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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Buffett Briefs

Our Buffett Briefs illustrate how our Global Working Groups are tackling the most pressing issues of our time through collaborative research across disciplines and geographies.

Broken pill capsule

Antibiotic Resistance

Through global efforts to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistant-infections, hundreds of thousands of lives can be saved. A new collaboration across disciplines and geographies is helping to coordinate these efforts.
Waves over ice

Climate Crisis + Media Arts

Media will play a critical role in shifting public perceptions of climate change from an impending threat to a present emergency. Yet today’s depictions of the climate crisis primarily illustrate possible environmental futures as opposed to depicting how people and animals are living and dying within a changing climate right now.

Hot sun in Chicago

Defusing Disasters

Climate change is propelling heat waves to new extremes. Governments must build resilience to protect vulnerable communities. A partnership in Chicago shows promise for producing a globally applicable but locally informed model.
Faculty members in the Global Working Group

Disproportionate Impacts of Environmental Challenges

Collaboration between Indigenous peoples and the scientific community has emerged as imperative for developing effective approaches to mitigating the impacts of climate change on communities worldwide.

Abstract faces of women

Empowering the Next Generation of Women Leaders

Women enter universities with lower leadership aspirations than men—a disparity that compounds over time in higher education and workplace outcomes. Programs designed to foster women’s leadership identities and skills early in life can help address this gap.

Justice icon with faces in background

Epistemic Reparations

Current reparation processes neglect survivor and victim storytelling and remembrance of human rights violations. Reparations require codifying “a right to be known” and offering survivors and victims of human rights violations platforms for telling their stories. 

"Thank you" in different languages

Language Curricula and Gender Equality

Although researchers have explored gender inequities in education, few have focused on how language curricula and materials can perpetuate these inequalities. New insights are emerging.

Glass of water's shadow

Making Water Insecurity Visible

Over one in four people worldwide still experience water insecurity, and climate change threatens to reverse recent improvements. A new interdisciplinary, transnational research collaboration is accelerating progress towards global targets for water security.

Digital image of a face and audio waveform

The Rise of AI and Deepfakes

AI-generated deepfake media is a growing threat to international security, yet a group of researchers are showing how deepfakes may also hold promise for counterterrorism. Through smart policies, public awareness campaigns and technical countermeasures, the threat of deepfakes may be mediated, while the promise harnessed responsibly.

Wind in leaves

Trauma, Music and the Breath

Mental health challenges have become prevalent among young people. There is a critical need for innovative, cost-effective approaches to providing public services that alleviate mental health challenges and foster youth wellbeing.