An Arena for Discovery, Commitment & Action

This planet and its inhabitants face a set of interrelated challenges. Resource depletion, climate change, mass migration, civil unrest and failing institutions are just some of the most visible problems of our time. Addressing these challenges requires the cooperative and concerted efforts of people who are capable of acting conscientiously and effectively.

The Academy for Global Challenges aims to educate and empower individuals who seek knowledge, commitment and action to address these challenges. ​

The mission of the Academy links into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations. The Agenda, consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is intended to stimulate and guide action at all levels of society to achieve a better world. The SDGs are a response to the daunting challenges that our planet and its inhabitants face. The Academy aims to contribute to the realization of the SDGs by providing a learn-work-learn environment in which people attain knowledge, develop commitment and take action towards the implementation of the SDGs.


Addressing the challenges of our planet and its inhabitants is not just a matter of study and education, it is also – and perhaps most importantly – a matter of commitment and action. The Academy for Global Challenges offers an environment where learning and action go hand in hand, with learning leading to action and action leading to learning. It is this approach that distinguishes the Academy from traditional programmes and courses of higher education. And it this approach that results in five core values.

  1. The first and foremost value: custodianship of planet and people. Custodianship is leading in whatever the Academy undertakes, sponsors or supports. All who teach, study or act under the aegis of the Academy commit themselves to making this world a better place – both ecologically and economically – in whatever way suits her or him best. Custodianship also implies that personal ambitions and interests are to be pursued with respect for the ambitions and interests of others. It also stands for a willingness to acquire knowledge, to trust others, and to serve common interests, as well as a will to always strive for the best.
  2. The Academy seeks to have real and direct impact on society. Any Academy programme, course, seminar or conference is designed to mobilize the best knowledge available worldwide, but knowledge is a means to an end: to help changing organizations, institutions, countries and (perhaps) a part of the world. Most challenges we face are global in scope, but actions to address them are always local and within a specific context. Having real impact for the better is the ultimate aim of the knowledge and insights gained from Academy activities.
  3. Academy programmes, courses, seminars or conferences always involve three steps in order to ensure impact: Discovery, followed by Commitment and Action. Occasionally, it may be impossible to apply this “DCA-cycle”, but in principle all Academy programmes start with Discovery and exploration of new knowledge. Participants will then transform the knowledge so acquired into personal Commitment: what goals do they wish to pursue? And finally: participants develop a concrete plan of Action plan for the organization they work or wish to work for. Or for the startup they plan to set up as an independent entrepreneur.
  4. In these fast-moving times, learning is no longer solely a process in which the older generation instructs a younger generation, but also an activity in which older generations learn from younger ones. All age groups are represented and interact at Academy activities. Students and teachers reverse roles all the time with the young contributing eagerness and freshness, the older expertise and influence and the elderly reflection and wisdom.
  5. The above inevitably leads to the Academy’s fifth and last core value: the building of a community of people who trust and support each other and who work together, not only during Academy activities, but also afterwards. Participating in an Academy programme, course, seminar or conference is not an isolated event, but the start or confirmation of a lasting relationship.

By applying these core values as the foundation for all its activities, the Academy is a role model for the people it seeks to educate and empower.


The Academy will be a nucleus in a much larger network. It develops and offers programmes, courses, seminars and conferences on its own, while in the future it may also “license” other organizations to offer a programme, course, seminar or conference under the aegis of the Academy on condition these meet its core values and basic principles.

All those who would like to lend a helping hand in launching the Academy or are interested in developing a programme, course, seminar or conference are requested to contact the Programme Director, Nanko Boerma, at: