You are here

2023 Season Announcement

Posted by Quinn Connolly on March 20, 2023

Dear Friend of the Reimagine our Future competition

We are writing to thank you again for the role you are playing in Reimagine our Future, the undergraduate student sustainability competition whose home is at the University of Illinois.

As you know, entrants in the competition are required to address a particular sustainability problem or challenge. This could be at a local, regional, national, or international level. Entrants are required to explain how the initiative they propose will promote one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. You probably have seen the list of 2022 finalists.

Having a list of experts who are available to advise on student projects and who evaluate a few student submissions is a major contribution to this project. Our list includes specialists from various universities, companies, and institutions and from many backgrounds, fields, and disciplines. This broad-ranging list encourages submissions from students in many areas. We are counting on your continued willingness to bring your unique background, skills, professional history and professional contacts to this project.

We want to mention a couple of current developments and some aspects of our planning. In 2022 we tested the waters for the competition to become more international. Students from ZJU-UIUC Institute in Haining, China and the University of Pretoria were invited to participate and we received 39 international entries. This year we are planning to add universities in Austria, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia and we are having additional exploratory discussions with universities in a number of other countries. Dr. Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, our Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies is helping us to form partnerships with a number of international universities with which Illinois already has a strategic relationship.

President Tim Killeen has expressed an interest in the competition being made available to students at the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Illinois Springfield. We are also working on forming partnerships with some community colleges.

The competition materials include this wording:

Your plan or solution could be a program for a government or private entity, proposal, product or service, system, business plan, event, social media platform, app, game, law, organization, educational initiative, or something else.

We want to encourage students in all fields to come up with brilliant ideas for initiatives that will help to address our major sustainability problems. This, once again, is a reminder of the value of having a diverse list of specialists associated with the competition.

If you have advice or suggestions about how to go about taking the planned steps or about any aspect of this project, we would welcome them. Our email addresses are below.

We are grateful for your ongoing involvement and help with this sustainability competition, and we will be especially grateful if you will continue to work with us in 2023 and beyond.


Yours sincerely,

Leon Liebenberg (Teaching Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC) 

Warren Lavey (Adjunct Professor, College of Law, School of Earth, Society & Environment, and College of Medicine, UIUC) l

Robert McKim (Emeritus Professor, Department of Religion, UIUC)