I decided to take a detour from the classroom series today to share with you some exciting content from the Fall 2015 Tech & Policy newsletter. SIPA’s Tech & Policy Initiative is an ambitious effort to fuse public policy, engineering, data science and entrepreneurship through activities including innovation competitions, start-up incubator space and interdisciplinary research. By equipping the next generation of public policy students with a deep understanding of new technology, nurturing organizations that are building novel tech-based solutions to pressing public policy problems and supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research at the intersection of tech and policy, SIPA is establishing itself as a preeminent authority in technology and public policy.

A new round of the Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant, visits from two of the highest level cyber security policy makers in the United States, and the release of the proceedings of New York City’s biggest tech and policy conference are a few of the recent highlights.

Just Released: Conference Proceedings

You may recall learning about the Conference on Internet Governance and Cyber Security on this blog last spring. The proceedings from that conference are now available online.

Next generation scholars have contributed to these proceedings, which summarize the discussion held at the conference and propose an agenda for future research in policy areas ranging from digital trade, to cyber security and the Internet of Things, and beyond.

For more information, please see the Conference website. You can also watch a two-minute recap of the conference below.

Digital Economy

Evaluating the Importance of the Digital Economy
Dean Merit E. Janow, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Professor Eli Noam and Martin Wolf examined the concept of the ‘digital economy’ and unpacked the consequences of the continued adoption of digital technologies on economic growth and income inequality on Oct 23.
Watch a video of the event.

World Development Report 2015: Digital Dividends workshop
The authors of the World Bank’s annual World Development Report presented parts of the report, on Digital Dividends, for discussion with a group of Columbia SIPA students, scholars and faculty on Oct. 21.

Internet Governance

The High Politics of Internet Governance
The two co-convenors of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Amb. Lana Nusseibeh and Amb. Jānis Mažeiks, joined a panel featuring Laura DeNardis, Gordon Goldstein, David Gross and Veni Markovski to discuss global Internet governance given impending review of the WSIS process.
Watch a video of the event.

Cyber Security

The Future of Cyber Power
Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency visited Columbia SIPA to discuss the latest developments in cyber security.
Watch a video of the event.

Managing Our Nation’s Cyber Risk
Alejandro Mayorkas, the Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security, spoke with Jay Healey, SIPA’s Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Security, about how the US Federal government is approaching cyber security policy.
Watch a video of the event.

Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant

The next cohort of The Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant awardees have been selected and their ideas include providing solar energy in India to easing the legal procedures that refugees face through a cell phone interface.

Awardees are now going through bootcamp sessions on starting new ventures, prototyping, financial planning, legal issues and effective pitching.

Keep an eye on the grant, as a total of $50,000 will be awarded to two or three winning teams from each competition. Who knows — that could be you next year!