The 2020 Global University Climate Forum will build on a series of student workshops hosted by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). Previous workshops included:
- A two-day workshop during the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) where student groups from 15 universities each submitted proposals for an ambitious-yet-achievable project to implement on their campus.
- A one day “competition” in 2012 in partnership with Fundação Getulio Vargas and the University of Massachusetts Boston during the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20) where student teams from 19 universities on six continents offered their ideas for community-scale projects.
- A one-day conference during the 2015 Paris Climate Negotiations where over 125 students from 30 universities presented their actionable world-changing ideas to a set of expert reviewers. (See the full report here)
Examples of projects from the 2015 event include an initiative to plant fruit trees near schools in Tanzania, the establishment of a sustainability festival and network for 10 universities in Russia, the co-launch of a sustainability social media platform between several European universities, the mapping of an eco-tourism bike route in a province of China, and the design of a modular tiny house in the United States. Student teams were asked to report on progress over the course of the following year to ensure follow-through. Report - IARU 2015 Global University Climate Forum