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Previous Work

The 2023 Global University Climate Forum will build on a series of student workshops hosted by institutions like the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and

the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN). Previous workshops included:

  • A two-day workshop during the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) where student groups from 15 universities each submitted proposals for an ambitious-yet-achievable project to implement on their campus

  • A one day “competition” in 2012 in partnership with Fundação Getulio Vargas and the University of Massachusetts Boston during the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro

  • (Rio+20) where student teams from 19 universities on six continents offered their ideas for community-scale projects.

  • A one-day conference during the 2015 Paris Climate Negotiations where over 125 students from 30 universities presented their actionable world-changing ideas to a set of expert reviewers. (See the full report here)

  • A year-long program centered around the 2021 Glasgow Climate Negotiations where nearly 600 students from 44 countries actively participated in programming while implementing their ideas and reporting on their progress. (See the final publication here)

  • A 6-month online program where 16 teams from 20 countries developed innovative ideas in their contexts and communities, aiming to bring young voices to decision-making spaces. Final reports were added to The Knowledge Sector Publication.


Each year the Forum is offered, different people and partners come together to ensure success. Information on the 2023 people and partners will be augmented as the program advances.


Organizers are the core team – they are responsible for running the program, supporting student teams, and maintaining communications and visibility.

  • Melissa Brown Goodall: Program Director

  • Victoria Smith – Executive Director, ISCN

  • Karla Terroba – Program Manager

Steering Committee

A globally diverse Steering Committee makes foundational decisions about the program and supports the organizers in developing an excellent program for



Partners are networks and universities that have offered support –whether it is financial or in kind – to make the Forum possible.

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN)

  • International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU)


Reviewers are experts from partner organizations around the world who have agreed to evaluate applications. They will provide feedback on the submitted

proposals according to the criteria established for selection, including, but not limited to viability, measurability, replicability, and scale of impact.


Throughout the program, Speakers from around the world offer their expert insights through workshops and panel discussions. The chosen speakers are as diverse as possible, and selected based on their ability to speak about topics that are not so likely to be offered in a typical classroom.


During the workshops, Facilitators will introduce speakers and guide discussion between students following the presentations.


Provided upon request, Mentors will offer student teams guidance, motivation, feedback, and networking opportunities to ensure that proposals are implemented, incorporating the guidelines and skills learned at the workshop.


Meet the Team


Environmental Innovations Initiative

Founded in 2020, the mission of the Environmental Innovations Initiative is to catalyze solutions to significant real-world environmental

challenges. One of the oldest higher education institutions in the United States, the University of Pennsylvania has a proud tradition oftranslating knowledge into social-minded action that dates back to its founder, Benjamin Franklin.


International Sustainable Campus Network

The mission of the International Sustainable Campus Network is to provide an international forum to support higher education institutions in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching.

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