About the Global Engagement Seminar

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Launched in 2018, the Global Engagement Seminar Program is a capstone seminar, bringing together students from across the six faculties and the affiliated colleges to develop greater awareness of contemporary global issues, as well as to work collaboratively to think through creative solutions.

Students work in small-group settings to build collaborative, interdisciplinary, and effective proposals for solving global problems ranging from international governance, violent conflict, food security, indigenous rights, refugee settlement, homelessness, and youth engagement in social policy. Led by the Jarislowsky Fellows – distinguished individuals with records of success either in or outside of academia – and faculty members with research expertise in contemporary global challenges, the program will culminate in a high-profile Summit, offering students the opportunity to showcase their projects and proposals.

Description of academic program

In this seminar we examine contemporary global problems, policies, controversies and challenges and the possibilities for social, economic and political change. The course is designed to facilitate student engagement with experts and practitioners with the aim of developing analytical as well as evidence-based problem-solving skills. The successful student in this course will be able to describe and analyze contemporary global issues, as well as discuss current trends and challenges in theory, policy, and practice.
The aim of this course is to prepare graduates to gain the confidence and the competence to work in an increasingly complex world. The course will focus attention on the relationship between theory and practice, ideas and experience. Students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to apply conceptual understandings as a framework for analyzing and evaluating current issues/problems as well as proposing new models, frameworks, and methods for resolving some of these. Incorporating research from across sectors, including academia, government, civil society, and private industry, the program will develop proposals for various ways that individuals/ organisations/communities can work to cultivate local knowledge and resources which may be used to inform policy and legislation, lead to the development of innovative technologies, etc.

The Global Engagement Seminar Program applies methods drawn from across the disciplines to study global problems where politics, economics, science, philosophy, history, and technology intersect.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be in a position to:
  • Describe key concepts, salient theoretical and practical or policy perspectives on global problems or challenges that are faced across the globe; 
  • Understand how individual and collective responsibilities are marked and shaped by privilege and marginalisation, whether by wealth or poverty, identity, geography; 
  • Think critically about and articulate how contemporary socio-cultural-historical-political-economic contexts can influence various aspects of individual and community experiences and their means for facing global challenges;
  • Analyze global problems and shape possible responses to some of these, locally and/or at the global level;
  • Engage with leadership in beyond-the-classroom projects in order to learn the basis for solving real world/global problems;
  • Value as well as broaden their acquired knowledge and skills to help to identify and solve complex global problems beyond their graduation.