Venice International University promotes the VIU Global Challenges Initiatives, a coordinated stream of activities, inspired by similar ambitions to contribute to the creation of knowledge, understanding, and skills, responding to current and future major societal challenges faced by humankind today: environmental, social, cultural and technological phenomena and their local impacts.

Knowledge creation across the disciplines - the humanities, social sciences, and the sciences - can play a fundamental role in coping with these challenges. Within an evolving and unconstrained ensemble of topics addressed by VIU member institutions, the Initiatives identify core interests of global and local relevance with the aim to make VIU an innovator.
Through these Initiatives VIU is committed to a critical exploration of what it means to envision a sustainable future. The Initiatives acknowledge the interconnected and intertwined relationships between human and natural systems and aim to be multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary.

The Initiatives are a series of activities with a common purpose. These activities have different forms and targets, including PhD Academies for students at an advanced stage of their research, graduate seminars, and programs for master’s students and a broader community.

The Initiatives also include international workshops, forums, and conferences, with participants drawn from academia, business, public institutions, civil society, NGO, and the art worlds. By encouraging the interconnection of these activities, VIU will disseminate the outcomes and extend the discussion to a wider audience.

The VIU Global Challenges Initiatives take advantage of the multicultural context and the unique setting of Venice as a special laboratory, as a location that foregrounds the extraordinary culture of the past, the problems of the present, and the possibility of the future.