Bridging Disciplines for a Sustainable Future: Insights from Prof Steve Evans of the Sustainability and Conservation Research Hub at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge.
Prof Steve Evans of the Sustainability and Conservation Research Hub at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge delves into the multifaceted approach of the Hub, which transcends traditional academic boundaries to address critical environmental challenges.
At the heart of the Hub's philosophy is the concept of a 'living lab' — a dynamic space where students, academics, alumni and various stakeholders converge to brainstorm, innovate, and implement sustainable solutions. This approach fosters a culture of practical learning and real-world application.
The hub emphasizes collaboration and shared purpose, inviting members from diverse disciplines to contribute their unique skills and perspectives towards a common goal of making the world a better place.
The Hub also places significant emphasis on mentoring and interaction across generations and disciplines. This approach not only facilitates knowledge exchange but also nurtures a community where innovative ideas can flourish.
Looking towards the future, Prof Evans envisions Wolfson College as the world's first regenerative college. This ambitious goal extends beyond sustainability; it's about actively repairing and rejuvenating the environment. The Hub aims to redefine the concept of regenerative practices in business and everyday life.
Engagement with the broader business community is another cornerstone of the Hub's strategy. The Hub encourages partnerships with sustainability-focused start-ups and other enterprises, demonstrating its openness and accessibility. This outreach is crucial for expanding the Hub's impact and integrating practical business insights into its sustainability endeavours.
Prof Evans' insights unveil a forward-thinking approach to tackling environmental challenges. By fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, encouraging innovative thinking, and aiming for regenerative solutions, the Hub is not just educating the next generation of leaders and thinkers but is actively shaping a more sustainable and conscious world.
About Prof Steve Evans
Steve Evans is Director of Research in Industrial Sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. He leads what is probably the largest global research team trying to improve the environmental impact of the world’s industrial system.
Steve started working in his first factory in 1976, before becoming Engineering Systems Manager at Martin-Baker Engineering, where he helped design and make the world’s best ejection seats. Helping save 2 lives per week and working on a product that has 2 seconds to succeed, often travelling at up to 1000kph, was too much fun and forced a change in career into teaching and research.
Now at the University of Cambridge, he tries to find ways to help industry become sustainable, and is particularly interested in inexpensive solutions – expensive solutions are too easy! His team comes from across the globe, solving problems in Africa and Asia as well as the advanced economies. Steve has led the first UK research into multi-disciplinary engineering teams, the first into eco-design, the first into Circular Economy and many other projects, totalling over £30 million. Steve loves to bring people together to solve tough problems.
Steve has been a millionaire and lost it – twice. So he will not be offering financial advice. He has co-founded a number of clean technology start-ups and has held various posts advising industry and international governments, including Specialist Adviser to the UK House of Lords Science & Technology Committee. Steve is a father of two adult sons, a black belt at judo and mildly autistic. Steve is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and was recently elected by his peers as a Member of Academia Europaea.