The symposium "Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century: Renewable Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change," organized by the University of Illinois System through the Initiative for Mexican and Mexican American Students (I-MMAS), headed by Elvira de Mejía and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, brought together leading academics and researchers from both countries as a follow-up to the first meeting held in April 2022.
On that occasion it was inaugurated by the rector of the UNAM, Enrique Graue Wiechers, and by the president of the University of Illinois System, Timothy L Killeen.
This year, due to the importance of the topics being discussed, it was held once again and was inaugurated by Guillermo Pulido, director of UNAM Chicago, who stated that "The topics discussed over the course of this symposium are not mere subjects of scientific inquiry; they are urgent calls to action that demand our attention, collaboration, and innovation. Climate change's far-reaching impacts are no longer theoretical scenarios but stark realities felt across the globe – from changing weather patterns to rising sea levels, from biodiversity loss to extreme weather events. Just remember a few days back the incredible damage caused by the fires in Maui or the devastation of the Canadian forests."
He recalled that Chicago will host the 2025 Conference on Sustainability, Research and Innovation, which will bring together global leaders, researchers, experts and civil society to make real progress towards a sustainable planet.
He invited participants to open their minds to new ideas in the context of this major conference and to create a coalition for meaningful discussions that will lead to innovative solutions for the real world.
Richard J. Winkel, Deputy Executive Director of the Prairie Research Institute, and José Carlos Arredondo Velázquez, Chancellor of the Technological University of Querétaro, also participated in the opening ceremony.
The Symposium lasted two days and featured the participation of leading experts in renewable energy and climate change, from the Institute of Engineering of the UNAM, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the Technological University of Querétaro with topics such as the use of biohydrogen for agro-industrial production with wastewater; Design and construction of low-cost hydrogen generators, and Innovative environmental processes that contribute to sustainability, among others.