This paper examines the role of a research network that involves design schools and researchers from a wide variety of disciplines. The C-SAN Futures network addressed the role that global exchanges within design education and research networks can play in addressing challenges related to climate change. The network organized researcher and student exchanges, events, collaboration with local communities and the building of a digital platform to support knowledge exchange and communication. Through these actions, the network highlights the importance of a new kind of dialogue and new approaches to design research and education that underline possible futures and an approach to sustainability based on an understanding humanity as a holistic ecology. The paper shows how the network has played a key role in meaningful exchanges between design students and teachers, and given participants access to new experiences, perspectives and strategies for addressing climate change, sustainability and resource dilemmas.