Past Global Shifts Workshops and Colloquia


Global Shifts Colloquium: Living with Extreme Heat: Our Shared Future | March 21-22, 2023

This event explored how to manage the growing challenge of extreme heat, as climate change sends temperatures climbing around the world. The colloquium examined how heat is affecting almost every aspect of our lives, from healthcare to food, and developed potential policy solutions. Read the report and thought pieces here.

Workshop: Global Climate Finance | October 3, 2022

Together with the Climate Center of the Environmental, Social and Governance Initiative at the Wharton School, Perry World House convened this workshop to examine the role of finance in addressing the climate emergency. It explored how to increase finance to meet adaptation needs globally, especially for those countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, as well as how to assure that financial resources were made more accessible and impactful. The convening also explored the international financial architecture needed to meet the most ambitious of global climate goals and spur a just transition to a post-carbon world. Read the workshop report and thought pieces here


Global Shifts Colloquium: Islands on the Climate Front Line: Risk and Resilience | April 20-21, 2022

This event investigated the climate crisis through the lens of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It asked what policymakers should learn from SIDS, which are among the countries most vulnerable to and affected by the worst impacts of global warming and are therefore at the leading edge of global mitigation and adaptation policymaking. The colloquium provided a platform where world leaders, academics, policymakers, and practitioners openly discussed the origins and future of climate vulnerability in small islands, as well as policies to build climate change resilience. Read the colloquium report and thought pieces here.

Workshop: Financing Urban Adaptation to Address Climate Change | March 23-24, 2022

This workshop, jointly convened by Perry World House, Penn Institute for Urban Research, and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, looked at gaps in climate adaptation finance for cities around the world, especially in low- and moderate-income countries. It brought together urban policy and finance leaders to find ways to spur investment in urban climate change adaptation measures. 


Climate Change and Geopolitics Workshop | June 24, 2021

The acceleration of climate change impacts makes it ever more apparent that climate change will be a defining feature of international relations, international security, and geopolitics for the foreseeable future. Yet for the most part, these fields lack a clear and coherent set of organizing principles to guide scholarly thinking on the effects and implications of climate change. To help address these issues, Perry World House convened a diverse group of scholars and policymakers for a workshop on Climate Change and Geopolitics on June 24, 2021. Click here to read more about the workshop.

COVID-Induced Crises and Refugee Women’s Livelihoods: Promoting Access to Income, Housing, and Healthcare in Global South Cities Workshop | April 15-16, 2021

This workshop convened academics, policymakers, and women refugee activists from around the world to generate new understandings of how urban refugee women have experienced the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to improve women refugees’ access to dignified life. Participants analyzed how access to income, housing, and healthcare have changed during the pandemic for women refugees from Venezuela, Myanmar, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, South Sudan, and Syria. Placing findings in conversation with global trends in forced displacement and economic change, participants also examined the efficacy of interventions targeting women refugees and developed innovative recommendations for addressing interconnected problems of income loss, precarious work, eviction, and declining health and wellbeing. The workshop closed with a keynote address by international human rights activist and former political prisoner Wai Wai Nu, who discussed the challenges and possibilities presented by COVID-19 for Rohingya women refugees living in diaspora with Dr. Shae Frydenlund, a Perry World House Postdoctoral Fellow. 

Global Shifts Colloquium: Locked Down: Global Mobility and COVID-19 | March 23-24 and March 26, 2021

This event brought together academics and policymakers from around the world to analyze how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected global mobility and how to mitigate its negative consequences. Over the course of a two-day academic workshop, participants looked at the efficacy of policies implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they might be improved in case of future pandemics. To close the colloquium, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, delivered a keynote address about COVID-19’s impacts on refugees and the UNHCR’s work in conversation with NPR’s Deborah Amos. Learn more about the Colloquium here.

Global Shifts Colloquium: Seeking Refuge in the Climate Emergency | September 14-16 and September 23, 2020

Experts from around the world met over four days to examine the underlying challenges, debates, and global policy solutions to prepare for and respond to climate-induced human displacement. Three keynote conversations anchored the 2020 Global Shifts Colloquium, featuring renowned policymakers from diverse backgrounds, both geographically and institutionally: former President Anote Tong of Kiribati, who has become an activist for his country and other small island nations; the Honorable Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; and Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, who leads the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat. Learn more about the Colloquium here. 


Memory, Movement, Materiality: Journeys of Forced and Undocumented Migration Workshop | February 21, 2020

This workshop was hosted in partnership with the Penn Cultural Heritage Center of the Penn Museum. It explored issues around migration journeys, and how they are documented by material culture, archaeology, museums, and more. 

Immigration: Research Frontiers and Policy Challenges | October 4-5, 2019

This two-day workshop, convened by Nicholas Sambanis of the Penn Identity and Conflict Lab. It explored key challenges facing migrants worldwide - from anti-immigrant bias, to issues with integration - and the implications for policymakers. 

Global Family Change Workshop | September 16-17, 2019

This two-day workshop, convened by Hans-Peter Kohler and Frank Furstenberg of the University of Pennsylvania with support from Perry World House, brought participants together to look at the role of families in global, economic, and demographic shifts. Topics explored included the intersections between gender, technology, and family; and how policy and legal changes can affect families. 

Cities, Geopolitics and the International Legal Order Workshop | September 6, 2019

This workshop launched the Great Powers and Urbanization Project (GPUP) a joint initiative of Perry World House, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the University of Melbourne's Connected Cities Lab, and the Argentine Council for International Relations. GPUP will look at the evolving role of cities on the world stage. Participants explored topics such as how approaches to urbanization feature in geopolitical strategy; the creation and implementation of national urban policies in the context of development, stability, and authoritarian control; the development of city networks; and the legal authority of cities. Read the workshop report and thought pieces here.


