The world faces significant challenges – from living with the devastating impacts of climate change, to the effect of pandemics on jobs and livelihoods – making the need to find and create new solutions to these challenges an urgent priority.

The Forum for Global Challenges, a major international conference at the ICC Birmingham from 3-5 May 2022, will bring together some of the most influential thinkers and doers, including presidents, leaders of international organisations and NGOs, business leaders, politicians, philanthropists, practitioners and thought leaders from academia and beyond to address global challenges across climate change and gender inequalities. Working together, participants will showcase and generate solutions that will make a real difference, and help us all to work towards a fairer and more sustainable future.

Forum Background

The Forum has been established by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with UNDP, UNESCO, The World Bank, The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the CBI, UKRI and WMCA. This 3000 delegate conference will be delivered in a fully hybrid format – combining in-person attendance with an online interactive format.

There are several opportunities for businesses to get involved and partner with the Forum to help us shape a better future for all, whether it be to support your CSR, public or youth engagement agenda, horizon scan, form new partnerships or strengthen your brand awareness within the international community that will come to Birmingham. To ensure accessibility for regional business to the event, small business partnership opportunities are available as well as an offering for larger scale business.

Themes of the Forum

Panel sessions cover themes such as: the Green Economy, Restoring Nature, Future of Cities, Mobility and Migration, Food and Nutrition Security, Health and Wellbeing, Education and Employment Futures, Gender Equality and Digital Inequalities. In addition, there is a specific Business Summit, chaired by Lord Bilimoria, President of the CBI.

The Forum also provides exciting youth engagement opportunities for business, such as mentoring sessions as part of the Global Hackathon in the run up to the Forum. Like-minded young people (aged 18-25) will work together to develop solutions for challenges focused on the Green Economy, Future of Cities, and Education and Employment. The results will be presented at the Forum, and the work will contribute to the Forum’s legacy.

Legacy and impact

In the post pandemic period, the Forum for Global Challenges comes at a crucial moment of global change and will build on and leverage the legacy of the G7, COP26 and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The impact and reach of these solutions identified at the Forum will be delivered, sustained and developed further through the agendas of the partners involved in the Forum, like UNESCO and the World Bank; through the deep involvement of policy makers in co-creating and delivering the Forum; and through new collaborations between industry, policy makers, academia and NGOs to deliver these solutions.

Hosted by the University of Birmingham, the Forum for Global Challenges is proud to be taking an active role in working with corporate partners for a better future. To take part or become a sponsor, contact the forum at