Global Forum Seminar Tackles Big Challenges

September 10, 2012

Cooper Union Stock Photo

In the Fall 2012 semester, President Jamshed Bharucha is offering a Global Forum seminar, a class that invites students from all three of Cooper's programs to explore some of the pressing global challenges of our time, with a focus on the developing world. How should we strive to alleviate poverty? How should we educate vast populations for a rapidly changing global economy? How should the United States and the West respond to competition from Asia and security threats stemming from global disparities, historical grievances and nationalist movements? These are just a few of the questions tackled by students and an impressive list of invited guest speakers from fields as diverse as macro economics and global entrepreneurship, to contemporary art and sustainable engineering. 

Class time will be devoted to thinking critically about big problems from a multidisciplinary perspective. Registered through the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, a mix of diverse backgrounds from participating students will enrich discussions with creative inquiry dislodged from any single, narrow academic field.

Some course materials from the semester will be preserved and made available throgh a class blog. After each guest lecturer presents a topic of their expertise and personal experiences, the students in the seminar will be invited to respond. Their papers will be published on the class website.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.