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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

At Northwestern Buffett, we're asking hard questions...

  1. Can social media rebuild journalistic freedom?
  2. Can marginalized communities reverse the environmental challenges that impact them

... and we're finding new partners to help answer them.

  1. Can universities across the world partner to solve today's toughest problems?
  2. Can students build a grassroots movement to improve health around the world?

The new genius is a collaborative genius. Discover the ways Buffett is bringing teams together to solve complex problems.

Start discovering

We believe that relationships – among individuals and institutions, globally and locally – can fuel knowledge and develop solutions to global challenges.

Enabling Collaboration

Northwestern Buffett provides the institutional support needed to bring together and catalyze new ideas.

A New Model for Research

Buffett's multi-stage research trajectory starts with dialogue. Faculty from across the University explore real-world problems from interdisciplinary perspectives. To continue work on the topic, discussion groups can participate in our Idea Incubation Workshop, a three-day event to plan for ongoing collaboration as funded Buffett Working Groups. Watch the video to see our process in action.

Explore our APPROACH

Building a Global Alliance

Together with faculty, university leadership, and partner institutions, Northwestern Buffett is creating a global alliance. More than a simple partnership, the “alliance” of universities focuses on stimulating and sharing in research, teaching, and global engagement to collaboratively respond to social challenges. It will create a network that will benefit faculty, students, scholars, and participating institutions, as well as local communities.

Learn about Northwestern's Global Alliance

Reporting Islam conference
The idea workshop is intended to move us beyond the 'what' questions and instead ask us how we can generate research that is meaningful, relevant, actionable and rigorous.”
Kimberley Marion Suyseesa
Kimberley Marion Suyseesa

Assistant Professor of Political Science and member of Northwestern Buffett’s Disproportionate Impacts of Environmental Challenges Working Group.

One of the strengths of having an interdisciplinary team and the support of the Buffett Institute is that we have relationships around the world. ”
Patty Leow
Patty Leow

Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research and member of Northwestern Buffett’s Disproportionate Impacts of Environmental Challenges Working Group.

Driving Northwestern's Global Efforts

Russia Returns panel discussion

Northwestern Buffett is an integrated organization with offices that facilitate global learning and research and serve international students, scholars, and faculty. It also plays a key role in developing and implementing Northwestern's global strategic plan, which will be available in Spring 2020. 

Read more about the ways Northwestern Buffett is globalizing the university.

Join Us

Participate in our critical work.

Explore opportunities to collaborate with Buffett as a researcher, a student, a potential partner, or a member of the public.


Prisons: A Petri Dish for COVID-19

Northwestern University professor and Prison Education Program (NPEP) Director Dr. Jennifer Lackey and Uptown People’s Law Center Executive Director Alan Mills joined the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs for a discussion on COVID-19 contagion in U.S. prisons and what measures could help curtail it.  They were joined by NPEP student Antonio McDowell, who was recently released from Illinois’ Stateville Correctional Center and shared his firsthand account of serving time there amidst COVID-19. Here are three key takeaways:


The Art and Science of Achieving Sustainable Community Developmen...

July 22, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

This webinar will discuss some features of sustainable development internships in the broad community development practi...