Archive for earth institute – Page 2

Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity

One of the great things about being a student at SIPA is the vast number of activities and resources that are part of Columbia University.  One great example is the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (or AC4) housed at the Earth Institute.  AC4 is a consortium of existing programs, centers, institutes, and faculty at Columbia.

AC4 brings together faculty, students, scholars, researchers, and practitioners to stimulate innovative and interdisciplinary research in conflict resolution, violence, peace-building, and sustainable development.   There are many tangible benefits for SIPA students, including the funding of projects.  Each fall as many as 12 projects are funded by AC4.   Below is a flyer for an upcoming event and for more information please visit their web site.

Admitted Students Day – Jeff Sachs

“I can keep it brief. You should definitely come. Any questions?”

On that lighthearted note, Professor Sachs began his keynote speech on Tuesday’s Admitted Students Day. The topics he discussed after this initial joke weren’t always so sunny, though.

Climate change. Public health. The tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan.

They are, as he put it, “a new set of complexities that our current leaders have not been trained to solve.” But that doesn’t necessarily imply a completely bleak worldview.

Watch this video of Professor Sachs’ speech to see the rest of the story:

Earth Institute Practicum

One of the tremendous advantages of attending SIPA is the vast array of resources available through Columbia University.  There are numerous institutes and centers to learn from along with the ability to cross register for classes across the university.  Each year SIPA students take close to 700 non-SIPA courses.  This provides students with a great way to built their resume, increase their network, and learn from other world class faculty.

Current SIPA student Beatriz Guillén wrote the following post on her experience with The Earth Institute.


One of the best things at SIPA is its comprehensive course offering. You can take classes in all Columbia’s graduate faculties: at the Law school, at Teachers College, or at the Business School, for example.  Among the courses I am taking this semester there is one of special interest “The Earth Institute Practicum”, a Law school course taught by Earth Institute faculty members. Every week an expert working at the Earth Institute at Columbia teaches a class related to their field of expertise, providing a broad picture of the comprehensive work they are doing at the institute. Students are expected to read the articles posted online for each specific topic to stimulate discussion.

The first class, taught by Cheryl Palm, Roseline Remans and Sean Smukler, dealt with the interrelation between food, ecology, nutrition, and health and an analysis of tropical agriculture.

Other professors teaching the class this semester include  Andrew Juhl, Ajit Subramaniam, Kathy Callahan will address the Oil Disaster in the Gulf, Steven Cohen will speak on environmental management, Marc Levy on Haiti reconstruction, and Jeffrey Sachs on sustainable development.

U.N. Secretary-General Visits SIPA Students in Malawi

One of the hallmarks of a SIPA education is 30 full weeks of professional development while studying in our program.  Although employers value academic learning, the immediate challenges they face require people of action.  Our professional development opportunities teach you how to mix what you are learning in the classroom into the “real world” of complex policy development.

Practical training takes place through a 15 week internship and a 15 week workshop.  Both projects are completed with real world policy agencies and give you the opportunity to showcase your abilities and experience in a job interview.  Internships and workshops can also be completed anywhere in the world because we do not offer summer classes.  The summer is an ideal time to travel anywhere in the world to complete one the required professional experiences.

One set of policy goals our students have been involved with are the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The Secretary General of the United Nations recently visited one of the projects SIPA students have been working on under the guidance of Professor Jeff Sachs.  An excerpt of the article is below, the full article can be found on the Columbia News site.   And for details on other workshops our students have been involved in, please see our workshop page.

On May 30, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Mwandama, a rural village located in southern Malawi once marked by rampant and extreme poverty. Since 2006, however, the village of approximately 35,000 people has been moving closer to achieving sustainable development, thank to its involvement in the Millennium Villages, led by Columbia’s Earth Institute, along with the United Nations Development Programme and the nonprofit Millennium Promise. The initiative strives to help poor communities end hunger, achieve education, have access to health care and meet other vital needs using best practices in science, research and technology.


Working closely with local and national governments, businesses and other partners, Columbia researchers and students from across the University are applying their expertise in public health, energy, water, agriculture, engineering and other areas to help communities meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—eight objectives for meeting basic human needs and achieving sustainable growth. Approximately 500,000 people now live in 80 Millennium Villages, all of which are located in “hunger hotspots,” areas of low agricultural productivity and extreme hunger. The hotspots comprise several different agro-ecological zones distributed across 10 sub-Saharan African countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

MPA in Development Practice Information Session

SIPA offers seven different degree programs and as a reminder, this blog focuses mainly on our two-year, full-time MIA and MPA degree programs that have been in place for decades.  However, SIPA also started a new two-year, full-time degree program this year – the MPA in Development Practice.

While the skills developed in the MPA-DP are similar to our other two-year programs, it also has a unique focus on development issues in Africa and the entering class is much smaller.  You can learn more about the MPA-DP program through attending an information session and by utilizing the contact information below.

MPA-DP Information Session

Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Location:  Columbia University, Morningside Campus, International Affairs Building, Picker Center Conference Room

Contact:  Catherine Q. Aldrich, or call 212-854-9610

RSVP:  Register Here

Event Description:

Speaker:   Glenn Denning, Director, MPA in Development Practice; Professor of Professional Practice, Faculty of International and Public Affairs; Associate Director, Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University.

The Columbia University Master’s of Public Administration in Development Practice (MPA DP) presents an information session for prospective students with Glenn Denning, Director, MPA in Development Practice; Professor of Professional Practice, Faculty of International and Public Affairs; Associate Director, Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University.  Open to the public.

For more information on the MPA in Development Practice click here.

Web Site:

Application Deadline for Fall 2010: January 5, 2009

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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