Skip to main content

2020 U7+ Presidential Summit

In 2020, Northwestern was the first U.S. university to host the U7+ Summit, bringing together nearly 100 university leaders from 48 institutions across 17 countries who unanimously voted to prioritize intergenerational justice by working together and with government leaders worldwide to create new opportunities for mutual understanding and equitable resource sharing across generations

In the lead up to the 2020 Summit, Northwestern hosted a series of pre-summit activities which included the 2020 Worldwide Student Forum, which provided a platform to spark discussion on pressing global issues among students from across the U7+ network, and the Virtual Convening of Presidential Delegates, which invited presidential delegates from U7+ partner institutions to think collectively about how universities can define and strengthen their roles as global actors.

A Global Alliance of Universities

The 2020 Summit was hosted by Northwestern University in an online virtual format. The Summit convened nearly 100 leaders from 48 universities and 17 countries. Learn more about the participants.


  • Columbia University
  • Georgetown University
  • University of California, Berkeley

Summit Goals

The 2020 Summit focused on the role universities can play in fostering intergenerational justice—ensuring solutions to global challenges are developed in a way that takes the interests and rights of future generations into account. University leaders discussed how they can work in coordination with the G7 and other intergovernmental organizations as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic disproportionately impacts the futures and hopes of youth worldwide. Topics for discussion included youth mental health, the impact of COVID-19 on youth employment and global learning opportunities, ethical applications of artificial intelligence and more. The Summit also included youth voices from around the world sharing their visions for the future of higher education, and culminated in new and renewed commitments to fostering educational and economic opportunity for the next generation.

Summit Video

The 2020 U7+ Presidential Summit plenary session was open to the public and featured a special address from the United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, a fireside chat featuring higher education leaders discussing the role of universities as global actors and a closing ceremony with a special performance from the student a cappella group Purple Haze.

The portion of the Summit which was open to the public took place on November 24, 2020. A recording of the live stream can be seen below.

 The 2020 U7+ Presidential Summit press release, fact sheet and FAQs are available in several languages here.