UCL is delighted to be a founder member of the new U7 Alliance, which brings together leading universities from across the G7 countries, aiming to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.
Launched on Wednesday 5 June 2019, the U7 Alliance, is an international partnership of university presidents from research-intensive institutions, who will work together to find solutions and make commitments to address the major global challenges, such as climate change and inequality.
More than 30 universities from the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) have founded the U7 Alliance.
UK institutions to join are UCL, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and LSE. International partners include Columbia University (United States), University of Toronto (Canada), Ludwig Maximilian University (Germany), University of Naples Federico II (Italy) and Sciences Po and Paris Sciences et Lettres (France).
In creating the U7 Alliance, the world’s leading universities recognise they have a unique responsibility as global actors, in fields well beyond academia, to take concrete action both together and within their institutions for a local, regional and global impact.
UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, said: “This special international alliance brings together more than 30 leading universities, who all have a passion for sharing knowledge, finding solutions and making a positive difference to the world.
“The global challenges we face are significant, from climate change, to disparities in global health, the increased polarisation of societies and widening inequalities. We also need to better utilise our transformative technologies, to bring about wider innovation that benefits more of society.
“Universities are uniquely placed to bring together research, expertise and best practices, which can positively affect our local, national and international communities.
“UCL has already started addressing some of these problems through our six Grand Challenges, focusing on a culture of cross-disciplinary research and collaborations to find new ways of working and interventions, which can make a significant global impact.
“The U7 Alliance will stimulate discussion and ideas, with a view to making long-lasting commitments and taking concrete action and, in doing so, we can further demonstrate the public good of universities.”
Contribution to multilateral discussion
The U7 Alliance will meet yearly for an annual summit to discuss a common agenda and establish a space for universities’ action in today’s global landscape.
The inaugural summit will be held in Paris on 9 to 10 July 2019, reflecting the G7’s current presidency, which is held by the French President, Emmanuel Macron.
This summit will tackle five major global challenges: the key role of universities in a global world; climate change and cleaner energy; inequality and polarised societies; technological transformations; and community engagement and impact.
Hosted at Sciences Po, the summit will conclude with 15 concrete commitments, as voted on by the university presidents.
For the first U7 Alliance summit, invitations have also been extended to institutions in 14 other countries – Argentina, Morocco, Senegal, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, India, Ghana, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and Mexico.
This communication was first published 5 June 2019 by the University College London.