Honors’ Global Challenges Events

Interdisciplinary Answers

Angélica Cházaro speaking while Megan Ming-Francis and Tom Ikeda listen
2018 GCIA Speakers (Tom Ikeda, Megan Ming-Francis, Angélica Cházaro)

Watch the 2018 Global Challenges Event Here


In Honors’ Global Challenges series, students’ greatest concerns set the focus of a lively public conversation. Experts from different backgrounds demonstrate the importance of critical thought and inclusive communication around pervasive problems in our world.

Every year, students from HONORS 100 are asked to answer the question: “What keeps you up at night?”. This question gets right at the core of the pressing global issues on the minds of our students. After doing so, we seek out passionate experts in the community with a stake in the issues at hand: professors, entrepreneurs, activists, and more. Each year, three of these community members come together to discuss the varied nature of these global challenges, and a conversation develops between the speakers and the audience. By the end of the night, you’ll leave the venue with an increased sense of global awareness and desire to make an impact.

“There are so many facets to the issues and so many questions that need to be asked in order to find solutions.”

-Kimberly Ruth, Honors student

students clean up a mess in national park
Honors students work on the messy stuff together

The things we worry about are multi-faceted and complex. Climate change, rights, poverty, fake news; all of these topics require multiple perspectives.  Each year, three new speakers are recruited to shed light on a pervasive problem. These speakers have come from a range of areas of expertise, ranging from Climate Science to Anthropology. In recent years, Honors has made an effort to include speakers from outside academia, such as with Randy Engstrom from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, or Tom Ikeda from the Japense-American history organization, Densho. The goal of gathering these speakers from seemingly unrelated areas is so our discussion is able to consider the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the global challenge. Only by understanding various viewpoints on a topic can we attempt to reach a comprehensive solution or set of solutions.

“Our solution is storytelling…If you can come up with a really powerful narrative and tell stories in an effective way, you transcend some of the challenges we have right now. If you can find a narrative that both groups or identities can agree upon, then you can start agreeing upon what path you can take to make that change.”

-Hanson Hossein, 2015 Speaker

How it works

  • Honors freshmen set the topic
  • Staff and faculty identify three diverse, dynamic speakers
  • Everybody is invited to join the conversation

Past events

GCIA Timeline
  • Health and Poverty, 2015
    • LaShawnDa Pittman (American Ethnic Studies)
    • Chandan Reddy (Gender, Women & Sexuality)
    • Steve Gloyd (Global Health/Medicine)