About the Forum

Notre Dame is embarking on an ambitious plan to "go global." In this effort, we seek to further internationalize the curriculum, the student body and the faculty; to extend our institutional, scholarly and educational presence around the world; and, to deepen understanding of foreign cultures and societies while being attentive to America’s changing role in the world. In these and many other ways, we will prepare ND students for the transnational professional careers and vocations of the "globalized" 21st century.

But what does ‘globalization’ really mean? After an initial period of optimism about the prospects for greater prosperity and progress that would seem to accompany open borders, free trade, the spread of democracy and the ‘leveling dynamism’ of new technologies of communications and data sharing, we are newly aware of the widening gap between rich and poor, the persistence of conflict, epidemics, political authoritarianism —and of what Pope Francis has called "the globalization of indifference." At the same time, our government and elected officials face a demand for greater accountability to the people.

In this context, we must subject proposed laws and policies to rigorous analysis, identify the role of government in advancing human flourishing, and ask how civil society and Catholic institutions, including Notre Dame, can contribute to the common good.

To this end, the 2017-18 Notre Dame Forum explores the challenges and opportunities posed by globalization. Through a series of debates and discussions of major policy issues, we will encourage sustained reflection on how faculty, staff and students can incorporate a morally grounded global awareness into our research, teaching, practice and service. All are encouraged to consider how to engage with the Forum topic and extend the dialogue into the classroom, lab, studio, and workplace. Such participation can transform the Forum from a series of lectures into a true campus-wide conversation.

Since its establishment in 2005 by Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Notre Dame Forum has addressed timely topics from multiple perspectives. What began as a one-day event has since evolved into a yearlong examination of a specific issue, with featured talks by leading authorities, classroom discussions, panels, workshops, symposia, and other events – all with the purpose of enlightening the campus community and elevating our dialogue.
The first Forum explored the role of faith in a pluralistic society. Subsequent Forums have explored global health, immigrationsustainability, the global marketplaceK-12 educationdemocracy and faithwomen in leadership, and other topics.