In this World Leaders Forum discussion, directors of the eight global centers along with Columbia faculty will have a dynamic conversation with student participants around important global themes. This will be a first-hand opportunity for students to discuss and debate ways in which Columbia University and the Columbia Global Centers network can be leveraged to address these issues. These discussions will demonstrate the global centers' regional approaches to important global challenges, and also illustrate the cross-functional and interdisciplinary collaboration being exhibited and needed in order to effectively examine these issues.
Themes discussed may include post-2015 development, the sustainable city, democratic reform and freedom of expressions, the politics of public space, cultural globalization, social inequality, and the sharing of wealth and natural resources.
About the Columbia Global Centers: To maintain its status as one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, Columbia University embarked on establishing a deliberate approach regarding international engagement. This strategy has demanded the creation of new structures that allow the University to increase its global scope and enrich diversity of academic experience. The Columbia Global Centers are nimble hubs that provide a foundation for students, faculty, affiliates, and alumni to explore academic opportunities. The centers encourage new relationships across schools, institutes, and academic departments at Columbia. Attuned to the priorities and unique circumstances of its host region, each center leverages the University's diverse intellectual capacities and pursues a set of university-wide core activities that evolves over time based on the active engagement of faculty and students. Some of the centers' programs and research initiatives are country-specific, some regional, and an increasing number are multi-regional, even global. The network is in its infancy, and each center has started by building strong links with universities and institutions in its respective region. The long-term ambition is that many programs will have a global reach and involve multiple centers in the network engaged in truly global conversations.