Our world’s sustainability challenges have never been more pressing or more complex, from declining biodiversity and environmental degradation to steadily increasing greenhouse gases. To overcome them, we will need a diversity of perspectives, new knowledge and tools, people with leadership skills, and collaboration across sectors – and yet few platforms exist to bring all of these elements together.
The Institute on the Environment strives to meet this social need. Through the University’s rigorous, research-based approach, we spur and develop new insights and tools, such as data visualizations, to address sustainability challenges; cultivate and connect leaders who can take action; and amplify this positive work through story. We use time-delimited, scalable goals – our flags in the sand – to focus our impact and inspire others to join us.
Within the University and beyond, IonE has a distinctive role to play in promoting sustainability innovation and leadership. Our 2019–22 Strategic Plan (PDF) draws on IonE’s past and present to refine the institute’s strategic position; clarify how it brings about positive change; and define next steps in building an increasingly effective and robust organization.
Theory of Change
A theory of change explains how an organization causes its intended impact. IonE seeks to build a world where people and planet prosper together. To achieve this mission, we organize our work into three essential categories:
Our Current Impact Goals
Impact Goals are critical outcomes our community focuses on achieving over a three to five year period, “flags in the sand” to target resources, draw attention, and inspire collaboration. As part of a land-grant University, we focus on serving Minnesota – and scaling to the world.