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Global Grand Challenges Symposium

globe arch of the world's continents

November 8-9, 2018 at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

You are invited to join a dialogue on emerging global grand challenges: a two-day symposium to address how we can best live and work in an increasingly connected world with seemingly unprecedented threats and opportunities.

Key Objectives of the Symposium

  • Instigate a campus-wide round of dialogue on emerging Global Grand Challenges.
  • Generate ideas for the theme for Cornell's First Annual Global Grand Challenge, 2019–2020.
  • Inspire both internal and external audiences with the depth and breadth of global expertise at Cornell University.

One outcome of this symposium will be the identification of potential themes for the first annual Cornell Global Grand Challenge, to launch in August 2019. Themes will be discussed during the participatory working group sessions, with preference for cross-disciplinary and campus-wide themes in which Cornell demonstrates a particular wealth of expertise and even a comparative global advantage.

The vice provost for international affairs and the vice provost for engagement and land grant affairs will select the theme, which both offices will celebrate in 2019-2020 as the “Year of X”—through proposals for cross-campus, cross-level projects; communication campaigns; and more. 

Symposium Program

Thursday, November 8, 2018                                                                  

Opening Plenary on Global Grand Challenges: Bridging Divides
4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall

Moderator: Wendy Wolford, Cornell University Vice Provost for International Affairs, Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

4:30 p.m.
Convening by Martha Pollack, President of Cornell University

4:40 to 5 p.m.
Keynote by Mariët Westermann, Executive Vice President for Programs and Research at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

5 to 6 p.m.
Responses from college deans and faculty on the importance of international teaching and research, and their perceived Grand Challenges;
followed by discussion with the audience.
—Rachel Dunifon, Interim Dean, College of Human Ecology, and Professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University
—Daniel W. Fitzgerald, Director of the Center for Global Health, Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
—Joe Thomas, Interim Dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean Emeritus, Professor Emeritus
—Lorin Warnick, DVM, PhD, Austin O. Hooey Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

Einaudi Center Annual Reception
6 to 8 p.m., Klarman Hall Atrium

The reception theme is “Global Engagement and Innovation.”

The reception space will feature project posters from Internationalizing the Cornell Curriculum grant recipients, international offices and campus groups. (Posters also will be on display all day Friday in the conference venue.)

Friday, November 9, 2018                         

Plenary 2 on Grand Challenges: The Way Forward
9:00 – 10:45 a.m., 401 Warren Hall

Moderator: Katherine McComas, Cornell University Vice Provost for Engagement and Land Grant Affairs and Professor of Communication, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

9 a.m.
Convening by Michael I. Kotlikoff, Provost, Cornell University

9:10 to 9:30 a.m.
Keynote by Ray Offenheiser, Director and Keough School Distinguished Professor of the Practice at the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, University of Notre Dame

9:30 to 10:45 a.m.
Responses from college deans on the importance of international teaching and research, and their perceived Grand Challenges
—Kathryn Jean Boor, Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
—David Erickson, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, and Sibley College Professor of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Cornell University
—Ray Jayawardana, Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University
—Eduardo Peñalver, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Cornell University

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Coffee Break

Plenary 3 on Grand Challenges: The View from the Regions
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Moderator: Durba Ghosh, Professor of History, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University

11:00 to 11:20 a.m.
Keynote by Kaushik Basu, C. Marks Professor of International Studies and Professor of Economics, Cornell University

11:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Responses from directors of Cornell’s regional programs:
—Cornell Institute for European Studies with Director Esra Akcan, Associate Professor of Architecture, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Cornell University
—East Asia Program with Director Pedro Erber, Associate Professor of Romance Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University
—Institute for African Development with Director Muna Ndulo, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Cornell University
—Latin American Studies Program with Director Kenneth Roberts, Professor of Government, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University
—South Asia Program with Director Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor of History of Art, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University
—Southeast Asia Program with Director Abby Cohn, Professor of Linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Lunch with interactive art performance

1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Small Group Discussions of “Grand Challenges”

Moderators: David R. Lee, International Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, College of Business, Cornell University; and Melina Draper, Associate Director of Inclusive Teaching, Center for Teaching Innovation, Cornell University

Working groups will divide according to themes, discuss in parallel, and generate more poster-size sheets of notes. These discussions will generate ideas and questions that will feed into the closing plenary and into the selection of a theme for 2019-2020.

Closing Plenary: Grand Challenges
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Moderator: Alexander Travis, Associate Dean for International Programs and Global Health, Professor of Reproductive Biology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
Discussion by:
—Ronnie Coffman, Andrew H. & James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor, Director of International Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
—Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Professor and Chair, Department of Development Sociology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
—Sarah Kreps, Associate Professor of Government, Adjunct Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, and member of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Cornell University
—David M. Lodge, the Francis J. DiSalvo Director, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University
—Mor Naaman, Associate Professor of Information Science at the Jacobs Institute, Cornell Tech, and founder of the Connective Media Hub

4:15 to 4:30 p.m.
Final, wrap-up thoughts from keynote speakers

4:30 to 5 p.m.
Closing discussion, including questions and comments emerging from the previous working group discussions