In a rapidly changing world research universities are essential for ensuring that Canada had the knowledge and talent necessary to keep up.

That’s why the University of Waterloo recently developed our Global Futures, a focus on five interconnected problem areas that can only be tackled with transdisciplinary scholarship and action.

Take Professor Jason Thistlethwaite’s Climate Risk Group — focused on our Sustainable Future by enabling Canadians to gauge personal disaster exposure. After a summer of climate-triggered wildfires in virtually every part of the country, and around the world, the importance of Dr. Thistlethwaite’s work comes into sharp focus. Or consider Professor Gautnam Kammath’s health data privacy work, it showcases how advances in AI could improve health information exchange to ensure better health outcomes for our community and across the country.

Such research doesn’t happen overnight — it builds on decades of fundamental scholarship and requires collaboration and partnerships. Research labs like these not only focus on the biggest problems our society faces, but they also serve to train the next generation of big thinkers, graduate students who provide the capacity to do this work today and get th training to continue to address big challenges in the future.

Continue reading the (August 22, 2023) op-ed at The Record (subscription required).