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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Our Work and Impact

Northwestern Buffett’s Idea Incubation Process empowers researchers and thought leaders from all walks of life to tackle complex problems together in a multicultural context. A creative and iterative approach helps groups produce substantive solutions to shared global challenges as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2021–22, more than 70 researchers from 27 Northwestern University departments and 9 Northwestern schools have participated in the Idea Incubation Process, which will result in new Global Working Groups dedicated to engaging in research activities for real-world impact.




Leaders in the 21st century must be agile thinkers and doers who can navigate ambiguity, embrace diverse viewpoints and rapidly adapt to new technologies. Northwestern Buffett’s Global Learning Office prepares students to collaborate effectively across borders of all kinds through international learning experiences that foster cross-cultural communication, collaboration, empathy and humility. Our Office of Global Safety and Security supports the health, safety and security of students, faculty and staff who travel abroad, while our Office of International Student and Scholar Services advises, advocates on behalf of and develops cultural exchange programming for Northwestern’s international populations. 

fostering-transnational-dialogue.jpgAs part of our mission to create new models of global collaboration, we’ve developed innovative ways to foster transnational dialogue on critical global challenges. This includes our Breaking Boundaries podcast, which spotlights stories of successful collaborations fueling progress toward reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; our Fireside Chat series, which provides a forum for leading thinkers; and our multilingual Meridian 180 community, which brings scholars and practitioners together for multilingual dialogue on pressing global challenges. Northwestern Buffett also leads Secretariat activities for the U7+ Alliance of World Universities, a global coalition of higher education institutions spanning six continents and seeking to find solutions to global challenges in coordination with G7 governments and beyond.


Learn more about our work and impact.