COVID-19, climate and higher ed: Defining the sector’s responsibility in solving global challenges
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and the response to it offers lessons for addressing other global problems, particularly climate change -- and solutions must take into account the kinds of racial disparities that were brought into bold relief by the killing of George Floyd and its aftermath.
Higher education has been, and can continue to be, a leader in researching and implementing solutions for these issues. With COVID-19, higher education demonstrated in real-time how it could mobilize to meet an immediate challenge. What does this indicate about higher education’s capacity to respond to the other crises that we face?
On July 16, 2020, Second Nature organized a virtual panel discussion with:
- Elsa M. Núñez, President of Eastern Connecticut State University (moderator);
- John Kerry, Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University and the Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Secretary of State (panelist); and
- Rafael Reif, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (panelist)
The discussion focused on:
- The lessons learned from the rapid response to COVID-19, and how those lessons can be applied to combating climate change and can take into account concerns about racial justice; and
- The challenges higher education faces in combating climate change, and how research, tech transfer and education activities can be brought to bear on them.