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Engaging Intergovernmental Organizations program spurs grand challenge innovation

Monday, April 1, 2019

A group of EIO 2019 participants at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Back, from left: Dominic Travis (College of Veterinary Medicine), Megan Voorhees (Institute on the Environment), Carissa Slotterback (Humphrey School of Public Affairs). Front: Noelle Noyes (College of Veterinary Medicine), Cheryl Robertson (School of Nursing), Audrey Dorélien (Humphrey School of Public Affairs), Hikaru Peterson (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences).

The 2019 Engaging Intergovernmental Organizations program took place in Paris, Geneva, and Rome this past March. The week-long program provided participants the opportunity to network among key global leaders and gain new skills for effectively collaborating with intergovernmental organizations.

Participants included 18 professionals in the fields of policy, medicine, public health, nursing, animal health, environmental health, engineering, and business. The 2019 program visited the headquarters of the World Organisation of Animal Health, World Health Organization, World Trade Organization, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Working alongside organizational leaders, participants have innovated around organizational needs and grand challenges issues such as AMR, food safety, zoonoses and international trade. Their work will culminate in a series of collaboratively developed proposals for an EIO Seed Grant offered by the U of M. These ideas will pave the way too new and sustained partnerships, positioning Minnesota and University of Minnesota faculty as a global players for development-minded research and international capacity building. Stay tuned for further updates about the proposals and seed grant recipients.

"This program is incredibly important because my job maps against veterinary medicine, the environment, and public health," said Dominic Travis, DVM, MS, one of the participants of the 2019 program. "By engaging with those intergovernmental organizations that interact in those spaces, I can understand the global aspect of these issues and also find partners to work with on large scale projects. For example, following the EIO program I traveled to Cameroon to work with the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance and am already linking our collective work back to inter-disciplinary training programs across UMN, and to the work that FAO is doing to train veterinarians in the field."

For more information on this program visit the EIO webpage

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