Launched by the Hunter & Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity and housed in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University, the Global Development Lab is a catalyst for projects fostering global development one concept at a time.
The program uses a project-based interdisciplinary engagement model that involves student teams working with experts on solutions for pressing global issues identified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An exemplary project team would consist of an Affiliate of the Institute, SMU staff, undergraduate and/or graduate researchers, industry partner(s), a local in-country partner, and an undergraduate project manager.
The Lab is governed by three guiding pillars (1) foster technology, engineering, and market-based ideas with the goal of creating innovative solutions for a resilient humanity addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, (2) ally with local partners with systemic engagement in their communities working on addressing local challenges, (3) Engage our network of experts for the development and testing of ideas in order to maximize the viability of solutions.
GDL high-impact projects of systemic importance can be categorized into three focus areas within SDGs: (i) transformational technology, (ii) sustainable food systems, and (iii) resilient infrastructure.
Overview of engagement in the GDL:
A. We host student groups or individual students working on research or a project that aligns with the guiding principles of the Hunt Institute without direct management of outcome from the GDL team.
B. We partner to form a project with formal hands-on engagement from GDL’s functional teams and network. A Fellow in the Hunt Institute may apply to create a new project or join an existing one. Funding is available from various sources which will be determined after project eligibility is determined.
C. We pioneer a new initiative with full responsibility to manage the design, implementation, and growth of the project into a program by HI’s leadership and functional teams. Once project grows into program level; further engagement is recruited via partners in government, NGOs, non-profits, and so forth.
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