The PLuS Alliance
- The Alliance aims to develop sustainable solutions to society’s global challenges through research and education in the areas of sustainability, global health, social justice and technology and innovation.
- The PLuS Alliance will work with governments, corporations and other entities to tailor programs to meet the global demand for higher education around the world via innovative online education offerings. The PLuS Alliance moves beyond a traditional academic partnership by providing students with new cross-institutional degrees that are focused on global needs.
Global problem solving
- Engaging with the PLuS Alliance will provide access to top-tier researchers at Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney. These experts will combine expertise and resources to collaboratively assess an issue, develop solutions and help implement an action plan. The PLuS Alliance has expertise in sustainability, global health, social justice and technology and innovation.
Sustainability is the need to ensure that the components and processes of the natural world are not diminished and continue to provide human populations with ecosystem goods and services as well as maintaining ecosystems in their own right. In this sense, environmental sustainability aims to meet the needs of humans for access to environmental resources for the survival of both current and future generations of humans, and to sustain biodiversity across the globe.
Environmental sustainability is an inherently interdisciplinary concept, with interacting economic, ecological, technological, socio-political, philosophical, governance and legal dimensions. These interacting dimensions are key in both determining the goals of environmental sustainability and in crafting suitable and effective policy responses. In terms of responses, there is a wide range of opportunities to explore where human resourcefulness and strategic thinking can focus on reducing our demands and on maintaining and improving key natural resources of air, water, energy, land and biodiversity.
Global health is concerned with rethinking the meaning of health and wellbeing in the context of globalisation. It is concerned with research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. In 2015, countries adopted a set of goals and targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable agenda for the next 15 years.
The third of the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals is to “ensure healthy lives and to promote well-being for all at all ages.” The document argues that ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development, and that efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.
Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. Efforts to promote social justice include poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.
Distributive justice is concerned with the way in which resources are allocated within society, including patterns of inequality relating to gender, sexuality, ethnicity and race, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty and disadvantage. Global distributive justice engages with issues of patterns of inequality around the world, including those driven or influenced by climate change, urbanisation, and social, cultural or religious traditions and norms.
Technology and Innovation
The technological innovation system is a concept developed within the scientific field of innovation studies which serves to explain the nature and rate of technological change. A Technological Innovation System is a dynamic network of agents interacting in a specific economic/industrial area under a particular institutional infrastructure and involved in the generation, diffusion and utilization of technology. The approach may be applied to at least three levels of analysis: to a technology in the sense of a knowledge-field, to a product or to an artefact, or to a set of related products and artefacts aimed at satisfying a particular (societal) function’. With respect to the latter, the approach has especially proven itself in explaining why and how sustainable (energy) technologies have developed and diffused into a society, or have failed to do so.