Global Challenges, Local Solutions

Auburn University Leadership Challenge

The Auburn University Leadership Challenge strives to centralize efforts to eradicate some of the world's most pressing social challenges. The Institute provides a network of colleges and universities, expert faculty, and passionate students to provide education, knowledge, and opportunities for action.

The Auburn University Leadership Challenge is aimed at education, knowledge, research, and action to solve the world's pressing challenges.

Global Challenges, Local Solutions

The Auburn University Leadership Challenge is focused on the following issues:
  1. Poverty and Hunger The World Food Program reports one billion people worldwide are chronically hungry; 25,000 people a day die from hunger or hunger-related causes; a child dies from hunger every six seconds; seven out of 10 of the world's hungry are women and girls; 50 million Americans, 17 of whom are children, experience hunger. The USDA ranks the state of Alabama as number one for food insecure households; 7% of the families in Alabama live in food insecurity.
  2. Educational Achievement Gap The "achievement gap" in education refers to the disparity in academic performance between populations of students (e.g. culture, socioeconomic, geographic). The achievement gap between minority and majority populations is apparent in academic grades, standardized-test scores, course selection, dropout rates, and college-completion rates. These disparities are amplified ten times for poor cildren. THe education gap in the United States and around the world shows no signs of narrowing despite repeated efforts at the federal, state and local levels.
  3. Gender Equity Although the number of women in leadership positions has increased significantly over recent decades, women still face significant gender disparities. These gender disparities impact girls and women globally in terms of health, safety, and physical well-being; they are evident in access to education, equal pay for equal work, and political power; they negatively affect women's well-being and prevent women from having an equal voice in the world. The United Nation's report (Women's World: Trend and Statistics 2010) revealed: women still earn 33 cents less per dollar than men; women produce 80 percent of the food on the planet, but receive less than 10 percent of agricultural assistance; and 70 percent of people in abject poverty (living on less than $1 per day) are women.
  4. Environmental Sustainability Environmental sustainability is recognized "as crucial for this century" because of the urgent need to address a wide range of complex and escalating global problems. Nonrenewable resources (fossil fuels, fossil groundwater supplies, minerals) are being mined and depleted without the development of sufficient renewable resources to take their place. These problems represent conditions and trends that are unsustainable and dangerous, and underlying them all is the degradation and destruction of the global ecosystem that supports human existence.
  5. Global Health The world's scientific knowledge, technological expertise, and economic resources are greater than at any point in history. We are capable of applying our collective know-how and wealth to reducing the health risks faced by all nations and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. Working to address global health problems can help prevent civil strife in other countries. It can support economic stability and improve the quality of people's lives. Efforts include, but are not limited to, clean water, vaccinations, health resources and training. Global health requires that the world's citizens collaborate to improve public health services in all nations, rich or poor, and stop disease outbreaks at their source.

Last Updated: Feb. 1, 2013

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