Rutgers University and University of Havana Collaboration Conference
The Evolving of a New Economy, Science, and  Society of Cuba: Challenges and Opportunities

November 10-15, 2019

The fourth annual conference of the Rutgers University/University of Havana Collaboration continues the joint research, discussions, and development of projects between faculty at the respective universities to build and enrich knowledge around the shared topics and themes of the collaboration:  community development and entrepreneurship, including the arts; STEM fields, including environmental, marine, and computer science; and population health.  As determined by the Leadership Committee of Rutgers and the University of Havana, the conference will have the following agenda (subject to change):


November 10

Group Travel to Havana; Evening Dinner and Meeting with Collaboration Leaders


November 11

Plenary Session:

A New Political Era:  U.S. and Cuba Relations
This session will address the ongoing political relationships and dynamics between the United States and Cuba as Cuba continues to open up to foreign investments, industries, and trade to stimulate its economy and workforce.  Panelists will discuss how the Cuban constitution can incorporate new reforms that will ease tensions and challenges between the two countries.

Afternoon Working Sessions:

Digital and Internet Access
Broadband and Internet connectivity continue to be a challenge for Cuban society, particularly in rural areas and when affected by natural disasters.  This session presents new ideas for implementing technology in accessible, efficient, and affordable ways to allow Cubans to utilize digital tools and resources.

Sustainable Local Community Development and Social Equity:  Environment, Climate Change, and Resiliency
This session unites leaders across the community development and environmental science fields to discuss solutions and innovations for building capacity and resilient communities across the island.  Using an asset-based and appreciative inquiry approach, scholars will identify key resources and knowledge readily available for communities to withstand pressures of climate change.


November 12

Plenary Session:

The Cuba Health System:  Local and Global Challenges and Opportunities
The Cuban health system continues to be a model for delivering accessible health care for all of its residents.  This session presents structures and methods for how Cuba builds a network of health workers throughout the community to address the pressing population health needs.

Afternoon Working Sessions:

Nano, Bio and Material Sciences: Multidisciplinary Approaches
This session unites scholars in the STEM fields to discuss how to use natural resources and technology to solve health, environmental, and marine challenges that Cuba faces.  Experts will share groundbreaking research to address innovative solutions that are cost-effective and widespread.

Social Inequalities:  Education, Politics, Civil Society, and Workforce Development
Social inequalities in Cuban society continue to challenge the public sector and opportunities to grow a strong workforce to emerging industries and economies.  This session addresses how social policy can impact the education sector to prepare workers for the demands of a new economy in Cuba.


November 13

Plenary Session:

Entrepreneurs and Innovation:  Arts as a Vehicle for Community Transformation (with performances)
Artists from the U.S. and Cuba will share their projects that transform a community and provide jobs and resources to the people.  Art unites community in solidarity and shared meaning, and builds capacity.


November 14

Morning Concluding Working Sessions
Afternoon Visits to Community Projects
Closing Dinner


November 15

Group Departs to Newark

Call for Proposals and Papers

The Conference Leadership Committee invites faculty from each Rutgers campus (Camden, Newark, New Brunswick, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences) and other institutions to submit a proposal to present during the conference based on the themes and topics above.  The committee is seeking a diverse pool of scholars who have already been working on research projects with their Cuban counterparts, as well as scholars who are relatively new to the collaboration, but can provide unique insights into the topics and themes.

Download proposal form for details and criteria


Call for Posters 

Download proposal form for details and criteria


Registration Information

Travels arrangements (Group round trip flight from Newark, Lodging, Ground Transportation, and Four Dinners in Cuba) provided by Marazul Tours

Travel Prices
Single Room and Flight: $2,330

Double Room and Flight: $1,960

Please complete Marazul Application | Credit Card Authorization Form and send, along with a copy of your valid passport, to Angela Garcia at and Matthew Closter, Ph.D., at

Registration fee: $400
Hotel Melia Cohiba
Paseo entre 1ra y 3ra, Vedado, 10400 La Habana, Cuba
+53 7 8333636

Fee includes conference materials and others logistical needs. Please complete the Community Leadership Center payment form and return by mail or fax to

Matthew Closter, Ph.D.
Rutgers-Camden Community Leadership Center
501 Cooper Street, Camden, NJ 08102
Fax: 856-225-6500

Contact for questions/specific information:

Matthew Closter, Ph.D., Research Associate
Rutgers-Camden Community Leadership Center | 856-225-6923


Rutgers–Camden Community Leadership Center
Rutgers–Camden Office of the Chancellor
Rutgers University Office of the President
Rutgers–Newark Office of the Chancellor
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) Office of the Chancellor
Rutgers Global
Institute of International Education (IIE)