Notre Dame and Energy

A Sustainable Energy Future

Charting pathways to a sustainable energy future is emerging as one of the grand challenges of humankind. Although the availability of adequate energy supplies at affordable prices is essential to achieving an acceptable standard of living; it is becoming evermore clear that future needs will be difficult to meet. Underlying issues are broad in scope. They include technological, environmental, economic, political, and geopolitical issues, as well as social justice and ethical considerations.

Notre Dame’s Commitment

As a Catholic research university, Notre Dame is committed to making significant intellectual and moral contributions to the urgent challenge of embarking on a sustainable energy future. How can the relevant academic strengths of the University, which span all disciplines, be directed toward this task? How can its students, faculty, and staff become thought leaders and agents of positive change? And how might its Catholic identity help to shape the questions asked, research pursued, and concerted actions undertaken?

The Challenge of the Forum

The 2008 Notre Dame Forum on Sustainable Energy represents nothing less than a bold invitation to the entire Notre Dame family to embark upon a thoughtful and comprehensive course of sustainability—in our personal lifestyles, our institutional practices, our intellectual life and research, and our civic commitments. The 2008–09 academic year will be the year in which energy and the environment become central themes for enlightenment, engagement, and empowerment at Notre Dame.

The initiative will be launched by the Forum, scheduled for September 24, 2008, and will be sustained throughout the year by activities of the University’s colleges, institutes and centers, as well as of student and staff organizations.

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