2021 Annual Gathering

University Global Coalition 2021 Virtual Gathering

Monday 27 September & Tuesday 28 September 2021

Recordings from the Gathering

The 2021 gathering was held on 27-28 September, 2021. Visit our Videos page to watch recordings from the gathering!

Conference Report

View a summary of conference proceedings and information on attendees and impact in the UGC Annual Conference 2021 Report.

Day 1 Schedule: September 27; 7 p.m.-10 p.m. EDT

7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. EDT: Day 1 Opening: Welcome, plenary panel on SDG2: Zero Hunger

8:00-8:45 p.m.: Concurrent sessions

  • From Eco-San Latrines to Diversity in Ocean Science: Driving Sustainable Change Through Collaborative Student Projects
  • Students Leading the Way in SDG Engagement
  • Human Dignity as the Strategy for Reduced Inequalities
  • Developing Sustainable Solutions for Female Entrepreneurs in a Rural Mexican Community through Academic and Social Partnerships
  • Collaborating Across Institutions to Advance Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

8:45-9:00 p.m.: Networking/video break

9:00-9:30 p.m.: Plenary panel: Connecting People to Real World Sustainability Projects

9:30-10 p.m.: Facilitated networking discussions


Day 2 Schedule: September 28; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT

9:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m. EDT: Day 2 Opening: Welcome, keynote speaker Brighton Kaoma, plenary panel featuring the Millennium Fellowship

9:45-10:30 a.m. ET: Concurrent sessions

  • Proyecto 5+5: COIL with an SDG focus
  • Examining Students’ Engagement in Blended Learning: A Case Study of African Development University
  • Reinforcing the SDGs through Open Innovation
  • SDG Reporting: A Voluntary University Review Workshop
  • Powering Purpose-led University-Urban Partnerships for the Goals

10:30-11:00 a.m. ET: Facilitated networking discussions

11:00-11:45 a.m. ET: Concurrent sessions

  • Farming around the World: Globally Empowering Student Farms
  • Glocal (globally local) Exchange: A Learning Community in Response to Pandemic Food Insecurity
  • Strengthening the Local Value Chain of Research to Boost Development and Overcome Global Underrepresentation
  • Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development: Embedding Research-based Education for Sustainable Development in Research Active Universities
  • Coordinating Holistic Social Impact Education
  • Interdisciplinary Learning and Research: UN SDGs Across an Equitable and Inclusive Curriculum

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET: Concurrent sessions

  • Creating a Global Learning Community Through Digital Storytelling
  • Healing a Generation: Higher Education Curricula for Venezuelan Journalism Students Living Under Structural Violence to Promote a Transition into Democracy
  • Planeación e inclusión social: claves para la territorialización de los ODS en Colombia
  • Partnerships in Research, Academics, and Operations to Advance the SDGs: A Case Study of George Mason University
  • Scaling Sustainable Impact through University-Based Social Innovation Accelerators

12:30-1:00 p.m. ET: Closing: Plenary panel on SDG13: Climate Action and closing words


2021 Conference Theme: Building Connections & Action for the SDGs

Launched in 2019 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and collective action in higher education to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the University Global Coalition (UGC) recognizes that the two years since its formation have seen monumental shifts. The challenges of the pandemic have shown us the interconnectivity of the SDGs while illuminating and increasing challenges in equity, justice, and accessibility both in higher education and beyond. The UGC seeks to use our 2021 Annual Gathering to empower individuals and universities to act upon the SDGs and connect to others in the field, with a focus on increasing accessibility, rebuilding a more just and equitable world, and growing future generations of leaders. Given the 2021 global milestones of COP26, the UN Food Systems Summit, and the ongoing challenges of accessibility, equity, and justice deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will use these milestones to guide this year’s program, while allowing space for a variety of SDG-related discussions. 

This year’s conference is on two dates at different times to encourage participation from around the world. Each date will feature interactive opening and closing plenaries, topical and SDG-based networking sessions, and presentations in the form of panels, small workshops, or guided conversations. 


2021 Conference Media Kit available now!



A special thank you to the UGC conference planning committee:

Arturo Condo, President, EARTH University (Committee Chair)

Shinki An, Director, Yonsei Institute for Global Health, Yonsei University College of Medicine

Afroditi Anastasaki, Partnerships Consultant, Office of Executive Director, UNITAR

Felipe Castro, Director (e) Centro ODS para América Latina y el Caribe, Universidad de los Andes

Sally Crimmins Villela, Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs, State University of New York

Drew Cutright, Program Manager, Georgia Institute of Technology

Gbemi Disu, Executive Director, Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Emine Mavi, Adjunct Instructor, Koç University

Leah Nichols, Executive Director, Institute for a Sustainable Earth, George Mason University

Rena Polat Korkmaz, Team Leader, International Exchange Programs and Partnership Development, Koç University

Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Dean – Global Affairs, Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, University of California, Davis

Amanda Wendt, Professor, EARTH University

Yael Yahya Bali, Academic Planning and Development Director, Koç University

And communications support from:

Juanita Perez Rojas, Manager Digital Centro ODS para América Latina y el Caribe

Lady Chaparro, Graphic Designer, Digital Centro ODS para América Latina y el Caribe


Support Provided by: