Global Governance Institute


GGREAT Committee 2014-15 Report

Introducing: the Global Governance Research and Events Team

first gge event

The Global Governance Research and Events Team (GGREAT) is a student-led interdisciplinary group focused on the promotion of student engagement with global governance and ethics issues, from both a policy and academic perspective. Launched in 2014 and affiliated to the UCL Global Governance Institute (GGI) based in the School of Public Policy, we have sought to bring together students from across the spectrum of UCL disciplines - including medicine, law, engineering, climate, political science and international relations - to explore the many facets of global governance with a focus on pressing issues of the day.

And 2014-15 has provided no shortage of global governance headlines: from Ebola, to the Sustainable Development Goals, and, of course, preparations for the Paris climate negotiations this December. Our intrepid team of 10 has sought to bring global governance events to the attention of the UCL student community through a series of activities, including academic seminars, practitioner talks, film screenings and social events. We have had the privilege of hosting a series of renowned experts to provide their own fascinating inside take on the politics and practice of governing global public policy.

Our events programme this year kicked off with Resilience Manager for the UK National Health Service, Dr. Chloe Sellwood, who provided a forensic insight into pandemic preparedness strategies within the UK National Health Service and its connection to international structures. In detailing potential impact scenarios of the Ebola crisis, as well as the actors and governance mechanisms dedicated to controlling and mitigating the effects of various infectious diseases worldwide, it was - perhaps in equal measures - alarming and reassuring.

We also shone a spotlight onto global financial governance, with an absorbing introduction to the dark underbelly of the globalization enterprise in the form of illicit financial flows of major banks and the controlling influence of opaque international economic centres of power. We are grateful to Dr Shmuel Nili from Yale University for serving as our guide in a lively debate on the ethical controversies such activities throw up for "good" global economic governance.

Another highlight of the year was Dr Ilan Kelman, GGI Thematic Director for Global Environmental Sustainability, who led us in an interactive seminar on climate change and sustainability, examining the broad interdependency of environmental governance practices and the challenges and opportunities we face at this critical juncture. Drawing on his experience researching the impact of climate change on small island nations, Dr Kelman strikingly illustrated the complexity but also the absolute imperative that we overcome collective action problems on perhaps the most pressing global governance challenge of our age.

A core objective of GGREAT has been to provide a welcoming space and environment for students to come together and identify shared interests, potential for collaboration, as well as share ideas on future careers and opportunities in the field of global public policy. With the support of the GGI, we hosted a series of social gatherings throughout the year, ranging from informal meet-ups to practical seminars with UCL graduates and professionals working in a range of relevant sectors. We also organised a series of film nights, inviting discussion on global governance challenges (and possible solutions) to the issues raised in such provocative features as The Brussels Business, Citizenfour, Sand Wars, and Black Gold.

Looking back on the year, it has been hugely rewarding to see our burgeoning global governance student network coalesce, drawing in diverse young professionals from across UCL with an interest in sharing ideas on the big questions which confront our generation. In these deeply uncertain times, we believe it is vital to highlight challenges facing global governance and to provide a space for meaningful discussion on what might be done to meet them. We hope that the groundwork we have laid will inspire the next global governance-inspired cohort of students to pick up the baton and take GGREAT to even ggreater heights.


GGREAT 2014-15 included Theo Aiolfi, Sam Applebee, Philippe Beck, Corina Campion, Isabel Diego, Sebastian Fonseca, Horatio Georgetown, Kristina Kashfullina, Cherie Koh, and Andreas Schiff