Picture this: it’s the year 2040 and NYU has achieved its sustainability goals. What will NYU’s sustainable future be like?  

What is 2040 Now?

Planned for April 2023

In Spring 2023, NYU will inaugurate 2040 Now, a university-wide initiative inviting all of us to envision what changes we can make now on the path to NYU’s goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2040.

To discover these changes, we need ideas, concrete plans, and participation from every type of NYU citizen, be they student, faculty, administrator, alumni, staff, partner, or parent. This year, let’s come together and envision what we can do. And during 2040 Now, let’s do it.

2040 Now Themes

Sustainable Futurism

What will our sustainable future be like? What do we imagine people will be doing and learning? How will we eat and get around? How are our lives better?

Combating Climate Despair

Climate anxiety and despair is the sense that climate change is unstoppable and that action is too little, too late. This is simply not true and “climate doom” inhibits action, which we cannot afford in confronting the climate crisis.

Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Environmentalism

Environmental issues are inextricably linked to issues of race and justice. Any efforts to catalyze our sustainable future require that we consider health, inclusion, and climate justice.

Policy and Direct Action

Some sustainable actions will take time to implement due to societal and policy barriers. 2040 Now can be a “proof of concept” – we will try implementing certain actions and gauge how to scale up. How can 2040 Now serve as a test-bed for long-term policy and actions (institutional and individual?)

How to Participate

Host a 2040 Activity

2040 Now will include curricular and co-curricular learning, and activities that will encourage you to change and contemplate your sustainable actions. Propose to lead an activity.

Apply for 2040 Grant Funding

Support your 2040 idea or activity through a grant up to $3,000.

Exhibit Work

Spaces throughout campus will host creative works that speak to the themes of 2040 Now. Propose an exhibit for an available space.

Upcoming Events


Why 2040?
2040 is the year NYU will achieve carbon neutrality. This is an opportunity to consider what we need to do now to achieve our imagined, sustainable future.

What makes 2040 Now different from other sustainability and Earth Month related events?
2040 Now is an exercise in envisioning the future to catalyze action in the present. Activities for 2040 Now will touch on the specific themes, including sustainable futurism, combating climate despair, intersectionality and interdisciplinary environmentalism, and policy and direct action.

What kind of support is available for a 2040 project?
2040 Now projects can be incorporated into already planned activities – there is no need to completely invent something new for this initiative. If you are attempting something brand new, funding and project support are available.

What’s the timeline?
While 2040 Now is scheduled for April 17-21, 2022, planning activities will take place over the course of the next year. You can propose an activity to prepare for 2040 Now or to take place during 2040 Now.

Planning Committee Members

Dianne Anderson, Director, Office of Sustainability
Cecil Scheib, Chief Sustainability Officer
Marlon Aranda, Project Director, Strategic Assessment, Planning and Design/Global Facilities Planning, Capital Projects & Facilities
Nicholas Evans, Assistant Director, Leadership and Staff Services, Residential Life and Housing, Student Affairs
Shonna Keogan, Senior Director, Executive Communications, University Relations and Public Affairs
Clay Shirky, Vice Provost for Educational Technologies, Office of the Provost