Events Infographic


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One of the three priorities in UNSW's 2025 Strategy is social engagement and improving lives through equality, diversity, open debate and economic progress. Harnessing UNSW's intellectual capacity to deliver expert contributions through a variety of timely events has established the University as a leading centre for discussion, debate and policy on the grand challenges facing humanity.

Grand Challenges Program

UNSW aims to lead the debate and shape the public discourse on the greatest issues facing humanity. The Grand Challenges Program has been established to facilitate these critical discussions, and in the process, raise awareness of the ground-breaking research and excellent initiatives undertaken by UNSW academics, staff and students.

There were three declared Grand Challenge topics in 2016 – Climate Change; Refugees and Migrants; and Inequality and each topic continues to be curated with a full program of events and activities for both staff and students to contribute to. There are events, presentations and talks are often recorded and available to view on the Grand Challenges website. Future Grand Challenges to be addressed include: energy, water, equality, urbanisation, ageing, poverty and security.


Forum.@UNSW has been established as an overarching structure tasked with driving and promoting both the existing forums at UNSW and the new initiatives that arise from the Grand Challenges Program. Forum.@UNSW brings community leaders, strategists and innovators together with academics and students to identify and explore the most appropriate actions and solutions to the problems facing humanity. Forum.@UNSW has also forged links with external media partners and facilitates open digital platforms, community meetings, public lectures, debates and discussion groups.

Global Climate Change Week

Global Climate Change Week (GCCW) is a global movement that was established in 2015 and aims to encourage academic communities, including academics, students, and non-academic staff at universities; in all disciplines and countries to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate change action and solutions.

Held annually in October, GCCW provides an open-ended framework for voluntary activities aimed at raising awareness, inspiring behaviour change, and driving political transformation in relation to climate policy. Fourteen events were held at UNSW across the GCCW in 2016.

Other events

In addition to the above highlights, there were hundreds of sustainability focused events run throughout 2016 by the more than 60 UNSW research centres and affiliated institutes that have a full or part focus on environmental, social or economic sustainability.