New undergrad sustainability competition launches


UIUC will soon introduce an inaugural “Reimagine Our Future” Undergraduate Sustainability Competition.

Undergrad Sustainability CompetitionStudents are encouraged to choose a sustainability topic that interests them and their teammates, then develop innovative ideas that will inspire change and action, critique institutions or practices, and help regenerate Earth. The registration period, open to undergrads, runs from August 23 through September 20.

The many current challenges to the well-being of humans and nature include the consequences of global climate change; continuing deaths and illnesses from COVID-19; the global loss of biodiversity; persistent poverty and related food and water insecurity; shortfalls in access to and quality of education; multiple dimensions of inequities in our societies and economies; and others.  At the same time, imagination, technology, infrastructure, global connectedness, and creativity can enable innovative sustainability solutions.

For the competition, students are asked to reimagine the future – and how to create new ways to reduce poverty and hunger, provide clean water and electricity for the masses, access to healthcare and education, and effectively address the other sustainability issues identified by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“We all need to be more involved in reimagining our rapidly changing, globally interdependent world. This sustainability competition challenges us all to help UIUC to become more locally relevant and globally preeminent by not only transforming the campus into a living-learning laboratory for sustainability, but potentially also helping societies around the world to meet the challenges associated with a sustainable future,” said Leon Liebenberg, the competition coordinator and an Teaching Associate Professor in MechSE.

Faculty, staff, and alumni can join the competition as a specialist advisor or an initial judge. If interested, please email Liebenberg.