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Global Grand Challenges Symposium: Frontiers and the Future

Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 8:00am to 5:00pm

How will we meet the most pressing demands of our time?

Join us for a two-day symposium that brings together the Cornell community and international partners to discuss the most urgent challenges around the world and how we can work together to address them.

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

The symposium, hosted by Global Cornell, will focus on five interdisciplinary themes, with panelists bringing their research and perspectives to bear: 

Knowledge | Water | Health | Space | International Collaboration

Register today!

If you can't attend in person, please join us virtually:


Wednesday, November 16

Welcome: President Martha Pollack
Panel 1: Knowledge
: What Counts, for Whom, and to What Ends?
4:30–6:00 ET, Klarman Hall, Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium

A panel of Cornell faculty and Global Hubs partners discuss innovations in higher education, social media, and legal frameworks; new forms of knowledge production and inequalities in access; and security, privacy, disinformation, and the role of knowledge in democracies.

Read about the panelists.

Remarks, Provost Michael Kotlikoff
6:00 ET, Klarman Hall Atrium


Thursday, November 17

8:00–5:00 ET, Clark Hall, room 700 (7th floor)

Breakfast, 8:00 ET

Panel 2: Water: Worldwide Challenges and Approaches 
9:00–10:30 ET

Faculty from Cornell and partner universities explore the most critical challenges related to changing global water conditions, including access to clean drinking water; water governance, norms, and customs; trade-offs between drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower; rising sea levels and water-dependent communities; and new solutions for wastewater, ocean plastics, and pollution.

Read about the panelists.

Panel 3: Health: An Integrated Global Perspective
11:00–12:30 ET

Faculty from Cornell and partner universities explore vital issues related to health, including equity, nutrition, mental health and well-being, disease, communication, new technologies, sociocultural norms, One Health, sustainable agriculture and ecosystems, elder care, and the business of medicine/health.

Read about the panelists.

Lunch, 12:30 ET

Panel 4: Space: In a Galaxy Not So Far Away
1:30–3:00 ET

Faculty from Cornell and partner universities explore urgent topics related to our global engagements with outer space, including intergovernmental collaboration and defining a new space policy; private space travel and exploration; historical lessons for colonization; new technologies, materials, and visualizations; intelligent life; resources and extraglobal markets; and access and inequalities.

Read about the panelists.

Panel 5: International Collaboration:< /b>Taking Action for Our Global Future
3:30–5:00 ET

In this final session, panelists discuss opportunities and challenges for creating truly collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships in an unequal world. Faculty from partner universities share ideas for collaborating on the four themes introduced earlier in the symposium, and participants explore the tension between respect for local cultures and universalisms implicated in scientific inquiry.

Read about the panelists.

Register in-person or virtually for one or all sessions!

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