life-supporting systems and the future of life on our planet.

In rethinking traditional approaches to academic work and public engagement — often too slow to ensure needed impact — the Global Futures Laboratory aims to engage with speed and urgency to address the existential threats facing the planet and global society. To complete these goals, the lab encompasses a new College of Global Futures, a major research institute called the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, a solutions service called the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service, and engagement initiatives.

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