Who We Are
The Global Sustainability Leadership Institute (GSLI) is an institute at The McCombs School of Business and Moody College of Communications that prepares students to drive sustainable social and environmental impact in their future careers. The GSLI is the successor to the Social Innovation Initiative, a smaller center formed in 2017. We specialize in sustainable finance, impact infrastructure and innovation, sustainability communications and corporate sustainability. We have grown over the last four years and now provide a vast portfolio of experiential learning programs, community events, courses and more.
What We're Fundraising For
We are proud of what we have built, but know we have a lot more to do to transform UT Austin into the premiere training ground for sustainability-minded leaders. Over the coming year, the GSLI will expand on current programming while offering new opportunities for students, such as a Global Sustainability and Leadership Minor in Fall 2022, a physical space for student innovation called the Sustainable Impact Lab, and a larger Texas Sustainability Innovation Challenge (TSIC) with prize money for student innovators. We will also increase our focus on recruiting diverse students to our programming through scholarships. Funds raised through 40 for Forty will support these initiatives, but special emphasis will be given to scholarships, TSIC, and our physical space's needs. Naming rights are potentially available for anyone who gives $250,000 or more for the Sustainable Impact Lab and $10,000 or more for scholarships. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Donations to the Global Sustainability Leadership Institute will enhance the education of future generations of sustainability leaders across business and public sectors. Our goal is to create a world where profits and purpose collide for a more just and regenerative society, but we can not make this happen without generous support going to our programs, scholarships, and physical spaces. Read on for impacts from three of the main projects funds will go towards! Scholarship money empowers students to pursue experiential learning opportunities where they can experience real-world work and support their community instead of taking paid work or focusing on family needs. It also helps the program attract a wider diversity of students who can bring their unique perspectives to solving impactful problems. As one of our previous seven recipients stated, "I am very grateful for the LIFT scholarship donors. They helped me to develop myself and my professional skills... having a scholarship really helps us (LIFT consultants) to feel like our work is being valued."
In addition, the Sustainable Impact Lab will provide student organizations such as the Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) a space to teach in, as well as a space to work on projects for students in our Minor and programs. In two years time when the space opens next to the McCombs Atrium, we hope to fill it daily with students working on the next big environmental and social innovations. Funds will go towards furnishing the space with appropriate equipment for innovation, like whiteboards, tables, bookshelves and computers.
The Texas Sustainability Innovation Challenge is the largest cross-campus impact venture pitch competition and workshop series for aspiring changemakers. The program launches in the Fall with systems and design workshops to prepare students to identify root problems and shape appropriate solutions. It then continues in the Spring with business model and funding workshops. Students who participate in at least some of the workshops and who submit check-in deliverables are eligible to pitch for seed funding in an annual April competition. TSIC is not just a pitch or workshop, however; the program also provides access to online materials like Canvas and Acumen+, office hours with Experts in Residence, and a global network through a partnership with the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge. Following the success of the last two competitions with 17 teams and a total of $34,000 in seed funding earned, the GSLI would like to attract an even greater variety of students with innovative ideas for the 2022 pitch on April 23rd and 24th. We are seeking funding for seed fund awards, programmatic costs and travel for two winning teams to a global competition. Donors who give $1,000 or more may name a topic-specific prize.