Vicious Cycles: Toward a Research Agenda on Return and Repeat Displacement Workshop | June 11, 2019

Organized by Perry World House 2018-19 Postdoctoral Fellow Stephanie Schwartz and made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, this one-day workshop brought together academics and policy experts. Their aim was to identify new research priorities around the topic of refugee return and repeat displacement. Read the workshop report and thought pieces here.

Global Shifts Colloquium: A Changing Climate, A Changing World | April 15-16, 2019

Perry World House brought together scholars, policymakers, and journalists for a two-day colloquium focusing on the impacts of climate change. The first day of this event looked at implications of climate change for cities and other places people live, and city-level and community-led climate action initiatives. The second day centered on an exchange of innovative approaches to climate policy, featuring conversations about policymaking from city to global level with leaders including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy. Read more from the 2019 Global Shifts Colloquium hereRead the Colloquium report and thought pieces here. 

Model International Mobility Declaration Workshop | February 21-22, 2019

 Perry World House and PWH Distinguished Scholar in-Residence Professor Michael Doyle hosted a workshop on the Model International Mobility Declaration (MIMD), a cumulative and comprehensive treaty that summarizes and builds on the mobility reform agenda of the Model International Mobility Convention, launched in 2017. In this workshop, academics and policymakers from around the world in the fields of migration, human rights, national security, labor economics, and refugee law convened to provide commentary and revisions to the MIMD. Read outputs from the Model International Mobility Declaration Workshop here.

Navigating Sanctuary: City Responses to Shifting Immigration Policies Workshop | November 14, 2018

To highlight the role of cities as advocates, policymakers, and leaders, Perry World House hosted representatives from major U.S. cities at the forefront of immigration policy and action, alongside researchers and journalists from across the country, to discuss their cities’ responses to shifting immigration policies and share lessons learned for intra-governmental collaboration. This workshop was made possible with support from Cities for Action and Penn’s Institute for Urban Research. Read the workshop report here.


Global Shifts Colloquium: Prospects for Institutional and Policy Reform on International Migration and Refugees | April 9-10, 2018

Over two days in April 2018, Perry World House convened scholars, journalists, legal clinicians, researchers, policymakers, human rights defenders, city officials, local activists, and practitioners for its second annual colloquium for its Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration, and Demography research theme. This rich array of stakeholders tackled critical questions around prospects for policy reform on migration; the role media played in shaping public perceptions to migrants and refugees; and the special needs of the increasing number of refugees in protracted situations. The colloquium was keynoted by the then High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and included a rich dialogue that localized the global migration phenomenon by featuring the city of Philadelphia’s former City Solicitor Sozi Tulante, who defended Philadelphia’s status as a “sanctuary city” against the Justice Department, in conversation with Yasmine Mustafa, a Philadelphia-based women’s rights activist and entrepreneur with a compelling story about her own experience migrating to the U.S.

Spring 2018 Global Shifts Colloquium: Prospects for Institutional and Policy Reform on International Migration and Refugees Thought Pieces

Spring 2018 Global Shifts Colloquium: Prospects for Institutional and Policy Reform on International Migration and Refugees Report

The New Urban Agenda Workshop | January 2018

To advance thinking and policy ideas on the impact of urbanization and its effects on migrants, social networks, transportation, sustainable cities, and housing, in January 2018, Perry World House brought together senior scholars and policy experts to deepen thinking about sustainable urban development and the New Urban Agenda. This also served as a moment to release a set of white papers drafted by Penn faculty and staff and edited by Perry World House on the different challenges and opportunities of the New Urban Agenda in preparation for the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Refugee Integration Workshop | December 2017

As several European nations were questioning their commitment to offering safety to more refugees, the U.S. was attempting to bar entry of individuals from certain countries and was engaging in a broader campaign to deter undocumented migration to the U.S., and a significant number of the refugee population was experiencing protracted displacement, in December 2017, Perry World House convened a high-level workshop of scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to examine questions around meaningful, multi-faceted and long-term integration of refugees into host countries.


Inaugural Global Shifts Colloquium: Urbanization, Migration, & Demography - An Examination of Marginalization and Inequality | April 20-21, 2017 

From the unprecedented scale of migration to questions surrounding the sustainability of urbanization and the consequences of demographic change, this conference examined three interconnected phenomena that individually and collectively shift the world’s population and transform the way we live. Perry World House has identified marginalization and inequality as particularly salient and cross-cutting characteristics of today's global shifts, and this conference helped us identify ways to disrupt these currents and address important questions about human rights across the world. This event featured distinguished speakers including Ambassador Samantha Power, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Anne C. Richard, Jockin Arputham, and more. 

Advancing The New Urban Agenda in a Shifting World Workshop | December 9, 2016

Engaging faculty members from a range of schools and disciplines, as well as journalists, government officials, think tank leaders, and other stakeholders, this workshop tackled difficult and practical questions about how best to inform, implement, and monitor The New Urban Agenda.

Advancing The New Urban Agenda in a Shifting World Workshop (Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador) | October 2016

 Perry World House played a key role in Penn’s delegation to the United Nations Conference on Housing and Urban Sustainable Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, engaging with U.N. delegates and civil society representatives from 167 countries as they adopted The New Urban Agenda. As part of our engagement, PWH published a research digest featuring the work of more than 45 Penn faculty members that was distributed at Habitat III to inform leading policymakers about the work of university scholars on relevant issues. 


Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Global Challenges of Urbanization and Migration Workshop | February 25, 2016

The panels highlighted different methodological and disciplinary approaches to Urbanization and Migration research. The workshop featured external participants, including Lina Bassarsky from the UN Population Division, Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute for International Law and Public Policy at Temple University School of Law, and Ananya Roy, Professor and Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy and Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.