The Academy serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and promoting interactions via International Symposia. While travel is limited this fall during the pandemic, we remain connected to our global partners through virtual events.

In addition to the program for McDonnell Scholars, a second strategy to enhance the network of partner institutions focuses on collaborative research and education. In the absence of organized collaboration, these activities risk being a fragmented set of pieces rather than parts to a larger puzzle. The McDonnell Academy has convened seven international symposia – concrete steps to further fostering of institutional collaborations on pressing global issues. This is a vision of the McDonnell Academy network as a platform for fostering collaboration among faculty and students from around the world, often with corporate and government sponsors involved as well.

In 2019, we re-envisioned the McDonnell Academy’s signature event as a research-focused conference with faculty-driven workshops at its core. The response to our open call was overwhelming. We received 40 workshop proposals from 25 partner institututions and 30 departments from every WashU school. We selected 30 workshops that represent varied disciplines and geographic areas.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person proceedings of the 8th International Symposium will be postponed to fall 2021. We will, however, hold a virtual session on the original dates.