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Thriving Communities — DU's Grand Challenge Initiative

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Theresa Ahrens

Feature  •

The University has announced an exciting step for DU’s IMPACT 2025 working group on Collaboration for the Public Good. For the past year the group has been engaged in a deliberative process to identify a theme for the DU Grand Challenges initiative. After hearing from more than 300 faculty to learn about community involvement in their research, teaching, creative work and service, the working group asked students, faculty, staff and community members to share their ideas for issues that DU Grand Challenges should address.

Thanks to all of the input and efforts, the group has identified the theme for DU Grand Challenges as Thriving Communities. launch event is scheduled for October 2. 

Anne DePrince
Anne DePrince

“The goal of DU Grand Challenges is to make measurable progress in addressing complex, urgent and persistent problems in our communities,” said Anne DePrince, Co-Leader of the Collaboration for the Public Good Working Group. “This theme presents a variety of opportunities to work together in our communities.” 

Thriving Communities will address three issues: Living, Working, and Participating. Each of these issues will be addressed in 3-year cycles that allow us to co-create Aspirations, Actions, and measurements of Achievement with community partners.

The Living, Working, and Participating issues were selected because they are directly related to ongoing faculty research, creative work and teaching from all units across campus.

Undergraduate Student Body President Morgan Smith says he’s excited to get students involved.

DU Grand Challenges is a time for us as a community to create a collective impact. It’s not just one student organization trying to champion an issue, but our entire community of faculty, staff, students and local organizations. Students get to be a part of determining DU’s agenda for the years to come. Any student on our campus that is questioning how they can be involved in making an impact in our community has to get involved in DU Grand Challenges! Morgan Smith, Undergraduate Student Body President

The DU Grand Challenges kickoff event is scheduled for October 2nd from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on DU’s campus in the Anderson Academic Commons Special Events Room. Involvement from faculty, staff, students and community members is vital to the success of this initiative. The event will provide opportunities to learn about next steps for DU Grand Challenges as well as to share your ideas that address the first issue, Living. Register for the kickoff event here.

Grand Challenges