A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Problem-Solving

For almost thirty years, RMI has targeted business leaders to influence the way they manage energy and resources, which also helps them gain competitive advantage. What about the business leaders of tomorrow?  

RMI has partnered with Catawba College’s Center for the Environment in North Carolina on “Redesigning Our Future: A National Environmental Summit for High School Students,” July 20-24. The Summit will bring RMI’s unique approach to the next generation of leaders to help them develop skills they need to solve environmental problems.

“The Center for the Environment brings a wealth of technical content to the program,” said Marty Pickett (pictured), RMI executive director, who has been closely tied to the development of the Summit. “RMI brings our expertise on whole systems thinking, integrative design, and how to collaborate and engage to pursue innovative solutions.”

During the five-day Summit, fourteen Catawba College faculty members will lead focus groups in varying disciplines including biology, ecology, environmental science, philosophy, theater, music, writing and history. Participating students can sign-up for the topic area of their choice, and will meet with that focus group two times each day, in addition to other sessions.

RMI experts from a variety of practice areas—buildings, transportation, electricity, industry and operations—will provide plenary and small group sessions, teaching students about whole-systems thinking , integrative design and collaborative problem solving.

“As a think-and-do tank, RMI is engaged in research, but we use it to drive solutions in the real world. This requires a diverse set of skills,” said Pickett. “Our staff ranges from highly technical consultants to communicators working together to successfully disseminate our work. This is the same cross-disciplinary approach these students will be taking during this Summit.”

So far over 120 students from 15 states have signed up (the program is limited to 200 participants so students are encouraged to register ASAP). Catawba College is eager to expand the program’s reach and encourages the participation of a diverse student body.

“Collaboration across disciplines is a key skill-set that will be encouraged and taught through the program,” said Pickett. “Too often we try to organize the world into neat boxes, but taking a broader view leads to better, integrated solutions.”

For more information, visit the program’s website here, or Facebook page here