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The Lehigh University / United Nations Partnership offers three options for faculty to engage their students with the United Nations, including a Sustainable Development Goals simulation, a class trip to the UN, or hosting a UN speaker in your classroom. We also strive to help faculty present their research at the UN - more than 20 have already done so. Details for each option are listed below.

Sustainable Development Goals Simulation

Challenge your students to solve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in 90 Minutes! This highly interactive simulation explores the visualization of information as a tool to address complex problems and create collaborative solutions. It challenges participants to solve poverty and climate change on a global scale in 90 minutes. Structured via a strategic design thinking model proposed by technology pioneer Tom Wujec, participants will initially be faced with the daunting task of making toast. Once the perfect piece of toast has been made, professionally trained facilitators will lead a brief discussion on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on Goal 1 “No Poverty,” or Goal 13 “Climate Action.” Participants will be divided into small groups and challenged to solve these issues using the same “toast” methodology - visualizing possible solutions and creating a comprehensive model of interconnected nodes.  After a 20-minute brainstorming session, each group will present their model. Facilitators will debrief each group’s proposed solution, encouraging participants to explore the interconnectivity of SDGs, global implications of the proposed solutions, and possible ways to bring solutions to action. At the conclusion of the presentations, the short video “Don’t Choose Extinction” will be shown.

Required Time: 90 Minutes
Participants:  12-30 people
Supplies Needed:  Post-it Notes
Cost: $0

Schedule a SDG Simulation for your class by emailing Bill Hunter,

Class Trip to the UN

Every year professors from a wide range of disciplines take their students on a trip to the United Nations headquarters in New York City for briefings, conferences or meetings with Ambassadors and other senior UN officials. These extraordinary opportunities allow your students to directly engage with global decision makers on issues related to your course.

Required Time:  Full Day, usually 8 am - 4 pm
Participants:  10-50
Cost: Varies, but often $1,000 for the department, and approximately $25 per student
Timeline:  Six Weeks Notice Required

For more information on UN trips, contact Bill Hunter, 

UN virtual speaker in your class

Through the LU/UN Partnership’s extensive network of colleagues at the United Nations, it is possible to beam in a speaker to your classroom. Recent UN speakers have addressed issues such as climate change, gender equity, World Bank funding, nuclear proliferation and refugees. 

Cost: Often there is no cost. Should we need to collaborate with the UN’s Group Programmes Unit, then there may be a $200 charge.
Timeline:  Six Weeks Notice Required
To schedule a UN speaker for your class, please contact Bill Hunter at

Presenting your research at the UN

Each year several Lehigh professors present their research at the United Nations, either virtually at a global conference, or in person at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.  The most recent professors to present at the UN were Gabrielle String (COH) and Ginny McSwain (Physics). 

Does your research involve a topic related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals? If so, we’d like to add you to our Lehigh / United Nations Speakers List. Please fill out the Expression of Interest form to be added to the list.