Welcome to the IGU  Commission C16.18

"Global Understanding"

In 2016, the International Geographical Union established the commission "Global Understanding" in 2016 in order to promote geographical knowledge for understanding globalized living conditions. The commission further harvests the achievements of the 2016 International Year of Global Understanding and continues its work within geography.

About us

Ongoing globalization and deglobalization processes challenge established geographical imaginations of the world and respective research perspectives. Phenomena like the global ecological crisis or the growing appreciation for nationalist and fundamentalist discourses are – amongst other things – consequences of an inappropriate geographical understanding of today's living conditions. The International Geographical Union's commission C16.18 promotes new visions on globalization and deglobalization processes and advances research on the constitution of everyday geographical realities. We aim at developing critical geographical perspectives on the nexuses of the local and the global and promote the concept of Global Understanding.

Our objectives

Advancing Global Understanding is a challenging task. It involves bridge-building between disciplines and different scientific communities as well as strengthening the mutual understanding of science and everyday life. Our commission is dedicated to the following five tasks:


  1. To promote the development and dissemination of geographical insights into the globalized nature of everyday living conditions (Global Understanding).
  2. To strenghten transdisciplinary approaches for bridging the rifts between disciplines and scientific cultures, and between science and everyday life.
  3. To network different scientific and language communities, especially outside the Anglophone world and in the Global South.
  4. To support the development of teaching materials and education/information campaigns on Global Understanding and sustainable everyday life practices.
  5. To sustain and to expand the network of non-academic actors (such as NGOs, artists, local and regional sustainability initiatives) established by the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU).