2017 GUNi’s projects, engaging Higher Education for social responsability


We are pleased to announce our coming exciting projects for the 2017. We would like to share them not only with the whole GUNi network, but also with everyone that has an interest in the world of higher education and knowledge in the broadest sense.

We are about to begin a year that will bring us many questions and shared challenges. In the increasingly more complex, dynamic and interconnected world in which we live (whether on an economic, social, cultural or technological scale) we are once again faced by the quandary between action on a local scale and global action on a planet-wide scale. And, in this context, knowledge and human capital are becoming key factors for understanding and dealing with major social challenges.

In this regard, we are still convinced of the huge potential of the GUNi to become a key agent in the knowledge society both on a global scale and, at the same time, in relation to regional and local concerns. As we have said on other occasions, there are few institutions today that have as much potential as the GUNi: more than 200 institutions and universities in 78 different countries, based on the strategic partnership between UNESCO, the United Nations University and the Associació Catalana d’Universitats Públiques (ACUP).

In 2017, the GUNi will be presenting the 6th and latest World Report Towards a Socially Responsible University: Balancing the Global with the Local. The first official presentation will be held in Barcelona on March 10, and over the following months further presentations are being planned in different cities around the world and at international congresses and meetings. Likewise, 2017 will see the GUNi set up new lines of work and new projects. First of all, it is running the International Summer School on Higher Education and Research. For a whole week of June in Barcelona, a variety of activities (seminars, courses and congresses) will be taking place that share the common factor of fostering the policies and management of higher education and research on an international scale. The International Summer School, promoted by the GUNi in partnership with different Catalan and international institutions, aims to become an annual meeting point for anyone with an interest in the world of higher education in its broadest sense: not just university institutions and their managerial boards, but also governments and public agencies, stakeholders and international institutions. Specifically, one of the main activities for 2017 will be the International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals: actors and implementation, which will be held in Barcelona on June 15 and 16 with the participation of speakers and experts from all around the world, and which you are invited to attend.

Also in 2017, the GUNi will be setting up three new lines of work that we consider to form a strategic part of the debate on higher education. The first concerns the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the role of higher education institutions and other stakeholders; the second line of work concerns interactions between cities and universities in the knowledge society on an international scale; and the third line refers to innovation in university training and new professional profiles and new labour markets.

As you can see, it’s going to be a year full of exciting projects that we would like to share not only with the whole GUNi network, but also with everyone that has an interest in the world of higher education and knowledge in the broadest sense. You are all very welcome!

Josep M. Vilalta
Executive Director
Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi)



  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya