Research and learning are vital but direct and sustained engagement with the world beyond MIT is critical to providing solutions that can be developed and deployed. Now more than ever, the world needs a sustained effort to guide decision-making based in rigorous scholarship and effective policies. ESI will foster effective communication and engagement with the greater world through various forms of convening arising from the MIT community in collaboration with outside experts, business leaders, decision-makers in government and leading nongovernmental organizations, and others. A fundamentally participatory approach to convening, engagement, and reporting is needed to respond to the unique moment that 2015 has come to represent. ESI aims to organize the resident socio-technical capacity of its faculty, researchers, and students to contribute to the decoupling of resource consumption from the enhancement of societal well-being.
The urgency of the challenges and the enormous prospect for MIT to expand its contributions for a more sustainable future are the twin motivations behind the inception of the Environmental Solutions Initiative. ESI will cultivate and harvest the very best at MIT to serve the needs of global society as we face the challenges of our changing environment.