Besides the incredible network of SIPA Students and Alumni, being at Columbia gave me the chance to access other great exclusive groups. One of them is the network of Lemann Fellows.

The Lemann Fellowship was established by the Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann, in order to support students that are committed to the overall advancement of Brazil, through their educational and professional experience. The fellowship is is curated by the Lemann Foundation, and includes lifetime access to an incredible network of people (including Jorge Paulo Lemann himself!). If you want to become a Lemann Fellow like me, you need to write a separate essay explaining your connection with Brazil – but always check the website for more information, since the rules of application might change from year to year.

The Lemann Fund also strengthens Columbia University’s research, teaching, and discussion of Latin America. The Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) is one of the nation’s foremost centers in the field and it is the house to the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies, that serves as a key focal point for students and faculty with an interest in Brazil. ILAS regularly hosts events related to Latin America (you can check out their full agenda of events here).


Here I am checking in for the event!

Here I am checking in for the event!


In order to achieve its goals, the Lemann Foundation holds regular events inside and outside Brazil. These events are a great opportunity to get Fellows together and foment discussions about Brazil’s hot topics. Every year one major University hosts one of such events, called the Lemann Dialogue. It took place in Stanford, in 2014, and it is scheduled for Harvard, in 2016. But last semester what was hosted by SIPA. The 5th Annual Leman Dialogue (Innovating in the Brazilian Public Sector) was by far one of the best events I saw at Columbia. You could see a complete myriad of Brazilian authorities in the lobby, such as   Ministers, such as Tereza Campello; former head of Brazilian Development Bank, Andre Lara Rezende; Brazilianist, Professor Albert Fishlow; Presidential candidate, Marina Silva, besides Jorge Paulo Lemann . The event’s panels discussed topics such as: | The Current Political and Economic Landscape; Policies and Social Inclusion; Reforming Representative Democracy in the XXI Century; Technology and Citizen Engagement; Urban Development and City Management; Coordinating the Flow: Addressing the Challenges of Urbanization; Innovating in Policy Making for Education (click here for a complete list of topics).

If you want to get a better view of what the event was all about, watch the following short video:

The Fifth Annual Leman Dialogue was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I hope I can make it to the sixth edition!