UCLA Grand Challenges leads workshop on University-Led Grand Challenge Community of Practice

October 9, 2017
Day 2 of UCLA’s workshop on University-Led Grand Challenges at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center.
UCLA Grand Challenges

On October 5 and October 6, 2017 UCLA hosted a two-day workshop and strategy session for universities currently engaged with or exploring grand challenges. Over 40 university professionals from a range of backgrounds from 21 universities across the country attended to share best practices, learn about others’ experiences, and create a framework for a formal community of practice.

The workshop was opened with keynote talks from Michelle Popowitz, JD, MPH (UCLA Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research & Co-Founder for UCLA Grand Challenges) and Thomas Kalil (Senior Advisor of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Group, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC Berkeley and former White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director). These sessions were followed by lightning talks from Randy Moses (The Ohio State University), Jennifer Lyon Gardner (The University of Texas at Austin), Eva Allen (Indiana University), Casandra Rauser (UCLA), Rich Halverson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Raymond Duvall (University of Minnesota), breakout sessions, a crash course in “SMART” goals by Cristin Dorgelo, a fireside chat with Michelle Popowitz and Faith Kirkham Hawkins (Indiana University Associate Vice President for Research) and a special address from Chancellor Block sharing his experiences as the first campus leader to pursue Grand Challenges. The event was masterfully facilitated by Cristin Dorgelo (Former Chief of Staff for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and former OSTP Assistant Director for Grand Challenges).

Universities at various stages of Grand Challenge efforts were in attendance – from those “Grand Challenge-curious” to others fully immersed in their own high-impact endeavors. Staff members from the Association of Public and Land-grand Universities (APLU) and Elsevier were also in attendance, as well as Seth Kahan (Founder of Visionary Leadership), who is currently penning a book about individuals and organizations pursuing Grand Challenges.

Day 2 was reserved for a strategy session for a smaller subset of these participants engaged in grand challenge-like efforts to discuss shared opportunities and needs of the community, including the formation of a community of practice. A report on the workshop and strategy session will be published in February 2018. In the interim, UCLA will take the lead in formalizing the initial community of practice.

This workshop and strategy session were made possible through the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt who approached Michelle Popowitz to lead this national convening.

If you are interested in learning more about the event or community of practice, please contact grandchallenges@ucla.edu.

See related stories:

UCLA releases Report on University-Led Grand Challenges UCLA Grand Challenges Happenings, 13 Feb 2018

UCLA recently launched a Community of Practice for universities currently leading or exploring leading Grand Challenge efforts UCLA Grand Challenges, 31 Jan 2018