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Global Futures programs and solutions

Global Futures
 programs and solutions

Global Futures
 programs and solutions

Featured: Centers and initiatives for the Future of Innovation in Society

The various programs from the former Institute for the Future of Innovation in Society places the role of human choice and responsibility at the forefront of considerations of innovation.

The mission of these centers and programs is to help embody ideas about innovation, knowledge and future across ASU and to develop them broadly throughout society, through an ambitious and integrated agenda for education, training, research, outreach, and engagement. The following programs integrate across all activities to foster synergies, leverage assets and ideas and cultivate positive change in support of ASU’s broader mission of access, excellence and impact.


Center for Biodiversity Outcomes

Conservation Outcomes

Collaborating across diverse disciplines and practices to identify and create solutions that conserve and help manage biodiversity for the long term.

Central Arizona—Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research

Urban Ecology

The Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research program advances research and education on urban ecology and urban socioecological systems. Launched in 1997, it is one of two LTER sites funded by the National Science Foundation that specifically studies urban ecology.

Decision Center for a Desert City

Urban Adaptation

Transformational solutions for urban water sustainability transitions. The Decision Center for a Desert City advances scientific understanding of environmental decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

Humanities for the Environment

People, Place, and Planet

Humanities for the Environment Global Network explores how history, literature, philosophy, religion, anthropology, ethnic studies, film, art, and music each serve as entry points to vibrant discussions about the complex relationships between people, place, and planet.

Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems

Food Security

Supporting the development of more equitable, diverse and resilient food systems at all scales – from local to global – that can adapt to evolving uncertainties and opportunities, and enable sustainable societies.

Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes

Sustainability Outcomes

Members of the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes (GCSO) are working across the globe to collaborate on sustainability solutions.

Global Drylands Center

Global Drylands

ASU’s Global Drylands Center engages key actors of dryland stewardship to develop use-inspired research, training and solution for arid ecosystems.

Global Locust Initiative

Global Locust Initiative

Collaborating across borders to manage pests and improve human livelihoods.

Healthy Urban Environments Initiative

Healthy Urban Environments Initiative

Healthy Urban Environments’ mission is to improve thermal comfort and decrease exposure to air pollution for the citizens and communities of Maricopa County.


Energy from Sunlight

LightWorks provides solutions to the world’s most pressing global energy challenges through a simple idea; energy from sunlight. We discover and invent energy solutions to the world’s fuel, electric and social challenges.


Anthropocene Design

Designing and managing the future of planet Earth

Resource Innovation and Solutions Network

Global benefit from waste to resource, innovation and solutions through public-private collaboration.

Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service

The Solutions Service utilizes the considerable knowledge and research assets of Arizona State University, the nation’s leader in sustainability education, to develop scalable solutions to economic, social and environmental challenges throughout the globe.

Sustainable Cities Network

Connecting Communities

Connecting communities, advancing sustainability, and cultivating solutions.

Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance

Innovative Phosphorus Solutions

Allies addressing a complex problem

The Global KAITEKI Center

Sustainable Well-Being

A university-industry partnership between The KAITEKI Institute of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation and Arizona State University to advance the concept of KAITEKI, i.e. “sustainable well-being of People, Society, and our Planet Earth”.

The Sustainability Consortium

A global organization transforming the consumer goods industry to deliver more sustainable consumer products.

University Sustainability Practices

ASU’s Living Laboratory

Arizona State University has made an institutional commitment to lead by example through the sustainable operations of its campuses. Four critical pillars focus the university’s effort: climate neutrality, zero water/solid waste, active engagement and principled practice.

Urban Climate Research Center

Urban Climate Research

Sustainable Urban Climates for Improved Quality of Life in Cities

UREx Sustainability Research Network

Urban Resilience

Our mission is to link scholars with city and community practitioners to produce resilient infrastructure data, models, images, maps, stories, and on-the-ground projects in 10 cities, to accelerate innovative urban sustainability knowledge and application.

WE Empower UN SDG Challenge

Empower Global Business

Empower Global Business

The WE Empower Challenge is a global business competition for women entrepreneurs who are advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and inspiring entire communities to create the world we want by 2030.

More global sustainability programs

ASU International Development

The ASU International Development team works to identify, qualify and pursue pipeline projects that provide solutions to the most complex challenges facing the developing world. We provide the linkage between ASU’s world-class corps of researchers and international development funding agencies and implementers working in developing countries worldwide.

ASU-SFI Center for Biosocial Complex Systems

A partnership of ASU and the Santa Fe Institute co-directed by Sander van der Leeuw and Manfred Laubichler, this center advances understanding of problems that span biological and social systems and is poised to become a major international incubator of solution-driven transdisciplinary research.

