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Message from the Directors

The Covid-19 pandemic is an important reminder of our interdependence across geographies, institutions, communities, businesses, and governments. Several parallels between Covid-19 and other critical global issues such as climate change, clean water access, and sustainable production and consumption could not be clearer. Decision-making based on scientific research is our best defense. Early and coordinated action at international, national, and local scales makes a big difference. Our collective response necessitates sincere empathy for others as well as lasting collaboration that transcends traditional boundaries.

As a Center that empowers current and future leaders to create sustainable businesses and communities, and a convener for collective impact, we support all of our partners’ efforts in responding to this immediate crisis. In this spirit, we invite your ideas as to how we can come together as a sustainability-minded community to share information, support organizations in need, and facilitate collaboration. We invite our business partners in particular to leverage their unique assets and capabilities in addressing the impacts of this crisis.

Please email us at  with your thoughts.

Beril Toktay, Faculty Director
Michael Oxman, Managing Director 

Resources for the Community

The Georgia Tech Alumni Association has partnered with the Division of Student Life and the Office of Development to collect and distribute emergency funding through Roll Call and the Georgia Tech Parents Fund to support students in need.

RCE Greater Atlanta is maintaining two crowdsourced documents related to Covid-19. The first is a Care & Exchange Google Sheet for specific needs and services. The second is a Google Doc with a list of general resources that are particularly applicable to our region. The RCE Greater Atlanta welcomes your input!

The Metro Atlanta Chamber is providing information designed to help Metro Atlanta’s businesses as they navigate global health updates, public safety concerns, remote working and telecommuting, data security risks, communication strategies, and more.

United Way and The Community Foundation have formed the Greater Atlanta Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Please consider making a donation that can help to provide immediate support to those in need. Need Help? Connect with the 2-1-1 Contact Center.

Atlanta Magazine offers tips for helping those in need in Atlanta, including the homeless, the elderly, restaurant workers, animal shelters, and more.

Atlanta’s 11 Alive shares a list of resources geared specifically toward families, from educational help and virtual museum tours to food services and low-cost or free internet plans.

News Roundup: Covid-19’s Impact on Sustainability
Widespread disregard for science and alarming inaction have created an additional burden for those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In an article in The New York Times, Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb draws a parallel between the health crisis and global warming. “Both demand early aggressive action to minimize loss,” she said.

What do people’s slow responses to Covid-19 and climate change have in common? Humans have a hard time thinking about future probabilities, as noted on the website Environmental Protection, which quotes Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb. On a more positive note, as a result of human behavior changing due to the virus, air and water pollution levels have decreased.

A National Geographic article explores the impact of the size of a gathering on the risk for transmitting the coronavirus. The article cites the work of Joshua Weitz, the founding director of the Quantitative Biosciences Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech, who created a mathematical model that demonstrates the probability that one or more individuals in an event might be infected with Covid-19.

When can the U.S. get back to work? According to a Forbes article, that answer depends on disaster preparedness capabilities and the supporting supply chains. Pinar Keskinocak, a Georgia Tech professor of systems engineering, says that the design of medical supply chains, which prioritizes efficiency and low costs over resiliency, has contributed to the problem of delivering critical medical equipment to those in need.

In Italy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus, strict social distancing rules have led to quiet streets. An article in The Washington Post quotes Emanuele Massetti, an expert on the economics of climate change at Georgia Tech, who says that Italy’s sudden drop in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the decreased use of diesel vehicles.

Siemens has teamed up with Georgia Tech to address the critical shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in our state. Siemens leveraged its manufacturing network to scale production of an innovative face shield that was designed by Chris Saldana, along with other faculty and students in mechanical engineering.

Calls for Research

Applications are open for the Creative Destruction Lab’s Rapid Response Innovation Program. CDL Recovery will rapidly transform technological innovations into useful products and services that address public health and economic recovery challenges created by the global Covid-19 crisis.

The White House calls on the tech community to create new text and data mining techniques that can help the science community tackle Covid-19.

The National Science Foundation announces Rapid Response Research funding for proposals that address the global challenge of Covid-19.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science has issued a call for ideas about how to help address Covid-19 through science and technology efforts and collaborations.

About Covid-19
Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
Tips & Best Practices
Washing hands. Sanitizing. Social distancing. There are many ways to protect yourself and your loved ones
from Covid-19.

Monitoring Covid-19 at Tech
For updates on health and exposure alerts, academic and business operations, housing, and more, visit the “Monitoring Coronavirus” page.