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Global Challenges Conferences

Every two years, the Center for Global Initiatives hosts a conference on a major issue of global concern to deepen our understanding of the specific challenges in a global world and to explore possible policy solutions. The conferences bring together scholars and practitioners from around the world and Mount Holyoke to analyze global challenges from cross-disciplinary and cross-national perspectives.

The 2018 conference theme was Global-Local Inequalities: Social Change for Sustainable Communities. Watch the video.

Past Conferences

Photo of homes built over the side of a canal with highrises in the background

Global-Local Inequalities

Change makers from around the world discussed strategies for reducing inequalities.
Future of Jobs logo

The Future of Jobs

Leading authorities from around the world analyzed the consequences of globalization and robotization for the jobs of the future.
Photo of a panel discussion at the Peace Building conference

Peace-Building in Post-Conflict Societies

A conference that examined the question: How can societies build lasting peace when they emerge from violent internal conflicts?
Photo of students enjoying the Development in Crisis Conference

Development in Crisis

Experts examined the triple crisis of development: exclusion of people, an unsustainable growth pattern and lack of structural transformation.
Projection of the earth


Addressed questions such as: Why has migration become such a volatile issue in the 21st century? Are people moving for different reasons than in the past?
Photo of Ruizhuang Zhang, Professor of International Relations, Dean of the Institute of International Studies and Director of the Department of International Relations, Nankai University, China

The Rise of China

Examined questions such as: Can China make its growth compatible with environmental sustainability & growing demands for political rights and citizenship?
Photo of a student asking a question at the Offshore Outsourcing conference

Winners and Losers from Offshore Outsourcing

A day-long intense engagement with the critical challenges and promises of globalizing production and an exploration of policy options.