International symposium to select universitywide research challenge

Faculty from across Cornell and the world will gather for a two-day event on Nov. 16–17 to discuss some of the world’s most urgent challenges and how collaborative research, teaching and engagement can help to meet them.

Members of the Cornell community are invited to join the wide-ranging conversation by registering to attend one or more panels beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 4:30 p.m., and continuing through the day on Nov. 17.

The “Global Grand Challenges Symposium: Frontiers and the Future” will feature panelists from the new Cornell Global Hubs who are visiting campus to launch the partnership network. New this fall, the Global Hubs initiative expands international opportunities for faculty, students and alumni and boosts access and reciprocal exchange through sustained relationships with 20 leading international universities in 11 locations worldwide.

Building on the first Global Grand Challenge, Migrations, symposium participants will help select the next universitywide research, teaching and engagement initiative to harness Cornell's global expertise.

“At the first Global Grand Challenges Symposium in 2018, we asked the question, ‘Of all the challenges facing humanity, what is Cornell uniquely equipped to understand and address?’” said Wendy Wolford, vice provost for international affairs and the Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Today, despite the isolation of the past two years, we are asking, ‘What are the biggest challenges facing humanity, and how can long-term, campuswide international collaboration help us to overcome them?’” Wolford said. “We’re excited to welcome our Global Hubs partners to campus and into our community.”

Hosted by Global Cornell, faculty and administrators from Global Hubs partners will participate in a network meeting on Nov. 16 before the symposium convenes. The partners will tour the Cornell Tech campus on Nov. 18 and meet with leadership from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

The public symposium kicks off on Wednesday afternoon in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium. Featuring a panel of Cornell faculty and Global Hubs partners, the plenary session will focus on a global challenge uniting the whole university: knowledge production. The conversation will range across the changing landscape of international higher education, the impact of online delivery, inequalities in access to education and the role of knowledge in democracies.

The plenary is followed by a reception in the Groos Family Atrium in Klarman Hall, with welcoming remarks from Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff. The symposium continues on Thursday in 700 Clark Hall with four panels that will take up global challenges related to the broad topics of Water, Health, Space and International Collaboration.

Sheri Englund is senior associate director of communication for Global Cornell. 

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Becka Bowyer