November 2020 UCF GEEO Update

The UCF Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity – GEEO – was established in September 2017 with the appointment of James Bacchus to the faculty as Distinguished University Professor of Global Affairs and founding director of the new center. GEEO’s mission is to advance UCF’s role and enhance UCF’s reputation on global economic and environmental issues, and especially on the confluence of both. The center’s director and more than 120 faculty and community fellows pursue this mission through individual and joint research and through collaborative action.

Professor Bacchus is well known worldwide for his advocacy and for many accomplishments for global sustainable development. He is a founding judge and a former chief judge of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization – the highest court for world trade, a former Member of the Congress of the United States, a former US international trade negotiator, a former adviser to the United Nations on climate change, and a writer and speaker on numerous issues of international law and international political economy.

GEEO fosters links to sustainable development initiatives and explores new forms of governance at every level to help create economic and environmental opportunity within a liberating context of social inclusion. GEOO is engaging in numerous sustainability initiatives locally, regionally, and globally; helping establish and strengthen the rules needed to support these initiatives and help them succeed; and helping identify and advance the international rules and international institutions that are needed for effective global economic and environmental governance.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, GEEO continues to pursue its mission on numerous fronts. The local, regional, and national initiatives in which the GEEO faculty and community fellows are currently engaged include the eight-county East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative launched in late 2019 by the area’s regional planning council; the formation of a proposed new Central Florida Higher Education Partnership for Sustainable Development among the region’s colleges and universities; and the newly-formed United States chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which was founded by the United Nations to lead the worldwide effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals in fulfillment of the UN’s Agenda for 2030. Increasingly, too, those who are a part of GEEO are also engaged in fulfilling the sustainable development goals globally through academic research, activism, and alliances with other like-minded institutions.

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