Moment to See, Courage to Act


The past year has astonished us time and again in so many different ways. Buffeted by a global pandemic, a nationwide reckoning over racial justice, an election that underscored the country’s political divides, the peddling of misinformation to sow distrust in science and government, major fires across the Western U.S., the growing impacts of global climate change—and, yes, even murder hornets—we have been confronted with profound challenges from every direction. 

And the reality of course is that the challenges will likely continue. We can end up wherever these challenges toss us. Alternatively, we can decide to steady ourselves and make clear and conscious decisions about where we want to go as individuals and as a community. We have a moment to see—to reflect, to learn, and to become better as individuals and stronger as a University because of those challenges. If we’re going to do that, we have to do more than see. We need the courage to act—to chart a new, deliberate, and ambitious course.

As we look ahead to updating and refreshing the University’s strategic plan next year, we want faculty to consider our aspirations as an academic community. Moment to See, Courage to Act is a means to do that.

Readings and Discussion Groups

Moment to See, Courage to Act formally began with a series of 18 small group discussions focused on three short foundational readings:

Download the Discussion Guide and Readings

All discussion groups have now met. We thank all the faculty and facilitators who participated. A summary of these conversations will be posted to this page soon.

3-Minute Lightning Talks

Laura Hollis, teaching professor of accountancy, holds a meeting over Zoom

The above readings and discussion groups brought faculty together to think about the challenges facing our community, our country, and our world during this unique moment to see.

Our next step is to get to know each other’s work better to encourage the kind of interdisciplinary exploration that will allow us to act on these challenges, whether individually, collaboratively with colleagues, or collectively as a University through the strategic planning process.

In April and May 2021, Notre Dame faculty are invited to share their research, scholarship, or creative work with Provost Miranda and others (over Zoom) by giving a 3-minute “lightning talk.”

A lightning talk session will feature multiple faculty each giving their own 3-minute presentation. Presenters are asked to highlight, in broad terms, three main points:

  • The focus of your work
  • Why that work is important
  • One recent finding or project that you are particularly excited about

All lightning talk presentation spots have now been filled. You can still watch the remaining talks (see below).

Presenter Resources

  • Length: Talks should be no more than 3 minutes.
  • Slides: You may only use three slides, plus a title slide, although there is no requirement to use slides.
  • Watch Sample Talks

Not Presenting? Watch the Lightning Talks

Faculty who aren’t giving a lightning talk during a particular session and other members of the Notre Dame community are invited to tune in and watch those who are presenting:

See the Speaker Lineups

Get Zoom Info to WATCH the Lightning Talks

We hope as many faculty as possible will embrace Moment to See, Courage to Act as an opportunity to help shape the future of Notre Dame.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Emily Marrese, senior administrative coordinator for the associate provost for strategic initiatives.

*Note: At this point, Moment to See, Courage to Act seeks the participation of tenured and tenure-track, teaching, professor of the practice, advising, clinical, research, and library faculty members. We are developing ways for other members of the Notre Dame community to contribute in the future.