A group photo of students at the D80 conference working at tables in the Makerspace.
Global & Community Engagement Conference

"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."

– Margaret J. Wheatley

Global and Community Engagement Conference

The Global and Community Engagement Conference (formally D80) is a dialogue and celebration of our efforts to solve issues that confront communities in need. 

The Michigan Tech campus hosts this annual conference every fall to give a platform to the voices of those serving communities both domestically and abroad. Faculty, staff, students, and local organizations share their work, projects, or research. The conference is open to anyone interested in the development, design, and discovery of people and communities.

Dream / Design / Develop / Deliver / Do something that matters.

Global and Community Engagement Conference Logo

This fall the Global and Community Engagement Conference was held on Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 9am-3pm in the Memorial Union Ballroom and lunch will be provided. The conference was open to anyone interested in the development, design, and discovery of people and communities! This year's theme is "Re-energizing Our Communities Through Service".

This year's conference featured keynote speaker Dr. Kurt Paterson.  Paterson is responsible for organizing the first D80 conference at Michigan Tech back in 2007 while he was an Adjunct Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

Conference Keynote Speaker - Dr. Kurt Paterson

Headshot of Kurt Paterson

Kurt Paterson is a first-generation college graduate who grew up in a fairly humble Iowa neighborhood but managed to wander into a life of global engagement. Currently, he is a professor of engineering at James Madison University, where he was Head of Engineering for seven years. He is also serving the U.S. Department of State as Senior Sustainability Advisor and was recently named a Jefferson Science Fellow of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In these capacities, he has championed the development of climate-sensitive operations to parallel the Department’s international climate diplomacy.

Prior to these efforts, Kurt was on Michigan Tech’s environmental engineering faculty and partnered with countless faculty, staff, students and communities on global engagement programs and projects in more than 40 countries. Inspired by these successes at Tech, Kurt helped launch a nationwide community of practice through the American Society of Engineering Education, the Community Engagement Division.

In January 2023, to take engagement to a new scale, Kurt will become Director of The Polytechnic School at Arizona State University’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. Kurt currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, two daughters, and Covid rescue puppy, the latter of which also started life in humble circumstances and is good at wandering.

Check out this year's Global and Community Engagement Conference list of sessions: