Royal Roads President Philip Steenkamp announced that Cascade Institute will be led by Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, an award-winning author and scholar. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Royal Roads President Philip Steenkamp announced that Cascade Institute will be led by Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, an award-winning author and scholar. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Royal Roads launches research institute to study global crises, such as pandemic

Cascade Institute will run until 2030, collaborate with University of Waterloo

A new 10-year research institute at Royal Roads University aims to tackle the world’s greatest challenges.

Cascade Institute sets out to understand how pandemics, climate change, growing wealth inequality, economic disruption, social upheaval and political instability are interconnected.

Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, an award-winning author and scholar, will lead the institute, Royal Roads President Philip Steenkamp announced Monday.

“I’m looking forward to working with graduate students and incorporate them directly into research and the publication process,” said Homer-Dixon, who previously held a research chair at the University of Waterloo. “I grew up in Victoria and had a tremendous desire to return to Vancouver Island.”

READ MORE: Royal Roads receives federal funding to study misinformation surrounding COVID-19

In full operation, there will be 20 to 25 staff working together, with three research teams. Two team leaders will collaborate with a mix of nine post-doctorates and Royal Roads graduate students. Additionally, the University of Waterloo will be working in collaboration.

Notably, the institute plans to conclude research in 2030.

“It’s important to establish from the get-go that we don’t plan to be permanent,” said Homer-Dixon. “There will be some sense of urgency because we are in urgent times. We’re meant to work fast so that we can remain entirely focused on Cascade.”

Cascade will also have a scientific advisory board of 30 to 40 complexity researchers to help guide its work, including faculty from Royal Roads and researchers around the world.

ALSO READ: Royal Roads University limits public access

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