The NFI's goal is to create a new center for multidisciplinary education, open to applicants in fields related to sustainability and cities; its programs will link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. In this age of climate change, its programming is addressed to those who wish, through practice or education, to improve the quality of life in cities worldwide. The creation of the Institute follows from the success of the Foundation’s program of workshops, which have been running since its launch in 2017, bringing together experts from academia, practice, and consulting to engage with participants from around the world.
Each year, scholars will visit and work in three pilot cities to engage directly with their planners and managers. They will use the most up-to-date digital tools in the quest to improve a sustainable quality of life. Towards the end of the year, the scholars will present their findings to the city administration with an emphasis on advocacy and presentation skills. On the basis that historically cities learn from each other, scholars will explore the relevance of their conclusions in the wider context of global cities.
The first cohort will participate in a year-long program in Sustainable Cities, which will begin in Madrid, Spain in January 2024.