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Global Problems Global Solutions

Join the Quainton Center for Global Engagement as we explore Global Problems + Global Solutions throughout the month of April.

This past year confirmed just how interconnected we are as a global society. The novel coronavirus pandemic rocked the world to its core, placing major restrictions on many aspects of day-to-day life across the globe.

As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, we are faced with challenges—both existing and new—that will require attention and collaborative solutions.

This year the Quainton Center for Global Engagement will forego the traditional conference format, and place a focus on global problems and global solutions throughout the month of April.

To RSVP or learn more about any of the programs listed below, please email

Schedule of Events

Global Diplomacy & Democracy

Tuesday, April 6 | Noon | via Zoom

Join a conversation with retired Ambassador Anthony C.E. Quainton, namesake of the Quainton Center for Global Engagement. Pulling from decades of experience in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Quainton will discuss some of the major challenges facing diplomacy and democracy across the globe.  

Access to Education

Thursday, April 15 | 2 p.m. | PSC101 and Zoom

Attend a documentary Screening of “Learning How to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)." An engaging discussion will follow the screening. This event is held in partnership with Dr. Mary Shuttlesworth, professor of psychology.

A Divided America

April 19-23 | Multiple Events

During the third week of April, participate in a week-long look at key issues impacting the “American Experience." Topics to be addressed include race and ethnicity, increasing political polarization, and managing fear in a complicated world.

A Reflection on Race & Ethnicity
Tuesday, April 20 | Time and Location TBD (Zoom link will be available)

This student inspired panel discussion will address personal accounts and experiences related to race and ethnicity. This event is held in partnership with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Polarization, Pandemic & Beyond: Managing Fear in an Absurdly Complicated World
Wednesday, April 21 | 12:30 p.m. | Zoom

Join a unique virtual conversation with Ted Anthony, director of Digital Innovation at the Associated Press, on managing fear in a complicated world. Mr. Anthony will discuss his experiences traveling the world in times of turmoil and peace in an effort to both learn and grow in today’s complicated and divided society.

Advocacy & Activism

April 26-30 | Multiple Events

During the last week of April, join conversations surrounding advocacy and activism on a global and local level. Learn how others are using their voice for substantive change, and ways in which you can get involved.

Elections, Social Movements and Society
Monday, April 26 | 5 p.m. | Zoom

Join a virtual conversation with Jessica Byrd, founder of Three Point Strategies a dynamic consulting firm that works at the intersection of electoral politics and social justice in the United States.

*Throughout the week an informative slideshow focusing on examples of advocacy and activism on a global level will be on display in the Zappala Campus Center Square.  

    About Global Problems, Global Solutions

    Global Problems, Global Solutions is a free, annual conference. La Roche leads and co-sponsors the conference with local colleges, universities and nonprofits known for their global activism.

    The Global Problems, Global Solutions conferences discuss progress, plans and initiatives related to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Established in September 2015, the new sustainable development agenda seeks to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

      Dedicated to promoting justice and peace in a constantly changing global society, La Roche supports the U.N. in working to make these goals a reality in Pittsburgh and throughout the global marketplace.

      Previous Keynote Speakers

      •  Barry Kerzin, M.D., a personal physician of the Dalai Lama, the founder and president of the Altruism in Medicine Institute and the founder and chairman of the Human Values Institute in Japan
      • Jim Withers, M.D., medical director and founder of Operation Safety Net and the Street Medicine Institute
      • Richard V. Piacentini, Executive Director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
      • Maureen A. Dunn, Division chief of the office of policy and strategy at U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
      • Robert C. Gallo, MD, Co-Discoverer of HIV Causing AIDS 
      • Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill 
      • Pulitzer Prize Winner Sheryl WuDunn 
      • Deputy Secretary of USAID, Ambassador Donald Steinberg