Climate change and a burgeoning world population put dire strains on the environment as demands on natural resources for food and energy production are rising. The result is a set of existential threats to food and water supplies and to species and ecosystems that provide services and intangible value to humanity. The Center for the Economics of Sustainability at Illinois engages in cutting-edge research and vigorous engagement with external audiences to find solutions to these threats and challenges, fostering sustainable food production, energy use, and urban development.
The Center for the Economics of Sustainability (CEOS) is ideally positioned for this critical work. Applied economists in CEOS collaborate with researchers from many other disciplines to show how best to manage natural resources and how to design policies and markets to achieve sustainability at the lowest possible cost. CEOS researchers have two key assets that can be activated and coordinated to find solutions to sustainability challenges and to communicate those solutions to industry, government, and the public.
We work in an institutional environment with great resources to draw upon for sustainability research, such as privileged access to farm level data from 2,000 producers in the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association, unmatched capability in managing big data in partnership with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, data and researchers at the Prairie Research Institute, and big-data initiatives including Big Data, Food Security and the Environment and the Illinois Data Science Initiative.
We are housed in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics within the Land Grant College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at Illinois, with a long history of external engagement and interaction, as well as access to the communication resources of University of Illinois Extension.