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The global movement for civically engaged universities is a contemporary response to the challenges of our times. Facing challenges that defy rigid disciplinary boundaries, borders, and cultural divides, it is more important than ever to be globally aware and active in communities. We have adopted an action research framework because we aim to support methods of inquiry and action that bring about societal change, while encouraging reflection on the process and outcomes of change to inform and improve future practice. Our programs encourage solidarity, dialogue and exchange, and critical reflection and learning among all participants. 

Current Programs

Grants for Engaged Universities: To ensure a mix of voices and perspectives from around the world at our next global conference, the Network will issue grants to member universities and network partners. Grants will cover the costs associated with organizing and hosting small groups of university students, staff, faculty, administrators and community partners on Network campuses and facilitating the group’s participation in TNLC2021 (Talloires Network Leaders Conference 2021).

Initiatives for Democratic Practices: In collaboration with the Kettering Foundation, the Network is committed to exploring deliberative democratic ideas and practices with its members. The approach is based on the premise that democracy is an ecology in which people in communities work in complementary ways with one another and with institutions to address public problems. The learning exchange includes naming and framing of issues in public terms and working with young people to expand public deliberative practice around the world.

MacJannet Prize: The MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship was established by the Network and the MacJannet Foundation in 2009 in order to recognize exceptional student community engagement initiatives at Talloires Network member universities and contribute financially to their ongoing public service efforts. Learn more.

Next Generation Leaders in University Civic Engagement: Supported by a grant from the Mastercard Foundation, Next Generation Leaders brings together 40 undergraduate and graduate students at engaged universities in all regions of the world. The cohort will meet regularly online for more than a year to forge personal relationships and exchange strategies for civic engagement. Learn more.

University Award for Innovative Civic Engagement: Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations, this action research program provides financial support to Network member institutions in the Global South who are working to help their communities during the pandemic. The winning partnerships have demonstrated a commitment to incorporating gender equity, diversity, and inclusion into their mission and activities. Learn more.

 Past Programs

Anchor Institutions and Community Development (2012–2015): This program’s collaborative research seminars focused on anchor institutions (institutions that are fixed in place and actively investing in their communities) and community development concepts and strategies in the U.S. and other national contexts. Learn more.

Communities Of Virtual Alliance & Inter-Dependence (COV-AID) (2020 – 2021): In partnership with Open Society University Networks, COV-AID aims to collect and share stories of institutions and individuals who are taking action to mitigate the global COVID-19 crisis, document practical steps and strategies that may be of use elsewhere, and strengthen public support for engaged universities. COV-AID includes a webinar series, an interview series, a conference series, and awards for civically engaged university students. Learn more.

Deliberative Civic Engagement (2017 – 2020): Together with the Kettering Foundation, the Network led workshops and published research papers about deliberative civic engagement — a model in which inclusion, dialogue, and collective decision-making are key — and how universities around the world can lead such initiatives. Learn more.

Regional Perspectives on University Civic Engagement (2013-2016): For several years, the Network partnered with the Kettering Foundation to explore the ways in which universities around the world can mobilize their resources to create more just and prosperous communities while educating civic leaders. This collaboration produced a book, which is a fundamental guide for activist scholars dedicated to the practice of civic engagement. Learn more.

Youth Economic Participation Initiative (2012–2017): The Youth Economic Participation Initiative supported the efforts of universities in the Global South to develop innovative university-led models accelerating the transition of upper-year university students and recent alumni to the workforce. Learn more.

University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa (2015): University faculty and staff across Africa are pioneering innovative projects to cultivate student leaders and prepare them for satisfying livelihoods including entrepreneurship and employment. With the support from the Mastercard Foundation, the Network supported these efforts through this grant initiative. In turn, African university leaders were asked to share their learnings by way of monthly reflections and webinars. Learn more.

University Volunteer Program (2013–2014): This joint initiative between the Talloires Network and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, funded by the Santander Group, aimed to promote global civic engagement and community building through the international exchange of students among Network member institutions. Learn more.