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Community-centred climate innovation for a better future

Working together, working better.

As climate change intensifies, impacts will be felt at the community level. Simon Fraser University's unique approach to this is community-centred climate innovation, founded on community partnerships, innovation and a deep commitment to Indigenous knowledges and perspectives.

Through this integrated approach, we can make an impact on the climate crisis. Community-centred climate innovation will take us there.

Our Canadian communities are being forever altered by climate change.

Extreme flooding, devastating wildfires and droughts affecting many communities are recent examples. As a global leader in sustainability, SFU brings world-class research into close contact with community in order to support their climate adaptation, mitigation and long-term sustainability goals using a low carbon resiliency (LCR) lens.

 

What is community-centred climate innovation?

Community-centred climate innovation is a critical research priority at SFU.

Different communities require different climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies and strategies. SFU is working with our local and global partners to co-develop and co-implement policy solutions and climate and cleantech innovations with community at the core. We are committed to a better future and helping our communities achieve Canada's 2050 net-zero emissions targets.

As a priority area listed in our strategic research plan, and an action item in our strategic sustainability and climate action plan, community-centred climate innovation contributes to how we are engaging in global challenges, as part of What's Next: The SFU Strategy.

Community-centred climate innovation supports SFU's vision for the future

What's Next: The SFU Strategy

SFU is engaging in global challenges. With leading researchers in today's critical issues—such as the global climate crisis—we effect positive outcomes. Community-centred climate innovation supports this priority area within What's Next: The SFU Strategy.  

 

SFU's 2023-2028 Strategic Research Plan

Community-centred climate innovation is one of the priority areas listed in our strategic research plan. Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our age. This priority area engages our researchers with all levels of government, industry and community members, to work together and take action on the climate crisis.  

 

SFU's 2022-2025 Strategic Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

Activating the community-centred climate innovation research program is identified as a key action item in this plan's Goal 2: Research.

 

Community-centred climate innovation integrates three intersectoral research streams: adaptation, mitigation and sustainability, using three foundational approaches that inform our research: community partnerships, innovation, and valuing of Indigenous knowledges and perspectives.

Our experts are leading the way

SFU researchers from all backgrounds and areas of expertise are contributing to community-centred climate innovation.

Detecting natural hazards and climate change adaptation

Earth sciences professor and chair Glyn Williams-Jones and his colleagues have studied major volcanoes and other natural hazards all over the world. His research supports climate change adaptation and resilience by helping Canadian communities understand and prepare for specific climate-related geological hazards.

Indigenous wellbeing as a foundation for caring about the places that sustain us

Professor of Indigenous business Dara Kelly leads research on the concept of Indigenous wellbeing and quality of life. Respecting Indigenous knowledges, re-connecting to lands and territories and focusing on community-informed climate innovation is key to building a more sustainable world for future generations.

Helping build more sustainable and just cities

What are cities' roles in addressing climate justice and sustainability? SFU professor Andréanne Doyon is laying the groundwork for building more sustainable cities and communities—work that is urgently needed to address climate change while creating more just and equitable societies.

Combining passions for sustainability and public policy to tackle climate change

Sustainable energy engineering professor Sami Khan and his research team are developing innovative solutions for challenges faced by alternative energy systems. They are particularly interested in enhancing performance and longevity in carbon dioxide capture and conversion systems—as this may be the key to finding a long-term solution to climate change.

Global energy models demonstrate best use of resources

Sustainable energy engineering professor Taco Niet studies the interconnectedness of the world's natural resources, with special attention to the effect human beings have on their environments. His research interests include climate change mitigation and adaption, integration of renewable energy technologies and energy systems modeling.

Breakthrough technology fuels clean energy shift

Chemistry professor and Canada Research Chair Steven Holdcroft has spent over 30 years researching and developing advanced materials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage. His lab's research has resulted in breakthrough discoveries for new and environmentally friendlier polymers—plastics—offering clean energy solutions and technologies to combat climate change.

Indigenous knowledges guide climate action

Director of SFU's Indigenous Languages Program and First Nations Language Centre, and scientific co-director of community-centred climate innovation Marianne Ignace collaborates on projects that support Indigenous-led revitalization of their languages, cultures and territories. One of the most urgent issues is addressing climate change and the harms caused by decades of colonial stewardship of the ecosystem.

SFU Mitacs and Partners Greenlight Research to Advance Canada

A joint research project supported by Mitacs and the National Science and Engineering Research Council and led by mechatronic systems engineering professor Erik Kjeang is helping scale up the technology needed to lead the transition to a hydrogen economy as part of Canada's Hydrogen Strategy.

 

Join the Community

With our expertise, strengths, capacity and collaborations, we can help Canada further establish itself as a global leader in climate action and achieve the net-zero emissions goal by 2050.

Join us in developing co-created, community-based solutions and innovations to address the impacts of climate change.

Email us directly at sfu-research@sfu.ca.