Biomimicry Center at ASU

This center brings together biologists, designers, engineers, business professionals, communicators, material scientists, chemists and others to address sustainability challenges using strategies inspired by nature. This center’s education and research programs create solutions by emulating biological forms and strategies.

Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education

The Center was launched by the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College at ASU. Designed to take the highest standards in teaching to a global audience, the center’s programs focus on educators, teacher educators and education leaders, with emphasis on best practices that help students reach their full potential across diverse cultures.

Center for Negative Carbon Emissions

The Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE) is advancing carbon management technologies that can capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air in an outdoor operating environment. Our aim is to demonstrate systems that over time increase in scope, complexity, reliability and efficiency while lowering the cost of carbon dioxide capture from air.

Center for World Health

This center, established in early 2009, is a transdisciplinary enterprise that develops collaborations and implements culturally responsive health promotion and disease prevention interventions across the life continuum for the purpose of improving physical and mental health outcomes across the globe.

Decision Theater Network

The Decision Theater Network actively engages researchers and leaders to visualize solutions to complex problems. By providing expertise in collaborative, computing and display technologies for data visualization, modeling and simulation, this network addresses cross-disciplinary local, national and international issues.

Dynamics of Multi-Scalar Adaptation

MEGADAPT is both an international, transdisciplinary research initiative, designed to capture and simulate the social and biophysical dynamics that create flood risk and water scarcity in Mexico City, and a decision tool, enabling diverse actors in the city to explore the consequences of different approaches to risk management for the city and its residents.

Education Innovation

ASU’s educational initiatives, combined with innovative leadership degree programs and international travel experiences, provide students the opportunity to inspire, catalyze and sustain student-driven social change. Through programs that take students to global places, and initiatives that bring international students to ASU.

Energy Policy Innovation Council

Through policy briefs, informative videos and custom reports and presentations to policymakers at the municipal, county and state levels, this group informs and educates policymakers on current, complex issues in energy policy that impact Arizona and beyond.

Entrepreneurship + Innovation

Entrepreneurship is more than just a class or a program; it is a mindset that is woven into the fabric of ASU. Entrepreneurship + Innovation can help propel your entrepreneurial aspirations. We provide a wide variety of opportunities to explore and advance your ideas. We also serve as a connecting and collaborating resource for entrepreneurs at all stages.

USAID Projects

Arizona State University’s world-class researchers and scholars partner with international development funding agencies and implementers working in developing countries worldwide. ASU is leading and partnering in USAID-funded projects in multiple countries and areas, from rule of law to solar engineering, education, teacher training and human rights.

Global Security Initiative

Global Security Initiative

The vision of the the Global Security Initiative is a security and intelligence landscape transformed through interdisciplinary research and discovery, in which defense, development and diplomacy operate collaboratively to drive positive outcomes for complex global challenges.

Institute for Humanities Research

Since 2007, the IHR has been supporting scholars working across disciplinary lines to articulate the role of the humanities in environmental issues. Humanists focus on ideas, values, language, culture and history to understand humans’ beliefs about their relationship to nature and inform human policy and development toward a responsible, sustainable future.

Kyl Center for Water Policy

A unit of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy led by Sarah Porter, the Kyl Center promotes research, analysis, collaboration and open dialogue to identify opportunities for consensus to ensure sound water stewardship for Arizona and the Western region for generations to come.

McCain Institute for International Leadership

McCain Institute for International Leadership

Though based in Washington, D.C., the McCain Institute is part of ASU. Focused on having an impact on the nation’s and world’s most critical issues and discussions, the institute offers policy research, events, internships and other activities committed to supporting American global leadership, humanitarian action, national security, and upholding democratic and human rights.

National Center of Excellence on SMART Innovations

This center’s research seeks to quantify complex climate-energy system interactions throughout all phases of a product or technology’s life cycle and to develop cost-effective solutions to reduce any negative impacts to industries around the globe.

Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies

Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies

By accelerating commercialization of solar energy technologies through industry partnerships and expanding opportunities for education in energy engineering, QESST works to address one of society’s greatest challenges: sustainably transforming electricity generation to meet the growing demand for energy.

Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology

Researchers combine engineering with microbiology and chemistry to understand how microbial ecosystems work and can be optimized to generate new sources of clean, renewable energy and improve public health and sustainability.

Thunderbird for Good

Thunderbird for Good

Thunderbird for Good is designed to elevate business education and management skills and to empower nontraditional students, particularly women, in developing countries. More than 30,000 people been involved in Thunderbird for Good, impacting women business owners from Asia and the South Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and advancing women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Peru, and American Indian women in the U.S.