Global Futures

As the planet encounters increasing challenges from climate change to global pandemics to an overabundance of waste to social inequities,  Arizona State University has set an ambitious agenda to become a world leader among universities in finding and sharing knowledge and solutions that will position the best possible future for our planet and all of its inhabitants to thrive. 

Why ASU? We are uniquely positioned to respond swiftly and lead the way, with its dynamic energy, entrepreneurial spirit, quality and commitment to sustainability. That is why it is home to the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, the world’s first comprehensive laboratory empowering visionary leaders to unite and create bold actionable ideas for a more prosperous, equitable and resilient planetary future through opportunity, not sacrifice. 

ASU and its partners across the globe possess the intellectual assets to advance discovery, spawn innovation, transfer knowledge and transform behaviors to drive impactful applications and practices that help to anticipate the needs and challenges of today and tomorrow. That is also why ASU has been recognized as the most impactful higher education institution in the U.S. in pursuit of reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation is the Global Futures Laboratory’s hub for research and discovery initiatives, advancing research and discovery for an urbanizing world. The College of Global Futures includes the School of Sustainability, the first comprehensive program of its kind in the US, along with the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Complex Adaptive Systems, each offering transdisciplinary degree programs focused on finding practical solutions to the complex environmental, economic, technological and social challenges of today and the future. In addition, The Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions utilizes the considerable knowledge and research assets housed across ASU to develop scalable applications to solve challenges facing businesses, governments, organizations and people here in Arizona and around the world.

With more than half of the world’s population living in cities, designing resilient and equitable urban centers that exist in balance with our rural communities is key to our futures. That is why the Global Futures Laboratory has identified 14 Focal Areas that are able to work fluidly with each other and across our multiple transdisciplinary centers to explore livability scenarios that can be applied and scaled to other rapidly urbanizing areas around the world. The Global Futures Laboratory is shaping tomorrow, today.

Use these links to review ASU's Sustainability Plan or take an online tour of ASU's Sustainability Points of Pride.

The ASU-SFI center partners researchers from ASU, a leader in sustainability research, and the Santa Fe Institute, a pioneer in the scientific study of complex adaptive systems.
The Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center is home to the ASU's Natural History Collections and connects a range of genomic, evolutionary and ecological data sciences labs, in addition to promoting informatics tools and virtual learning. experiences.
The Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment aims to be an incubator of novel research on collective action and the commons.
Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics is a research partnership to develop geotechnical engineering processes and solutions inspired by nature.
The mission of the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is to enable discoveries and solutions to conserve and sustainably manage the Earth's biodiversity.
The Center for Global Discovery and Conservation launched in 2019 under the leadership of Greg Asner with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School for Earth and Space Exploration at ASU.
The Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation builds research and teaching with an emphasis on transforming society, fusing intellectual disciplines and engaging globally.
Center for Law, Science and Innovation is the first and largest academic center focused on the intersection of law with science and technology.
The Center for Science and the Imagination was established to to ignite innovation and discovery through collaborations between creative thinkers, artists, scientists and engineers.
Future discoveries in complexity science require transdisciplinary teams with the intellectual breadth to determine the algorithms of social dynamics across diverse contexts.
The College of Global Futures brings together leaders, including 500+ sustainability scientists, to develop real-world solutions to environmental, economic and social challenges.
The Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes is an intellectual network aimed at enhancing the contribution of science and technology to society’s pursuit of equality, justice, freedom, and overall quality of life.
The ecoSERVICES Group at ASU studies the environment and biodiversity change in terms of its impacts on the things that people care about.
Global Drylands Center advances education and engagement in sustainable practices for drylands around the world.
Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory™ provides key engagement spaces for scientists, educators and leaders across ASU and around the world to address critical issues related to the future of planet Earth.
At ASU, sustainability is more than a buzzword: it is a philosophy that advances research, education and business practices for an urbanizing world.
InnovationSpace teaches students how to develop products that create market value while serving societal needs.
The Kyl Center for Water Policy at Morrison Institute for Public Policy promotes research, analysis, collaboration and dialogue to ensure sound water stewardship.
LightWorks aspires to engage through social networks to promote light-inspired research at Arizona State University and raise awareness, educate and inspire action to solve energy challenges.
The Lincoln Center supports innovative, collaborative and multidisciplinary research on contemporary issues that affect humanity at large and whose solutions transcend both disciplinary and domestic boundaries.
Research at the National Center of Excellence for SMART Innovations is focused on the sustainable systems that include climate, energy and materials.
Public Interest Technology programs at Arizona State University unite diverse perspectives and disciplines to train tomorrow’s leaders to make a positive difference in their communities.
Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies Center advances photovoltaics and advanced energy converters to revitalize, renew and revolutionize the U.S. energy industry.
At the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, we make the future — or, rather, the set of plausible futures that humanity has — a focus of our activities. We are planning now for the kinds of futures that we will want to inhabit.
School of Complex Adaptive Systems offers transdisciplinary ideas for a complex w
Geographical studies at ASU include research and outreach in geography, urban planning and GIS, exciting undergraduate and graduate degree programs, interdisciplinary centers, and significant community outreach.
What is ahead for society can and will be built with some of the world’s most creative scientists, students, educators at ASU and with our global partners.
The knowledge and solutions that are created today will shape our quality of life as well as future generations–we have an opportunity and an obligation to make our world more sustainable.
The primary mission of The Biomimicry Center is to enhance academia’s ability to address a variety of sustainability challenges using strategies inspired by nature.
Urban Climate Research Center integrates social and physical science to develop and test urban design and management policies and strategies to enhance productivity, health and sustainability of urban populations.