GPPN Annual 2018 Conference:
Innovative Solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Columbia SIPA hosted the annual conference of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) in late February, welcoming peers from around the world for a two-day program devoted to “Innovative Solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Administrators and students in attendance represented SIPA and the network’s six other member schools: the Sciences Po School of Public Policy (Paris), the LSE Institute of Public Affairs (London), the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) at the University of Tokyo, the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin), the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Singapore), and the Fundação Getúlio Vargas School of Business Administration (São Paulo).
The conference began with a welcome from Dean Merit E. Janow and Professor Glenn Denning, who is GPPN’s scientific advisor. Students later heard keynote addresses from Peru’s Glauco Seoane, who serves on the second committee for the Reform of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, and SIPA’s own Jeffrey Sachs, a University Professor at Columbia who directs the Center for Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute.
As in previous years, the conference featured a competition among participating students to identify creative applied solutions to a pressing policy challenge. In particular, the 2018 competition asked student teams to apply ICT, policy innovation, and/or data analytics to some issue related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 36 participating teams responded with enthusiasm, proposing innovative solutions to a variety of challenges. Some targeted their programs at the country level—in Argentina, India, Japan, and elsewhere—or in cities like New York and Paris. Others pursued more general applications that could achieve success in varied locations.
This year’s winners were Shanna Crumley MIA ’18 and Gemma Torras Vives MPA ’18, who comprised one of the several teams that addressed refugee-related issues. Their proposal called for “a digital backpack for refugees” that would preserve educational records and other formal and informal credentials, making it easier to attend school or pursue work.
“Refugees don’t have a good way to carry their learning—their achievements—with them,” said Crumley. “That’s why we came up with the idea to use credentials that are verifiable and transferable.”
Competition judges included administrators from GPPN schools along with three guests—Patricia Georgiou, head of partnerships and business development for Jigsaw, the technology incumbator created by Google; Ronaldo Lemos, director of the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio De Janeiro; and Andrew Rasiej, founder and CEO of Civic Hall and chair of the New York Tech Alliance.
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To consult the full program: click here.
2018 GPPN Conference New York
Held from 23-24 February 2018, Columbia SIPA hosted the conference with the theme of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Held from 17-18 February 2017, the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs hosted the conference with the theme of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
2015 GPPN Conference Sao Paulo
Held from 3-5 December 2015, FGV-EAESP hosted the conference with the theme of “Public Challenges Facing Global Cities”
2014 GPPN Conference Berlin
From 5-7 December 2014, the Hertie School of Governance hosted the conference with the theme of “Managing the New World Disorder: 25 Years After the End of History.”
2013 GPPN Conference Tokyo
From 5-8 December 2013 the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo hosted the conference on the theme of "Public Policy for 2020: Medium-Term Agenda with a Better Vision."
2012 GPPN Conference Singapore
From 2-3 December 2012, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore hosted the annual conference with the theme of “Turning the Tide: Policies for a Changing World”
2010 GPPN Conference London
Held on 22 March 2010, the London School of Economics hosted the GPPN conference with the theme of “Global Challenges: Global Impact”.
2009 GPPN Conference New York
From 19-20 November 2009, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Columbia University in New York hosted the conference with the theme of “Navigating a Multi-Polar World: Challenges and Opportunities”
2008 GPPN Conference Paris
From 5-9 November 2008, the School of Public Affairs of Sciences Po, Paris hosted the conference with the theme of “Governance in a Globalizing World."
2007 GPPN Conference Singapore
From 22-23 October 2007, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore hosted the conference with the theme of “Globalizing Asia or Asian Globalization?”
2006 GPPN Conference Paris
From 16-18 October 2006, Sciences Po Paris hosted the Inaugural Conference of the Global Public Policy Network on the topic of Advancing Next-Generation: Leadership in Global Public Policy: Research, Training, and Practice.
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