Birmingham City Centre, Chamberlain Square

Join the University of Birmingham for the Forum for Global Challenges, 3-5 May 2022

In just a week’s time, people will gather from across the world to share solutions to tackle the world’s global challenges. Experts from business, academia, governments and NGOs will meet at The International Convention Centre in Birmingham, bringing their experience, lessons and inspiration to discussions on how faster and more inclusive progress can be made in addressing climate change and inequalities.

The Forum for Global Challenges is led by the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Global Innovation, working in collaboration with the West Midlands Growth Company, the World Bank, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, UNESCO, UKRI and others, to provide the opportunity to learn, share and innovate.

Get involved!

Multiple sessions across the 2.5 days will give you the opportunity to hear and engage with experts on a range of topics. A series of plenary talks will highlight different perspectives on solving global challenges, with specific topics discussed in detail through our in-depth programme of parallel sessions.


The Forum will open with keynote talks that directly address the main challenges. Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO, will outline how societies can be transformed for equality and sustainability. Jim Skea, co-chair of one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Groups, will share the latest knowledge on how critical climate change is for people and the planet.

We will look at global action, hearing from David Nabarro on how the Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved and from Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO Oxfam GB, on spurring and sustaining international cooperation and action. Femi Oke will talk to Mo Ibrahim, Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Winnie Byamyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS, and Neo Masisi, First Lady of Botswana, on African leadership in tackling global challenges.

We’ll hear from distinguished panels on how policy-makers and civil society are working to catalyse action on climate change and inequalities, and how the world of business is delivering on net zero commitments. Further plenary panels will bring together inspiring youth activists including Earthshot Prize winners and finalists to discuss entrepreneurship and activism on climate change and inequalities, and international leaders on the need to empower women-centred resilience.

Professor Fiona Nunan

Topic Sessions

Hear from experts on healthcare, education, food and nutrition security and gender equality. You’ll have the chance to imagine what a green economy could look like, inspired by the doughnut economics of Kate Raworth and applied by University of Birmingham alumnus Immy Kaur in the city. You will be encouraged to consider how progress should be measured in a fairer, greener world and how the value we see in nature could help protect and restore the natural world.

You’ll learn how cities can lead the way in protecting the environment and how connected urban spaces are providing sustainable solutions to inequalities and climate change. At the Forum, we’ll face the challenges found in the digital space for equality and sustainability, and be inspired by leadership on climate change by climate activists, business leaders and international organisations.

Informed by robust research and extensive experience in business, leadership and policy-making, the conference will bring together cutting-edge evidence for innovative solutions to the global crises we face.

Make new connections!

Whilst the Forum is a hybrid conference, what we’ve really missed over these last two years is face-to-face interaction, making new friends, and forming new collaborations and networks. The Forum will provide multiple opportunities to meet people, interact and network. The welcome reception, ‘meet the speaker’ events and networking cafes will provide you with much-needed space and time to make new connections with people similarly committed to taking urgent action on global challenges.

Register today for the Forum for Global Challenges and follow on Twitter for the latest updates.