Few may have heard of the international conference that happened January 25–29 at the World Economic Forum 2012 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Yet thanks to the actions of President Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer was well represented on the global stage. Jackson shared how far Rensselaer has progressed in the last 10 years to become the prestigious research university it is now. She went on to create a plan based off the success of Rensselaer; she later discussed the future of the digital world. Included in the discussions were the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Director Jonathan Dorick, Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Denter Director Boleslaw Szymanski, and Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center Director Richard W. Siegel.
The theme of the conference was changing the world around us. Those present recognized that the status quo is inadequate and can no longer be accepted. Sustainability was one of the many topics addressed at the meeting, and was recognized as not being up to par. Jackson’s appearance at the conference brought deserved honor to the Institute.
Now that Jackson has focused the spotlight on Rensselaer, we can hope not only for a continuation of the changes that have taken place within the last decade, but perhaps for further change not only in improving Rensselaer as a research institute, but in making the Institute a model for the world. This means, of course, that we would further embrace sustainability in all its forms.
Editor’s Note: “Sustainability” is a column granted to the Student Sustainability Task Force by the Editorial Board to discuss issues of sustainability on the Rensselaer campus and around the nation.