Over the next decade, Georgia Tech will become an example of inclusive innovation, a leading technological research university of unmatched scale, relentlessly committed to serving the public good; breaking new ground in addressing the biggest local, national, and global challenges and opportunities of our time; making technology broadly accessible; and developing exceptional, principled leaders from all backgrounds ready to produce novel ideas and create solutions with real human impact.
We will deliver on this vision by building an outstanding and diverse community of learning, discovery, and creation in an inclusive and collaborative environment focused on innovation and access. We will develop healthy and vibrant learning environments that support holistic learning and personal growth.
We will be leaders in educational innovation and develop a global learning platform of unmatched impact and scale to support learners throughout their life journeys. We will challenge ourselves to push the boundaries of research while focusing on the most consequential questions and problems faced by humanity. And we will act as a creative engine that will position our city and our state as examples of inclusive entrepreneurship and innovation.
Progress and Service
Since its founding in 1885 by an act of the state government, the Georgia Institute of Technology has become a leading global research university, a strategic economic development asset for Georgia, and an essential element of the national system of science and technology. Driven by a commitment to Progress and Service, Georgia Tech has produced extraordinary engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in business, government, academia and nonprofits, who have had a transformative impact locally and around the world.
Georgia Tech brings together scholars and innovators from a wide variety of fields driven by the idea that technology has the power to improve the human condition. We don’t just develop technology for technology’s sake. We advance technology and the science that supports it, and we find novel ways to leverage and deploy it, to change our world for the better.
And we develop leaders who think critically about the problems we face and the technology at our disposal, find new solutions, and create value for the greater good.
Technology has helped humanity achieve a standard of living that was unimaginable just a few decades ago. Technology has contributed to the reduction in extreme poverty and hunger; to giving more people access to basic education, water, and sanitation; to helping people live longer, better lives than ever before.
Yet, while we celebrate these achievements, we recognize that the progress has been uneven, that some of the solutions have created their own challenges, and that unforeseen events like the Covid-19 pandemic can delay and even reverse decades of progress. Indeed, much remains to be done — around the world and at home.
We need to find new ways to create economic opportunity and enable social mobility; build more livable communities; provide affordable housing and sustainable transportation; make education, healthcare, clean water, and energy available to everyone; combat old and emerging diseases; and keep us all safe and free.
And we need to do that while combatting climate change, reducing the stress on our planet, and protecting ourselves against the threat of new infectious diseases.
Technology will be essential in addressing these challenges, but only if it is grounded in a critical understanding of its social, economic, environmental, and cultural context and if available where needed.
In order to not only advance technology but deepen our understanding of the human condition and find novel ways to improve it, our research and teaching approach incorporates perspectives not just from engineering, and physical and biological sciences, but from a multitude of disciplines: social and behavioral sciences, humanities, business, policy, arts and design, and other fields.
We need to educate talented scientists and engineers, and also designers, innovators, business leaders, and humanists who can deepen our understanding and shape our thinking about the most consequential issues that we face — the aspects of the human condition that need improving.
Embracing All Voices
The magnitude of the challenges and opportunities we face also demands that we empower, include, and engage more people, backgrounds, and perspectives in the process of learning, discovery, and creation. Over the years, we have learned that progress needs all voices to be heard, all minds to be cultivated, and all talent to be empowered.
One of the most transformative figures in American history, Atlanta native Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said that everyone can be great because everyone can serve. At Georgia Tech, we also know that everyone can contribute to Progress and Service because everyone can learn. If technology is to work for all people, it must be developed by all people and be accessible to all people.
But while talent is equally distributed, the opportunity to learn and grow is often not. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals from rural communities and from low-income families are still underrepresented at Georgia Tech and other leading technological universities, thus limiting the scope of perspectives shaping our future.
Underrepresentation also exists among faculty and staff roles, underscoring our responsibility to remove barriers of access, dismantle underlying causes of institutional exclusion, and ensure that talented individuals from all backgrounds across our community can contribute to our shared mission.
The story of our city — the epicenter of a movement that restored basic civil rights to millions of people across the nation — demonstrates how much stronger we are when we embrace diversity of people and ideas. As champions of innovation in our local economy, we will strive to help Atlanta and the global Georgia Tech community become examples of vibrant, inclusive entrepreneurship.
Strong Local Roots, Broad Global Reach
Originally established to help industrialize Georgia and a war-torn American South, Georgia Tech became a critical element in Atlanta’s emergence as a city of national and worldwide prominence: a global transportation hub, a site of commerce, the home of iconic business giants, and an incubator of transformative social and cultural movements. Atlanta has, indeed, become one of the most globally connected cities in the world and a leading international meeting place — as it memorably showed when it hosted the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.
Like its home city, Georgia Tech has become a globally recognized and reliable partner in supporting international collaboration, education, commerce, and research in complex issues that affect us all. Those collaborations and partnerships have demonstrated that global relevance is not at odds with local impact.
Exposure to other cultures prepares our students to lead in the global economy. The cultural and demographic diversity, and the nature of the issues that we face in our immediate community, offer a unique ground for testing solutions that can set an example for other parts of the world.
And the exceptional talent we attract from around the world positions Georgia Tech to make unique contributions to local and global problems, build strong bridges to the world, and strengthen the global competitiveness of our state.
The pandemic of 2020 has highlighted that the most consequential challenges we face are global in nature and require global collaboration and solutions. It has also shown how essential technology is for supporting collaboration at the local and global levels, for the rapid diffusion of solutions, and, very specially, for the delivery of learning.
Georgia Tech’s leadership in learning technology and innovation —which has produced, among other tangible results, the world’s largest online master’s program in computer science — proved instrumental in our ability to deliver education despite the disruption. It demonstrated how technology can help create a truly global network of learning and innovation and expand access. But it also highlighted the gaps in technological access for people in rural and low-income communities.
Creating a Better Future
Georgia Tech has been an engine of Progress and Service for more than 135 years and is ready to play an even greater role going forward.
With humility, and yet great confidence in our history and our unique capabilities, Georgia Tech is redefining what it means to be a leading public technological research university in this new era, committed to empowering people of all backgrounds and to integrating our resources across disciplines to create a better future for our community — locally, nationally, and globally.