Across disciplines and degree programmes, AAU students are now ready to tackle the challenging, yet exciting, task of assisting the municipality and its business community in creating sustainable development in a wide range of areas. This is all part of the new initiative on mega projects, developed by the university under the vision: Grand challenges must be addressed across disciplinary boundaries as well as across degree programmes and semesters.
Aalborg Mayor Thomas Kastrup-Larsen and AAU Pro-rector Inger Askehave have just signed a cooperation agreement on the university’s first two mega projects: ‘Sustainable Living’ and ‘The Circular Region’.
A green Aalborg and a green Denmark
The agreement was officially signed at the opening of Aalborg’s sustainability festival, and this is fully in line with the overall message of the festival: Sustainable development is achieved only through collaboration and partnerships – UN sustainable development goal #17: Partnerships for the goals.
At the opening ceremony, Aalborg’s Mayor Thomas Kastrup-Larsen shared his excitement for this new initiative. He is confident that the knowledge and insight of thousands of AAU students will help boost the city’s sustainable transition and pave the way towards a green Aalborg and a green Denmark.
Innovation is key
In her speech, Inger Askehave, Pro-rector at Aalborg University, stressed the fact that AAU not only loves problems but also loves helping to solve them. This is part of the university’s DNA.
‘However, we must acknowledge that sustainable development is a very complex issue. If this weren’t the case we probably would have solved it years ago. It’s not an issue that can be solved by one discipline alone; thus, it challenges the traditional educational approach and calls for innovation even in our otherwise well-established learning model.
Inger Askehave is excited to keep up with the important task faced by the students and concluded that she will soon be visiting Harvard University which has shown great interest in AAU’s mega projects.