“We must work broadly, with the academic community, with civil society, with the private sector, and with the media, to come up with comprehensive and complex approaches to our most difficult challenges.”

– U.S. Ambassador to the UN and other International Organizations in Genava



Globalization has brought new challenges that appear to be beyond the ability of our current institutions to address. In response there is a need to generate new educational opportunities on a global basis. This will allow the exploration of more partnership-oriented solutions to contemporary threats and risks. The Global Challenges Forum Foundation is working with others to create a Global Partnership Network as a “Forum of Forums” for governmental and non-governmental partners to have a common stake in establishing an entity that is:


  • Practical and pragmatic
  • Characterized by openness and transparency
  • Involving shared risk and work towards mutual benefits
  • With trust and reciprocity as foundation for accountability
  • Focused on developing a common framework for global education



Since 2017, The Global Challenges Forum Foundation has transitioned from a group of ad hoc forum structures bolstering other organization’s events to establishing three permanent and mutually supporting Forums of its own. These three Forums constitute the primary platform for the Global Partnership Network. It consists of:
    1. The Global Strategic Forum

Fostering a network of Think Tanks

    1. The Integrated Learning Forum

Fostering a network of Educational Institutions

    1. The Sustainable Development Forum

Fostering a network of Civil Society Organizations


DevelopmentThe Global Strategic Forum

Chaired By Dr. Walter Christman

Instability, regional conflict, climate change, and food security are just some of the multitude of issues that the world will face in the next millennium. These problems will no longer be confined to national borders; by their very nature, they ignore boundaries and spill over entire continents. There exists a need for an international organization to step in and to provide expert analysis, conducted by subject matter experts with years of experience addressing such issues.

The Global Strategic Forum (GSF) addresses these issues from the vantage point of Think Tanks to fill that need. By bringing together experts from many different fields to discuss global challenges and solutions for them, the GSF provides unique expert-­level analysis by individuals who not only have thought on these issues in the past, but who are in positions to make a difference. The GSF is the senior Capstone within the “Forum of Forums” and facilitates specialized conferences on different global challenges and then unites the proceedings from all of the individual conferences into one larger summit, held as Member organizations may desire.

GCF11_Cyber_48px x 48pxGlobal Strategic Forum Focus Topic

Cyber Security

The rise of the Internet and other networks has brought with it a whole new set of security challenges, not to mention threats to national infrastructure. Unlike the energy sector, telecommunications is not bound by physical borders. The near impossibility of simply shutting down and impeding access creates a plethora of security challenges which require both technological and policy responses.

A major challenge is the lack of a globally applicable legal framework to address Internet security governance. Unlike military conflicts, at present, there are no legal mechanisms that could be invoked to address a cyber attack perpetrated by one country against another, for example. Addressing such a situation would require prior bilateral agreements between the states concerned. On an even more basic level, there is no global consensus on what constitutes a cyber security crime. This deficiency assumes a whole new level of importance, given that criminals are not the only source of cyber threats; a considerable number of individuals seek to challenge themselves intellectually and in so doing have made governments their prime targets. While states can be victims of cyber attacks, they can also be perpetrators. Cyber security encompasses more than just Internet security. It also applies to networks managing critical infrastructure like nuclear power stations, banking facilities, e-voting, or border access. The subversion of such networks represents a major challenge to global security.


GCF11_Maritime_48px x 48pxGlobal Strategic Forum Focus Topic

Maritime Security

Maritime security carries its own specific risks and challenges. The world’s oceans play a role in and influence several other security-related areas. For instance, the world’s oceans play a crucial role in mitigating global climate change. In addition, they determine weather patterns, are a key vector of transportation and illegal migration, the scene of piracy, host undersea cables, and are subject to fishing rights. Given the complexity of the marine system, there is an urgent need to create an international framework to govern the world’s oceans. Although regional frameworks do exist, they are subject to numerous challenges, while bilateral agreements are proliferating. Yet, a holistic approach is missing.


GCF11_Human_48px x 48pxThe Integrated Learning Forum

Chaired by Dr. Ken Gnanakan

The world is in dire need of new models of integrated education for sustainable development. Holism in education requires critical thinking as well as creativity and the whole person as a part of a creative process. Emerging global challenges and risks increasingly underscore the importance of the individual working collaboratively with others around the globe to learn and share with each other, as they examine the complex problems of their regions and our world. Short-term solutions are being considered, but we need long-term ones that will better equip people to face “the uncertainties of the future.” Lack of access to education is a major challenge that affects millions of peoples around the globe. Most of the world population is considered to be under-educated, mostly young girls and women. A transformative education initiative is urgently needed in order to facilitate and promote education, mainly within the poorest areas of the world.

Integrated Learning is required to assure holistic approaches to a wide variety of issues including public health emergencies and infectious diseases, new conflicts and post-war situations, climate change and migration, and the financial crisis and deficiencies in international norms. The Integrated Learning Forum (ILF) proposes that all our solutions hinge around sustainable development and therefore what we need are new models of education for sustainable development at all levels of the global society. Included is a look at the development of digital cooperatives that capitalizes on emerging information technologies for distributed learning and is enhanced by a federation of educational institutions, research institutes and think-tanks. There is an urgent need for Integrated Learning models that promote sustainable economies, businesses, and energy utilization, while providing water and food for a world population that could reach more than nine billion people by the middle of this century. The world is beginning to recognize that these threats are derived from the growth of unsustainable economic and development systems worldwide and must be addressed, not just by individual nations, but also through global partnerships that address the threatening contemporary challenges. And for this, education is the key.

GCF11_Economic_48px x 48pxThe Sustainable Development Forum

Chaired by Mr. Edward Wood

One of the main challenges facing the poorest countries and their most remote areas is the lack of proper development, in any form that it may take. From critical infrastructure and safety to environmental and health, a large part of the world’s population live in under-developed areas in which the much needed development will only take place through inclusive global efforts within a scope of cooperative partnerships that involves all sectors including government, public, and private.

What is sustainable economic development and how can it be defined? For some the simple condition of having an income which guarantees a decent standard of living represents economic stability. For others it is the availability of stable resources now and for the foreseeable future which constitutes economic stability. Whatever the point of view, it seems clear that economic stability goes beyond mere physical survival to include a situation wherein an individual or groups of individuals and communities have sufficient resources to participate in society economically, socially and politically in the life of a society. Attempts to evaluate current economic security on a national and global level, resulted in participants pointing out that while globalization and particularly trade have resulted in increased standards of living, they have not been without their problems and that there have been with both winners and losers in the process. Nevertheless, trade partners have been shown to be less likely to engage in conflict with each other than non-trading states. Looked at from this perspective, trade could be seen as fostering national and global security.

GCF11_Energy2_48px x 48pxSustainable Development Focus Topic
Energy Security

Energy has emerged as a critical topic in global discourse. Supply-side challenges include the risks associated with exploration of new oil fields; problems inherent to the transport of oil and gas; and conveyance to and reception at destination hubs. Maritime transportation was under much scrutiny since it raises growing concerns surrounding pollution, terrorism and piracy.  Demand-side challenges include satisfying growing demand for energy in a world facing increasing resource constraints. One solution rests in increasing energy efficiency and diversifying energy sources to reduce dependency on oil and limit carbon emissions. However, achieving this remains a major challenge.

The differing perspectives between energy suppliers, for example oil-producing countries, and energy consumers, add another layer of complication to the debate. For oil-producing countries, energy security is first and foremost a question of policy tackling incentives for further investment in production.