Alumni Engagement

There are more than 700 Columbia alumni in Chile, many of whom are engaged with either the Columbia Alumni Club Chile, which was created in 2018, or with the Columbia Business Alumni Club of Chile, which has been active for many years. Both are very dynamic and are permanently organizing site visits, roundtable discussions and social gatherings. 

In 2020, the Columbia Global Centers made available on the Santiago Center website seven innovative projects related to Covid-19’s impact in Chile, which were conceptualized and implemented by Columbia Alumni in the context of a call for proposals launched in May.

The seven projects, which range widely in scope, were selected from a total of 28 alumni-submitted proposals that were evaluated and rated by a group of the Santiago Center’s Advisory Board members.

The submitted works are:

  • La Creatividad No Para, led by Paloma Estévez (SOA’19): Creative solutions addressing Covid-19 in four cases: Liceo Bicentenario Pablo Neruda de Arica, Cocina País, The Tunnel of Life by Grupo Air, and clothing manufacturer Monarch.
  • Promoting Young Children's Autonomous Learning, led by Alejandra Cortázar (TC’11): A child-friendly online platform in Spanish, with a repository of resources (digital and for print) for children aged 3-6 to use autonomously from home. This project is supported by the World Bank and the Center for Studies on Early Childhood, CEPI.
  • Diosas de lo Íntimo, led by Ximena Vial (GSAS’16): Women have been the keepers of the intimate space and familiar memory since ancestral times; however, their work and relevance has been kept in the private spheres of history and left out of traditional accounts. This archive registers and provides visibility of diverse Chilean women in the midst of a global pandemic. The project includes a “making of” video and an advance preview with three such stories, with the remaining seven stories to be published shortly.
  • Covid’s Impact on the Labor Market, Fueled by Automation, led by Pablo Egaña del Sol (GSAS’16): A paper which suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic may serve as a catalyzer for automation in several industries throughout Chile. Crossing datasets containing material on the degree of exposure to automation at the occupational level, with information related to telework capacity, the amount of physical proximity and the level of exposure to infectious diseases at the workplace, the researcher concludes that 13% of female workers and 21% of their male colleagues are under high risk of automation. The study also highlights the existence of a high degree of variability at the industry and territorial level throughout Chile.
  • The Politics of Coronavirus in Chile, led by José Miguel Cabezas (GSAS’12): An analysis of political announcements from March to June 2020, demonstrating that government policies can effectively reduce – or encourage – the movement of individuals during a pandemic.
  • Comparison of Educational Initiatives in Campamentos in the Context of Covid-19, led by Valeria Moraga (SIPA’19): A case study on the impact of two interventions - internet access and remote tutoring - on the mental health and educational indicators of children between 6 and 14 years old, who live in informal settlements.
  • Understanding the Impact of Social Distancing Measures and Quarantine on Vulnerable Families with Pre-School Children, by Carmen Le Foulon (GSAS’14): An analysis on how different social distancing measures in Chile have impacted the most vulnerable families with pre-school children, while also identifying potential risk factors and protective measures.

The Santiago Center has also partnered with the Columbia Alumni Association of Chile in producing programs such as "NYC in the 50s and 60s: A Conversation with Alumnus Joseph Ramos," with the Columbia Business School Alumni Chile Club in developing events including "From the End of the World to the Forefront of Innovation," and with the Columbia Business School Alumni Peru Club in "Perú: Perspectivas Económicas en el Contexto de las Elecciones Presidenciales."