Salata Institute Forges Connections with Student Groups
The Salata Institute is engaging student organizations to strengthen climate and sustainability activity across Harvard University.
The engagement began in October 2022, when the Institute invited student organizations representatives to a discussion about ways that the Institute could support their efforts. More than 40 student leaders from some 25 organizations and clubs participated in the convening. They included graduate and undergraduate students, who were often meeting for the first time.
While these organizations are taking diverse approaches to addressing climate and sustainability issues, the passion of their representatives was palpable in the room. As introductory slides of their organizations flashed across monitors around the room in Harvard’s iLab, the students huddled to discuss ways to exchange information and to collaborate. In reporting on these discussions, the students said that they were often unaware of the activities of other clubs, even within their own schools.
Above all, student leaders expressed the need for stronger connections among their peer organizations, faculty, and alumni, working on climate and sustainability. Funding, too, surfaced as a need. Professor Jim Stock, the director of the Salata Institute, and Professor Peter Tufano of the Harvard Business School, who attended the convening, pledged to support student organizations.
By the end of the fall 2022 semester, the Salata Institute was accepting applications to its Student Organization Pilot Funding Program. It offered up to $2,000 to two or more clubs that worked together on a joint program, project, or event. The program is now funding thirteen different student organizations, who are working on six separate initiatives, including the creation of Climate Literary Magazine and the organization of a clean energy policy project at the Massachusetts State House (among others). The Salata Institute will announce a second round of funding in the spring 2023 term.