Our vision for both Bangladesh and the world is that all people, regardless of gender, race or religious creed, are able to live fulfilling and productive lives without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.
CSD is the only research institute in Bangladesh dedicated solely on the Sustainable Development dilemma: how can the human development needs of all people be realised in a world of finite resources facing enormous environmental challenges, from the collapse of biodiversity to climate change?
CSD holds a unique place within the wider University. As well as contributing to the core ULAB strengths of teaching and research, with an emphasis on a Liberal Arts education, institutionally we are solely responsible for curating one of ULAB’s guiding principles: that of sustainable development.
Our mission is threefold. First, we generate original research concerning all aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals, and how to overcome the serious and numerous obstacles to their achievement. Secondly, we educate and train the next generation of sustainability leaders in Bangladesh, particularly through our “Minor in Sustainable Development” course offering. Thirdly, we act as regional hub, hosting both junior and senior scholars with research interest closely aligned with our own, convening leading scholars from around the world at major academic conferences, and establishing innovative partnerships to deliver a disruptive research agenda with real world impact.
We are guided by five core beliefs:
- The need for impact: research is of limited use trapped behind the paywall of an academic publisher. We work hard to ensure that our research is disseminated as widely as possible, through the creation of policy relevant material, facilitating dialogue between scientists and policy makers at our events and through wider outreach through the media, think tanks and other stakeholders.
- The importance of inter-disciplinarity: the world faces threats that are highly complex and non-linear. Addressing them is beyond the scope of any single discipline: CSD brings together a diverse array of scholars, including natural scientists, political economists and anthropologists to facilitate a radical transdisciplinary approach to tackling the sustainability dilemma.
- The agency of individuals to create change in the world: as highlighted in the recent IPCC report, there is huge scope for individuals to make a real difference, both through their own behaviour and in how they influence the world around them to translate the idea of sustainability into real tangible results.
- The need to shift the conversation to the Global South: countries like Bangladesh will be disproportionately affected by the consequences of “business as usual” approaches to economic growth. The need for global equity in intergovernmental efforts to address the crises our planet faces can only be truly served if the sites where policy makers and scientists are convened to progress both research and policy agendas are shifted from developed to developing countries.
- The requirement for partnership with the communities that we serve: we take active and engaged participation seriously, treating research respondents like human beings rather than passive targets for knowledge “extraction.”
We are optimistic and ambitious. Our aspiration is for CSD to become the leading research institute of its kind in Asia. We currently:
- support active research projects dealing with coastal eco-systems and climate change adaptation, climate change and migration, urban resilience, drought and land and forestry administration.
- host a thriving visiting researchers programme, with Master’s and PhD students coming to us from institutions in the Netherlands, Ireland and Singapore.
- maintain strong institutional partnerships that run the full gamut of stakeholders essential to making sustainability a reality, including NGOs, donor agencies, universities, think tanks and the private sector.
In the near future, we are in the process of expanding our institutional partnerships to include a wider range of institutions, both in Bangladesh and Europe and are developing a new Master’s degree in Sustainable Development, the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
We are always on the look out for collaboration with like minded individuals and institutions. If you think you’d like to work with us, do not hesitate to get in touch.