2021 Virtual Symposium: Connecting Global Cities

The WC2 Network invites faculty, students, staff and the broader community to join us virtually for the 2021 Symposium: Connecting Global Cities. The 2021 Symposium, hosted by RMIT University, will take place online during the week of 9 August 2021. Learn more and register for each session at the links below.

All sessions are one hour. Please check this list for the session start and end times in your time zone:

  • Mexico City – 07:00-08:00
  • Toronto – 08:00-09:00
  • New York – 08:00-09:00
  • Sao Paulo – 09:00-10:00
  • London – 13:00-14:00
  • Berlin – 14:00-15:00
  • St. Petersburg – 15:00-16:00
  • Shanghai – 20:00-21:00
  • Melbourne – 22:00-23:00


Members of the network were invited to learn more about WC2’s Undergraduate Challenge, a new annual event that engages undergraduate students from participating universities in an interdisciplinary, collaborative and virtual project. This event highlighted winning projects from the pilot Undergraduate Challenge 2020, focusing on the topic of a post-COVID future from multiple thematic lenses. Winning groups from various themes presented their projects before engaging with the audience in a Q&A format. The WC2 Network then announced the theme for the next project to launch the second annual WC2 Undergraduate Challenge.

Undergraduate Challenge 2020 participants, students interested in joining the upcoming Undergraduate Challenge, mobility office staff and theme representatives were invited to the showcase and launch.

Doctoral researchers from across the WC2 Network were invited to submit a three-minute video presenting their research in the weeks leading up to the Virtual Symposium. The Research Elevator Pitch program provided an opportunity for doctoral researchers to showcase their research projects to others working in related fields, and in the process to develop skills in articulating research to a generalist audience. Winning entries were announced at this event. We then opened to broader comments and a discussion of opportunities to collaborate across the network.

PhD students, theme representatives and representatives from schools of graduate research were invited to join the showcase and discussion.

The 2021 Virtual Symposium concluded with concurrent thematic showcases highlighting faculty and student work in various WC2 Themes.

Researchers and lecturers, students and industry partners were invited to attend the session hosted by their Theme.

Sessions included:

We have undoubtedly all been thinking about what we might learn - right from the early days of the pandemic to the evolving phases all at different pace across the globe.

Participants were invited to pause and reflect on all the positives and share what of the ‘old normal’ they would like to leave behind. The discussion explored how we might reimagine Global Health from the perspectives of innovation, behavioural norms, cross-sector working and sustainable futures.

What can we learn to curb the oft referred to latent or silent pandemics – drug resistant infections, obesity, poor mental health?

The session welcomed participants from across disciplines, health, technology and wider industries, as well as students, researchers, practitioners and citizens.


  • Professor Cecilia Rocha - Professor of Food Security and Food Policy, Director, Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson University, Toronto
  • Dr Shashi Hirani, Associate Professor in Behavioural Medicine, City, University of London
  • Dr Anastasia Bolshakova, Molecular Neurodegeneration Laboratory, School of Biomedical Systems and Technologies Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU)
  • Lauren Tavener & Caspar Barnes, Students, MA International Journalism, City, University of London
  • Dr Enrique Castro-Sánchez, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, NIHR Senior Nurse Research Leader, City, University of London

Panel co-chairs:

  • Dr Raheelah Ahmad - Theme Lead - Global Health WC2 University Network, Director for Global Engagement, School of Health Sciences, Senior Lecturer, Health Management & Leadership, City, University of London, Deputy Chair SEDRIC
  • Cynthiha Kiran Kumar - Student MSc Health Management Programme, City, University of London

This session showcased Eco-Campus student projects. Presentations focused on the design of a student communication center on different University Campuses.



Christopher Ziguras
RMIT University
Email: chris.ziguras@rmit.edu.au

Farryl Last
WC2 Administrative Coordinator
Email: farryl.last@cuny.edu

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