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Uniting visionaries in science and scholarship with the community to solve society’s toughest problems.
UCLA Grand Challenges are ambitious research projects that connect hundreds of faculty, students, community members and leading experts across every field to solve giant global problems. The two current Grand Challenges — the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge and the Depression Grand Challenge — are the biggest, most collaborative, and potentially most transformative efforts UCLA has undertaken to date. The discoveries and scholarship produced are expected to deliver real benefit to California, the nation, and the world.
SUSTAINABLE LA GRAND CHALLENGE
Over the coming decades, climate change — coupled with a growing population — could significantly disrupt the economy, ecosystems, health and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge was created to address the fact that in order to thrive in the future, we must face the environmental challenges of today. This initiative, announced in November 2013, is focused on transitioning Los Angeles County to 100% renewable energy and 100% locally sourced water, while enhancing ecosystem health, by 2050. UCLA offers a breadth and depth of resources and infrastructure, and it is home to leaders in many areas relevant to sustainability. Already, more than 150 luminaries have committed to the goals of this grand challenge. But, creating lasting positive change requires the hard work and generosity of others. People like you. Together, we can build a better future for our families.
DEPRESSION GRAND CHALLENGE
Depression. Disease, epidemic, condition — whatever you want to call it. Either you’ve suffered from it personally, or you know someone who has. One in four women and one in six men have been diagnosed with depressive disorders, and yet we still don’t even know what causes it. As such, the Depression Grand Challenge focuses an unprecedented amount of brainpower, infrastructure and resources on a single ambitious goal: To cut the global burden of depression in half by 2050. The centerpiece of this effort is the biggest and most comprehensive depression study in history, which will involve 100,000 participants and connect hundreds of scientists, researchers and scholars with the community in order to understand, treat and prevent what the World Health Organization ranks as “the leading cause of disability worldwide.” UCLA will lead the way to cut the burden of depression in half by 2050 and eliminate it by the end of the century. But overcoming this challenge requires the generosity of other human beings. We need partners who see the value in shining a light on one of life’s giant mysteries. We want people who are unafraid to think grand and lend a hand in an unprecedented effort to make a major positive breakthrough for everyone, forever.
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