Messages to the Georgetown Community

JANUARY 15, 2015

To the Members of the Georgetown University Community

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am writing to announce the launch of Global Futures, a university-wide collaboration designed to advance our mission and values in ways that recognize and address the critical challenges facing the global community.

Over the next two years, Global Futures will invite members of our community to undertake innovative teaching, research, and dialogue with world leaders in the public sector, business, and civil society around complex and pressing global issues. Our goal is to draw on Georgetown’s distinctive character—our strengths across academic disciplines, our Catholic and Jesuit identity, and our presence in Washington, D.C.—to develop the model of an engaged global university in service to the wider world. I invite you to learn more by visiting the Global Futures website.

The Initiative will develop in thematic areas over four semesters in 2015 and 2016. The theme this first semester is “The Global Future of Development.” A centerpiece will be a series of public lectures to be delivered by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Kaushik Basu on topics ranging from Ebola and climate change to the social and institutional factors at stake in development efforts. Around these and other events, faculty and students will be invited to participate with colleagues worldwide in an online dialogue about development challenges in their practical and ethical dimensions.

Over the course of the Initiative, the Global Futures Curriculum Studio, a collaboration with our Designing the Future(s) of the University initiative, will advance curricular and co-curricular innovations that prepare our students as citizens and leaders in an interdependent world. In the research context, seminars, workshops, and conferences will highlight faculty and student inquiry on global issues and provide opportunities for critical feedback from the Georgetown community and outside experts.

In the fall semester, our Global Futures work will center on governance, and its focus in spring and fall 2016 will be on security and the environment. 

The challenges we face today as a global community are more complex than ever, transcending national and cultural boundaries. I wish to express my gratitude to Thomas Banchoff, our Vice President for Global Engagement, for working closely with members of our faculty to lead this collaborative effort to address the challenges we share. Through the Global Futures framework, we will bring the resources of our university’s distinctive tradition—our academic excellence, our history of broad global engagement—to bear in advancing thoughtful solutions that lead to a better future for all people.


John J. DeGioia