Global Columbia Collaboratory

Global Columbia Collaboratory

Reflect. Ideate. Collaborate. 

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Now more than ever, in today’s globally connected world, students need to be empowered as leaders to deal with complexity, diversity, and change to address the global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) invites undergraduates to engage with the broader Columbia global network through the Global Columbia Collaboratory.

Working closely with Columbia Global Centers and Columbia World Projects, the Global Columbia Collaboratory will help students learn more about global challenges, enhance their global competencies by connecting and cooperating across a global network, and empower them to make a difference in the world as global citizens.

All current undergraduates are eligible to apply. Participants will be invited to engage with fellow students and the broader Columbia network to:

  • Participate in regularly scheduled theme-based global seminars from faculty and experts drawn from Columbia’s global networks;

  • Exchange perspectives and engage together in reflection on the global challenges framed by the global seminars; and

  • Engage in collaboration and ideation on projects and ideas that impact today’s society. Selected projects will receive funding to turn their plans into reality and make a difference in the world.

Program Benefits

The Global Columbia Collaboratory will provide participants with opportunities to:

  • Develop a worldwide network of thinkers eager to engage with complex global challenges

  • Learn more about pressing topics of global importance

  • Connect with students world wide and create reflections and collaborations

  • Engage in team-building and interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Explore and construct ways to make an impact locally and globally

  • Strengthen global learning competencies: perspective taking, critical reflection, personal and social responsibility

Global Seminars

Global seminars are led by faculty and experts drawn from the extensive Columbia Global Center networks. These global seminars are open to the public and bring in participants from all around the world. In Summer 2020, the Global Seminars will focus on three key areas related to the COVID-19 epidemic.

These will be scheduled throughout the months of June and July. GCC participants are expected to join all three Global Seminars and engage in active reflection.


Taking part in the Global Columbia Collaboratory provides a space to share and engage with others. Phenomena like the COVID-19 pandemic affect our lives in our local communities and in our interconnected global society. After each Global Seminar, you will be invited to answer questions about the seminar theme and what it means for the communities in which you live and take part.

You will have access to platforms to share your reflection about how the global theme is playing out in your community. This can be a creative digital storytelling or other multimedia project; a literary, artistic, or performance-based contribution; or an analytical take on the theme. You’ll learn from others while you contribute to the documentation of this critical moment in global history.

Collaboration and Ideation

All Global Columbia Collaboratory students will learn from the seminar and reflection experiences. But you will also be able to consider how to take your ideas out into the world.

After each Global Seminar and subsequent reflection period, students will be invited to gather virtually in groups of two or more (ideally from different countries or regions) to consider plans for a social impact project or other kind of collaboration with the potential to help meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the months of June and July, groups will have access to a project management toolbox and advice on how to develop a set of concept notes toward a proposal.

Groups projects may take many different forms, may be process or product-oriented, but they must be able to be shared among the Collaboratory community and beyond. The GCC Advisory Committee will select promising projects to provide funding support to help bring the projects to fruition. Competitive selection criteria include innovation, relevance, feasibility, and impact. If selected, groups will work on their final projects throughout the month of August and will showcase their results at the end of the summer within the Columbia community and beyond.

Apply for Summer 2020

During summer 2020, the Global Columbia Collaboratory will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic with future versions to be structured around UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Timeline and Expectations

Application due: Monday, June 8

June - July (6 week programming):

  • Attend three theme-based Global Seminars facilitated by the Columbia Global Centers with faculty and experts from around the world.

  • Reflect on Global Seminars in creative ways that highlight these themes in action in your community.

  • Work together in groups on how to take your learning out into the world.

  • Some groups will opt to refine their plans into concept notes toward a project for potential recognition and funding.

August (4 weeks):

  • Funded groups will execute their project plans and present their work at the end of the summer.

To ensure that students are able to have the necessary resources to fully participate in the Global Columbia Collaboratory, all participants will be provided with a resource fund to support participation and can include: technology support and/or products, reflection materials and supplies, and miscellaneous expenses.


Taking part in the Global Columbia Collaboratory in summer 2020 provides students with a forum for learning about the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic from international experts and your peers around the world. You will be contributing to documenting global history in the making.

You will consider ways you can make a difference in your community. If you want to sharpen your cross-culture and collaborative skills, enhance your global network, and develop your ideas or your professional portfolio, we want to hear from you.

In order to learn more, please do not hesitate to watch the previously recorded information session webinar below:

Global Columbia Collaboratory Information Session Webinar [pre-recorded].

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to:

Fact Sheet

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Monday, June 8, 2020