Annual 2018 Conference: Innovative Solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
GPPN Conference 2018 was hosted by the School of International Public Affairs, Columbia University. This year again, GPPN invited students to identify an important policy challenge associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that can be addressed through creative applied solutions, be it via private, public or hybrid approaches. Students are encouraged to work in teams and consider solution-oriented prototypes that use ICTs, policy innovation, and/or data analytics to address public policy challenges that have been identified by the SDGs below:
Keynote speakers and additional jury members included Jeffrey Sachs, Ronaldo Lemos, Director of the Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro, Andrew Rasiej, Founder and CEO of Civic Hall and Chair of the New York Tech Alliance, Patricia Georgiou, Head of Partnerships & Business Development at Jigsaw, Google, Anja Tolonen, Assistant Professor of Economics, Barnard College.
At the conference, 36 student teams from the 6 GPPN member schools including 5 teams / 15 students from GraSPP and STIG/GSDM presented their projects in the “180 seconds competition” to a jury of the deans from each school. 13 teams were selected as finalists to move on to day two, where they presented their creative solutions in greater depth, and our judges had the chance to give them feedback. At the end of the two days, the jury was proud to announce the winning team “” from SIPA Columbia as the recipient of the GPPN Grand Prize and 5 “Honorable Mention Teams” including “Blockchain Energy” from GraSPP.
GraSPP teams presented:
- Blockchain Energy – Selected as finalists & Honorable Mentions
- SLAYR – Selected as finalists
- The Energy Network
- Smart Irrigation Project
- The WasteWatch
Also, GraSPP delegations visited the Harvard University and participated in a joint seminar with Harvard Graduate School of Education. The seminar started with Ice-break Breakfast Discussion followed by presentation on Education Reforms in Japan by Prof. Kan Suzuki, and students from both schools participated in a policy roundtable discussing how education can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.