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Announcing the UCLA Grand Challenges Initiative

Chancellor Block calls upon the campus community to participate in a series of projects aimed at solving major societal challenges.

To the Campus Community:

Tomorrow at Royce Hall, we will publicly announce an innovative new initiative, UCLA Grand Challenges, which calls to action faculty, students and our supporters in an effort to solve six of society’s most critical problems.

With a rich history of creating new ideas and bringing them to life, and a vibrant tradition of collaboration across disciplines, UCLA is uniquely positioned to solve the most pressing issues facing our society.

This initiative takes a new, more holistic approach to research. We ask our community to think about what we could do if funding were not an obstacle. We ask you to dream big, design all-star teams and craft an ambitious plan to turn your vision into reality.

There will be six UCLA Grand Challenge Projects, each tackling a different issue with a team of researchers who will work on the same topics but from different perspectives and at different points in the life cycle of the problem. We enrich these projects with public engagement and student involvement.

The first Grand Challenge Project will make the Los Angeles region completely sustainable in water and energy without harming biodiversity by the year 2050 — creating a model for sustainable living around the world. This project includes dozens of our most prominent and renowned scientists and scholars with expertise in water, energy, air quality, biodiversity, urban design, transportation and climate change, and other components related to the environment and sustainability.

UCLA Grand Challenges leverages our history of innovation and heritage of service. And there are many ways you can get involved in this great effort. Join us, and together we can change the world. You can learn more about this initiative at www.grandchallenges.ucla.edu. In winter quarter, we will share the process for selecting the next Grand Challenge Project.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

 
November 14, 2013
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