SAR 2020 Global Congress

Friday, Mar 27 2020 4:00 am

SAR staff joins Executive Director Rob Quinn on screen to thank the Network for a successful Congress.

On March 26 and 27, the Scholars at Risk 2020 Global Congress went virtual and brought together hundreds of SAR Network members and partners around the world to explore the theme, Truth, Power & Society: The Promise of Higher Education in Challenging Times. Discussions with university and college presidents, scholars, human rights leaders, students, and members of the press reflected three core roles of higher education: (i) research and teaching leading to new insights and understanding; (ii) evidence-based contributions to public discourse and policy; (iii) and meaningful engagement with the broadest public good. Understanding these roles goes to the heart of increasing pressures on higher education around the world—from outside infringements on autonomy, violent protests, and wrongful prosecutions to imprisonment and more. 

We are grateful to our partners across the global SAR Network who, in these now extraordinary times, contributed content to the Congress as speakers and as part of an interactive audience. Live Q&A and parallel discussions across social media (#SARCongress2020) enriched the dynamic panel presentations and conversations. Over 500 registrants joined throughout the two days — in their very early mornings, during their working hours, and late at night — and put the community spirit of the network on full display.

View the congress program
View the congress report


For those who were unable to attend or would like to revisit the panels and plenaries, a video catalogue of the full Congress program can be found below. 

Access the video catalogue 



Your feedback is important to us. To help improve our programming for future remote and in-person convenings, we invite you to share your thoughts on what worked, what you’d like us to feature in the future, and what we can do better. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at


We know that a virtual Congress is not in any way the same experience, and we will especially miss the opportunity to be together, to share, to see friends and to make new friends. Congress is our favorite, and among the most important parts of our shared work together. As the public health situation clarifies, we will be looking for an opportunity to get together in person, with the possibility of rescheduling the Congress, in whole or in part, in New York City for the week of November 16-20, 2020. This would mark the release of the annual Free to Think report and the close of SAR’s 20th anniversary year. We would appreciate your marking your calendars with the possibility.