NEW YORK, July 9, 2012 — From July 15-20, The School of the Arts, the School of Continuing Education, The Earth Institute, and Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University welcome the Global Leadership Fellows from the World Economic Forum. The Fellows will take part in a series of workshops and programs on the importance of leadership in an increasingly globalized world.
The Fellows, who hail from over 40 countries, come to Columbia for the third consecutive year with a diversity of backgrounds, experience and areas of interest. This year’s return visit is the result of successful workshops in which the Fellows took part in exercises and seminars that instructed how arts, theater and the sciences can influence strong leadership. Previously, the workshops were covered in The New York Times and The NewYorker magazine.
The 2012 workshops for the Fellows have enhanced programming in the sciences with sessions on issues of global sustainability, including climate change, public health and conflict resolution, organized by The Earth Institute, School of Continuing Education and Mailman School of Public Health. “The Fellows have a unique opportunity to learn about and reflect on individual and collective accountability, challenging conventional thinking and policy reasoning,” said Gilbert Probst, managing director and the dean of the Global Leadership Fellows Programme at the World Economic Forum. “The interaction with Columbia faculty not only allows us to do a deep dive into initiatives and issues important to the World Economic Forum, such as energy, water, social responsibility and health, but also strengthens relationships and collaboration with top researchers and leaders in the arts.”
The science and public health program, titled “Global Sustainability and Complexity,” aims to promote innovative thinking about global issues through a cross-disciplinary approach focusing on climate science and risk, urban agriculture, sustainability, global public health, resource management and alternative energy solutions. “The Mailman School is a pioneer in designing public health understanding for leaders,” said Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health. “This understanding is key in our multi-sectoral world, where health is dependent on effective collaboration across concentrations.”The workshops will be guided by faculty from the Earth Institute, Mailman School of Public Health and School of Continuing Education and will feature visits to campus research labs and meetings with representatives from public and private sector stakeholders.
“We are excited to host the Fellows at Columbia,” said Steve Cohen, executive director of The Earth Institute. “This is a unique opportunity for them to study with The Earth Institute’s world-class researchers and learn about the cutting-edge science and practice of sustainable development, and for our faculty to learn from the diverse experiences of these future world leaders.”
The science portion of the week will conclude with a synthesis activity, where the Fellows will apply the lessons learned to case studies on urban planning and sustainability, using New York City’s own PlaNYC as a guide. “Sustainability exemplifies the complexity of the challenges facing the world’s leaders of today and tomorrow,” said Kristine Billmyer, dean of the School of Continuing Education. “This seminar addresses critical environmental concerns at the same time that it introduces fellows to the School of Continuing Education’s cross-disciplinary approach to solving complex problems.”
With the success of previous summer workshops on improving leadership through an awareness of arts and theater practices, the Global Leadership Fellows will participate in “The Art of Storytelling,” organized and led by School of the Arts faculty. This year’s workshops have an added filmmaking component with “Storytelling on Film,” led by professor Jamal Joseph, the former Chair of the School of the Arts and founder of IMPACT Repertory Theatre.
Daytime arts and theater workshops will be taught by School of the Arts faculty member Andrea Haring along with Brent Blair, founding director of Applied Theatre Arts programs at the University of Southern California; Merry Conway, co-artistic director of the Conway and Pratt Projects theater group; and language and voice coach, Louis Colaianni. The workshops will demonstrate the myriad ways in which the arts, theater and improvisation can effectively bolster the qualities of strong leadership. Workshops will include “Freeing the Natural Voice,” “Physical Presence and Status,” and “The Value of Humor,” among others.
“The role of the arts in communication across borders, in affecting positive social change and in transforming the way people think about and interpret change on a large scale, is powerful yet not always obvious, essential yet sometimes overlooked,” said Carol Becker, dean of faculty at the School of the Arts. Becker is also a member of the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum on Art in Society. The Global Agenda Councils, which are comprised of experts from academia, business, civil society and government, address over 80 pressing issues facing the world today.
Evening programs in the arts for the Fellows will include a private screening of the documentary The Interrupters, with the film’s director and producer Steve James and cast member Ameena Matthews. The Interrupters tells the story of three “violence interrupters” in Chicago who try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed themselves. The film’s central subject is the group CeaseFire, which was recently recruited by the city of Chicago’s Department of Public Health to formally assist the police force in managing the recent uptick in violent crime in the inner city. Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel decided to recruit CeaseFire after viewing The Interrupters, exemplifying that the arts can be the catalyst for reform in social and public issues. Among the other evening events is “Theatre of War,” a groundbreaking theatre performance project which presents dramatic readings of ancient Greek war plays—Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes—as a catalyst for town hall-style discussions about the impact of war. “Theatre of War” will be performed by Outside the Wire theater company.
The depth of the programming for the Global Leadership Fellows, both in the arts and in the sciences, highlights Columbia’s international outlook and active collaboration with a broad range of global institutions and organizations. This outlook is also embodied by the Columbia Global Centers in Beijing, Amman, Mumbai, Paris, Nairobi, Istanbul, and Santiago, and by Studio-X, the linked research and exhibition art spaces that are located in Beijing, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro and New York.
About Columbia University
Among the world’s leading research universities, Columbia Universityin the City of New York continually seeks to advance the frontiers of scholarship and foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and confronting the complex issues of our time through teaching, research, patient care and public service. The University is comprised of 16 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, and four affiliated colleges and seminaries in Northern Manhattan, as well as a wide array of research institutes and global centers located in major cities around the world. More than 40,000 accomplished students, award-winning faculty and professional staff define the University’s underlying values and commitment to pursuing new knowledge and educating informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
About the School of the Arts
Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theater Arts, Visual Arts and Writing, and a Masters of Arts in Film Studies. The School is a thriving, diverse community of artists from around the world who have the talent, vision, and commitment to become exceptional artists. The faculty is comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theater directors, writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics and scholars. Every year the School of the Arts presents exciting and innovative programs for the public including performances, exhibitions, screenings, symposia, a film festival, and numerous lectures, readings, panel discussions and talks with artists, writers, critics and scholars.
About The Earth Institute
The Earth Institute at Columbia Universitymobilizes the sciences, education and public policy to achieve a sustainable earth. Through interdisciplinary research among more than 500 scientists in diverse fields, the Institute is adding to the knowledge necessary for addressing the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. With over two dozen associated degree curricula and a vibrant fellowship program, the Earth Institute is educating new leaders to become professionals and scholars in the growing field of sustainable development. We work alongside governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals to devise innovative strategies to protect the future of our planet.
About the Mailman School of Public Health
Founded in 1922, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health, the School’s 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 105 countries, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit www.mailman.columbia.edu
About the School of Continuing Education
The Columbia School of Continuing Education offers innovative and rigorous programs that integrate knowledge across disciplinary boundaries, combine theory with practice, leverage the combined expertise of our students and our faculty, and connect global constituencies. Through its 13 professional master’s degrees, courses for advancement and graduate school preparation, certificate programs, summer courses, high school programs, and program for learning English as a second language, the Schooltransforms knowledge and understanding in service of the greater good, defined as a just, sustainable and compassionate global society.
About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.