First virtual forum convened by the University of Chicago’s Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, October 6-8, 2020, is free to attend.
The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts

CHICAGO (September 22, 2020) – On October 6-8, 2020, The University of Chicago will gather leading scholars and high-ranking political decision-makers from around the globe at The 2020 Pearson Global Forum. Hosted by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy’s Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, the aim of the virtual conference is to discuss the causes and consequences of conflict, including how the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change are affecting international conflicts, and to develop strategies to maximize the impact for preventing and resolving violent conflicts and informing policy.

Highlights of the 2020 Pearson Forum, entitled “The Conflict of Climate,” include:

October 6: Focus on Global Water and Migration Issues

  • Featured speakers: James A. Robinson, Institute Director, The Pearson Institute; Alice Hill, Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations; and Elizabeth Hume, Vice President, Alliance for Peacebuilding.

October 7: Focus on Covid-19 and Other Global Pandemics, Haiti, and Afghanistan

  • Featured speakers: Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation; Paul Farmer, Chief Strategist and Co-Founder, Partners In Health, Harvard University; and Clare Lockhart, Director and Co-Founder, Institute for State Effectiveness.

October 8: Focus on Conflict Negotiations

  • Featured speakers: Wendy Sherman, Professor of Practice and Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Steven E. Miller, Director, International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.

“The climate of conflict is rapidly shifting around the world,” said James Robinson, Institute Director, The Pearson Institute. “As the international community continues to deal with dozens of active conflicts, and the quickly shifting relationships between and among nations, it is essential to find paths towards resolution, peace, and stability. The Forum provides a platform to influence solutions, strategies, and policies for reducing and mitigating conflict to achieve a more peaceful world.”

The full conference agenda is available here. Click here for a highlight video from the 2019 Pearson Global Forum, held in Berlin, Germany.

The Forum sessions are free of charge to the media and the public but registration is required. If you are interested in a pre-interview or additional information, please contact David Stone, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Harris School Public Policy at 312.206.4621 or via email at

About The Pearson Institute

In 2015, the University of Chicago announced the creation of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts at the Harris School of Public Policy, the first of its kind research institute dedicated to applying rigorous, evidence-based inquiry to the issues of peace and conflict. Established through a grant from The Thomas L. Pearson and The Pearson Family Members Foundation, and led by Institute Director James Robinson, co-author of The Narrow Corridor and Why Nations Fail, the Institute seeks to understand the complex causes and consequences of conflict by mobilizing the best minds and the most innovative tools and technology to drive new breakthroughs and understanding that informs policy and leads to a world more at peace. 2020 marks the third consecutive year of the Pearson Global Forum.