Objects in motion will stay in motion, observed Sir Isaac Newton, unless compelled to change by an external force. Today’s most pernicious problems – extreme poverty, violence, gender inequity, climate change – will continue shuttling our world toward an unsustainable future, unless we create external forces that compel change.
The December 2015 Paris climate conference demonstrates that multinational agreement on a dedicated course of action is indeed possible. The Paris Agreement is but one branch in an ever-growing forest of worldwide partnerships working to understand our warming Earth and what we can do about it. Real connectivity – between disciplines and between nations – is vital to the success of the Paris Agreement and the future of our planet. Working with global partners like the United Nations Foundation, institutions of higher learning can help to build and strengthen those vital connections.
As a new member of the United Nations Foundation Board of Directors, I am honored to be among those tasked with weaving a montage of ideas and cultural nuances into a focused plan of action to support the UN’s vital role as a platform for global problem-solving. As president of the University of Miami, I am eager to elevate the role that universities can – and should – play in the agency of worldwide change. Our enduring product is knowledge, and knowledge is the currency of effective, sustainable action that leads to meaningful and lasting