Ready, Set… Vision & Goals!

Ready, Set… Vision & Goals!

So Vision 2020 has been on the scene for eight months now, and you’re maybe wondering when we’re going to give you some details about what this great sustainability vision, goals and action plan are all about.

Well, shhhh, don’t tell anybody, but we now have a very, very preliminary draft of the Vision and Goals report. (In case you are wondering, that is the second of the three big documents we’re creating in the Vision 2020 process.)

The Vision and Goals report we have right now is really rough. I know because I wrote it. The Vision 2020 team did some serious workshopping of it today (check out the photos in this post), and we’re bringing it out to all of you to see what you think very soon. Join us later this month to discuss in a working group, or share your thoughts online (more info soon).

It was humbling—and hard—to try to put words around all the things that all of you have said over the past many months of conversation. At the same time, it was weirdly energizing and fun. As I sat there at my keyboard, I felt like a medium, channeling all of the ideas that have come pouring out of this community. Even though I know that the Vision and Goals report will be reworked many times, my main feeling was one of confidence—we know this stuff. We know it because you’ve told us, and we’ve thought about it, and argued about it, and hashed it out many times in conversation with many people. I guess I didn’t completely believe that it was ready to be put on paper until the moment I sat down to write. Maybe you need to be a writer-geek to appreciate this, but it really was very exciting.

The Vision and Goals report is organized around five categories that capture the themes we’ve been hearing from you. Here’s a little teaser of the kinds of things we’ve heard you say:


  • more focus on solving real-world problems
  • facilitate interdisciplinary, collaborative research
  • make the research process more efficient, less wasteful

Teaching & Learning

  • more applied & experiential learning opportunities
  • more interdisciplinary learning
  • more students introduced to sustainability concepts in their courses
  • recognition and integration of learning that happens outside the classroom


  • break the McGill bubble—more connection with communities, from local to global
  • more interaction within the McGill community, and spaces to encourage that
  • importance of sharing the stories of all the good work that is already happening here


  • attract and retain diverse students and staff
  • reward commitment to sustainability in faculty and staff performance evaluation
  • grapple with the societal impact of McGill’s financial portfolio


  • less reliance on fossil fuels
  • minimize waste (solid, water, energy…)
  • more focus on sustainable procurement, including food systems
  • changes to buildings and grounds should minimize environmental impact and support sustainability goals (e.g. more interaction)

Hungry for more? Don’t agree with what’s here? Love what’s here and have ideas for making it happen? Share your thoughts in a working group, online (soon!), or when you see Vision 2020 on campus. We want to hear from you!

-Julia Solomon

See the McGill Vision2020 Blog