News Archive

(Why Peacebuilders Need to) Dump the Terms 'Success' and 'Failure'

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 7:25pm

Making a sustainable impact in complex peacebuilding environments requires that we stop thinking in terms of success and failure. Complex, adaptive social systems mean that striving for “success” often leads us to make unsustainable or even negative impacts; while avoiding “failure” means we stifle learning and miss opportunities for innovation. Rob Ricigliano will share his work with The Omidyar Group in thinking and acting differently in complex environments in order to implement a new paradigm for making sustainable change in a complex world.

Limits to Management in Armed Conflict in the Age of Complexity

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 7:21pm

Making gains on environmental, social, and economic sustainable development requires that organizations adapt to a new and increasingly interconnected reality. However, moving into this interconnected space spanning development, environmental management and peacebuilding work is costly and challenging. In his talk, Dr. Fisher offers a perspective on how we can know that efforts to span silos and traditional operational boundaries are worth it.

Social Acupuncture

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 7:07pm

For many years, Dr. Orit Gal has been engaged in solving the Middle East conflict and has explored why accumulated actions to resolve the conflict have failed. Dr. Gal suggests that complexity can help us understand why conflict and other social challenges cannot simply be reduced to a list of individual ‘problems to solve’. Rather, she suggests that the metaphor of Chinese acupuncture can offer insights into understanding how small interventions can disrupt and change the behavior of individuals, the dynamics of entire social systems, and the world in which we live.

Mathematic of Human Behavior

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 7:05pm

Physics models are simple but people are complex. How can mathematical models help us understand human behavior? Dr. Larry Liebovitch will share how simple mathematical models and equations can tell us surprising things about the consequences of human behavior.

Hidden Patterns in Peace and Reform Processes

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 7:01pm

Elections, peace talks, protests, and other conflicts are highly visible symbols of countries undergoing political and social change. However, such visible symbols sometimes mask the deeper, hidden patterns that are actually driving the social system. Drawing on examples from Myanmar’s peace and reform process, this talk will illustrate how revealing and acting on hidden patterns can help international assistance avoid inadvertently doing harm, while supporting more sustainable, positive transformation.

Peace is a Pattern: Simple Rules for Sustainable Peace

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 6:55pm

In complex adaptive systems, including human social systems, patterns emerge when diverse agents follow the same short list of simple rules. In her talk, Dr. Glenda Eoyang will explore some of these simple rules and the emergent patterns they create in both the natural and human worlds. She’ll then explore the question “How can we use simple rules to see, understand, and influence patterns for sustainable peace?”

Complexity, Intractability, and Social Change

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 6:51pm

Intractable conflicts are those conflicts that persist over time and space. They draw us in and we seem to remain trapped in their grip despite efforts of many to resolve them. Examples are easy to identify – from national and international conflicts to a longstanding family feud. In his 10-minute talk, Dr. Peter Coleman will share a new way of thinking about and engaging in intractable conflict – through the lens of complexity science and dynamical systems theory

Trans-Enrollment at Barnard

Submitted by Danielle Smith on Thu, 4 Jun 2015, 12:40pm

Danielle Fox conducted interviews with Barnard students and alumni surrounding the issue of trans-enrollment at Barnard College. Fox also attended a townhall at which Barnard students were invited to discuss this issues and references it throughout the program. The interviews included in this program were all conducted independently of each other.

AC4 December

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Mon, 22 Dec 2014, 8:21pm

Peter T. Coleman interviews Larry Liebovitch, Professor of Physics and Psychology at Queens College of the City University of New York.

No Red Tape

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Mon, 8 Dec 2014, 12:50pm

Columbia and Barnard's anti-sexual assault movement have gotten significant national media attention, but the coverage never strays far beyond profiling the loudest voices. Late City Edition Producer Naomi Cohen interviews Smita Sen, who started organizing around sexual assault last fall, to talk about the activists who have stayed in the shadows. They discuss the work done before No Red Tape, the survivors who aren't showing up to the rallies, and the arguments that aren't painted on the signs.

AC4 November

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Wed, 19 Nov 2014, 11:25am

Peter Coleman interviews José Pascal da Rocha, a professor of conflict resolution at Columbia. Pascal spent the 90s and early 2000s going on peacekeeping missions and serving as a mediator and advisor everywhere from Afghanistan to Somalia. Pascal discusses his experiences in the field and explains how paper-based role-playing games have helped him solve huge and seemingly intractible real-world problems.

Making Conflict Work

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Fri, 24 Oct 2014, 2:38pm

In October's collaboration with the Advanced Consortium for Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity, the AC4 team discusses their new book Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement.

Kenan Juska

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Fri, 5 Sep 2014, 9:34pm

Late City Edition producer Sarah Kerson interviews Kenan Juska, collage artist and one half of the DJ collective Chances with Wolves. He spent three years collecting trash and cast off items on the street and compiling them into collages, which are on display until Sept 7 at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Alex Fischer

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 8:48pm

Beth Fisher-Yoshida interviews Alex Fischer, Associate Director of the Haiti Research and Policy Center at Columbia University's Earth Institute.

Regarding Susan Sontag

Submitted by Erica Getto on Fri, 16 May 2014, 10:28pm

Tune in for an interview with Nancy Kates, producer and director of the forthcoming HBO documentary Regarding Susan Sontag. The film offers an in-depth study of intellectual, filmmaker, and activist Susan Sontag. We sat down with Kates to discuss the film, which debuted at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Pier Kids: The Life

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Tue, 6 May 2014, 1:48am

Late City Edition producer Sam Lutzker sat down with Elegance Bratton, director of the upcoming documentary, Pier Kids: The Life. Through the true stories of three young people, as well as that of the director himself, this documentary examines the lives of the more than four thousand homeless gay and trans youth of color who congregate around Christopher street and the nearby piers.

Tweeting Cancer

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Thu, 17 Apr 2014, 10:32pm

How does social media change how we talk about death? How might outlets like twitter shape and expand conversations around terminal illness? Writer Meghan O'Rourke draws on personal research and experience of her own mother's death to discuss cancer's place on twitter and the evolution of mourning rituals in a world that is both hyper-connected and hyper-disconnected.

CU Prison Divest

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Mon, 7 Apr 2014, 7:13pm

Late City Edition Producer George Joseph sat down with representatives from Columbia University Prison Divest to discuss the private prison industry, divestment, and student activism.

Severine Autesserre: Conflict Resolution in Congo

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Fri, 21 Mar 2014, 10:37pm

Severine Autesserre, expert in peacebuilding and peacekeeping with years of field research under her belt, talks about her research on how local, national and regional violence interact and feed each other in war-torn areas. Why are international peacekeepers often so ineffective? What happens when foreign aid only exacerbates conflict? Professor Autesserre offers new insight into question of why peace interventions tend to fail, and offers unconventional solutions to help build sustainable peace.

The Idealist

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Tue, 11 Mar 2014, 11:31pm

After six years of research, journalist Nina Munk has written The Idealist, a book doccumenting the efforts of Jeffrey Sachs in global sustainable development. Sachs is a professor at Columbia University and the director of the Earth Institute.

Futurecoast

Submitted by Ruby Dutcher on Thu, 6 Mar 2014, 10:24pm

Late City Edition Producer Ruby Dutcher sat down with game designer Ken Eklund, who talks about his most recent project, an interactive science fiction game called Futurecoast. Futurecoast hopes to teach people about climate change and help create conversation about possible futures through the "untapped narrative potential" of voicemails.

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