Purpose and Objectives

Prof. Bill Barron, an Associate Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and a former Director of Civic Exchange, passed away on 4 January 2018 at his home in Portland, Oregon. Prof Barron was an environmental economist, with a PhD in Economics for Public Decision-Making from Johns Hopkins University. His expertise was in how to balance sustainability and development. His book, The Great Disconnect (2009), laid out the challenges to the sustainability of the current economic system, and considered possible market, government and values-driven responses.

The world economy has expanded to the point where several planetary boundaries, of which climate change is the most talked about, have been crossed. There are simply too many unsustainable trajectories for the system to continue as it has for the past several decades. If nothing is done, it will continue. A more sustainable development path requires the world to make changes in what, how, and how much is produced and consumed. That, in turn, will require nothing less than restructuring the economy, a makeover of consumer lifestyles, and re-examining values.

To honour Prof Barron’s commitment and passion for training and mentoring young people, an annual internship program will be established by Prof. Alexis Lau and Prof. Jimmy Fung for students under the Division of Environment and Sustainability at HKUST. The program will encourage students to work on a topic related to The Great Disconnect and they will be supervised by Prof Lau or Prof Fung or other faculty members within the Division.

At most 2 students per year with max sponsorship of HK$15,000 per student will be supported.


Ms. Sharon Chong, Executive Officer, Division of Environment and Sustainability, HKUST
Tel: 2358 8363