Grand Challenges

Grand Challenges are defined as multidimensional issues that affect the international community, they are ambitious tasks that are achievable through the use of scientific and technological innovations. What makes Grand Challenges unique is that they require cooperation on multiple fronts. Some of the examples of Grand Challenges we discussed in class are: Finding new energy sources, cures for cancer, etc. The example that stood out most to me was the moon shot. In 1962 President John F. Kennedy’s delivered a speech, the quote that was emphasized was:

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” – JFK

The quote above highlights why societies choose to take on Grand Challenges- because they are difficult, and because they require the best and brightest minds from an array of different disciplines to come together and attain results. The moon shoot was one of the many results of the “Space Race” during the Cold War Era between the U.S. and the USSR. Like many aspects of the Cold War the “Space Race”engaged every aspect of society on both side, especially the civil sector. My classmate ANNELISESTRAW analyzed this aspect, stating that the United States pushed STEM classes heavily throughout high schools across the nation in order to ensure that the mantel would be picked up by future generations. I couldn’t agree more with Annelise’s analysis, one of the unique attribute of Grand Challenges that I have notice is that it cultivates a sense of responsibility within a community in order to achieve its goal.

Grand Challenges are unique both in the goal that they are trying to achieve and the sociological factors involved in order to achieve them. With that said, I look forward to exploring the Grand Challenges posed in my research this semester.