The University of Melbourne has created a unique suite of Melbourne Research Institutes to strengthen the research strand of its triple helix strategy. Each institute brings together researchers from across the University to form new teams to tackle big, complex, and often 'wicked' problems. These institutes also showcase the diverse research programs taking place across the University. This portfolio of interdisciplinary, virtual institutes opened with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute when it was launched on 2 December 2008 by Professor Michael Hanemann, Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. The Institute was led by its Interim Director, Professor Ruth Fincher, from its inception until September of 2009, when Foundation Director, Professor Craig Pearson, took up his post.
Strategy and Objectives
The MSSI mission is to progress sustainability as a societal goal, in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. We achieve this by being a portal to sustainability-related research at the University of Melbourne, and a platform to facilitate multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research.
- Facilitating: Bringing people together for research to progress sustainability as a societal goal.
- Transforming: proactively developing vision and proposals, and reactively responding to opportunities, to provide solutions to create a sustainable society.
- Transcending: working across traditional intellectual and organizational boundaries, working strategically with other research providers, companies, NGOs and government.
- Value-adding: working with other institutions, within and outside the University of Melbourne, to ensure we add value and do not duplicate or work at cross purposes to them.
DOMAINS & THEMES
Our society evolves through socially-driven processes that respond to and accommodate trends and pressures. In our role of representing and facilitating this research we use a matrix of two domains and six themes that cut across the domains. The theme, People & Values, has a central role.
MSSI’s approach to facilitating sustainable solutions is distinctive in four respects: we have a strong solutions orientation to contribute to transformation; we place people and values central to creating integrated social, economic and technological solutions for sustainability; we encourage engagement with community, industry, policy makers and other research providers to generate best-possible outcomes, and we are regional, committed to Victoria, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.