Tom Hertel and group

Pictured seated right to left: Tom Hertel, Laura Bowling, Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Jungha Woo, Lan Zhao, Iman Haqiqi, Jing Liu. Standing right to left: Uris Baldos, Johnathan Buzan, David Johnson, Matthew Huber, Carol Song.


Tom Hertel has created a research consortium to bridge local sustainability solutions with global drivers and consequences through data analysis and sharing.

Today our planet sustains more human life than ever before. By 2050, the global population is estimated to reach staggering new heights, just short of 10 billion. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an appeal to all nations to tackle this global grand challenge.

Of the 17 goals laid out by the UN, eight are closely tied to water, food and land. Can the future demands for food, fuel, clean water, biodiversity, climate change mitigation and poverty reduction be reconciled? That is precisely the question that Tom Hertel seeks to answer. Hertel, distinguished professor of agricultural economics, maintains that sustainability is fundamentally a local concept, yet is driven by global forces. Pursuit of the SDGs will also have global consequences, and analysis of these complex issues requires what is called a global-to-local-to-global approach.

Read more in our 2017-18 annual report.