India is regarded as one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It also faces enormous economic challenges, including persistent poverty and rising inequality. The Mumbai Center’s activities and projects in this area are currently focused on the future of work in India, entrepreneurship, and finance. We lend support to research projects and student initiatives through public events and internships. Our Innovation program serves as an accelerator for student and start-up solutions across a wide range of disciplines and schools, including Columbia Business School, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and the School of International and Public Affairs.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
As part of its ongoing initiative, the Urban Works Innovation Challenge, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai announce its inaugural 2018 challenge that focuses on designing product and service solutions to transform 21st-century workplaces in India into sustainable environments. The Center partnered with the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University and the CoWrks Foundry to design the process and reach out to students and young entrepreneurs.
Studies and design challenges on the features of innovative workplaces have been primarily focused on US and European contexts. In light of this, Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is partnering with Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai to launch the Urban Works Innovation Challenge – a multi-year collaborative design challenge to boost the current and future potential of the Indian workforce. Supported by the RMZ Foundation, the initiative will address the critical need to transform 21st-century workspaces.
As part of its ongoing efforts to study the future of the global economy, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai partnered with Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative to organize a workshop focusing on the Model International Mobility Convention (MIMC). The MIMC, which provides a global framework for the rights and protections of migrants crossing international borders, was designed after reaching a consensus with more than 40 academics and policymakers from around the world.
The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School is now accepting applications for the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. This Fund provides seed grants of up to $25,000 to nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid early-stage social and environmental ventures around the world.
On December 1, the Obama Foundation hosted a Town Hall in New Delhi with former US President Barak Obama and a selected group of young Indian leaders from across the country. The Town Hall expanded upon the conversations during similar events in Germany, Indonesia, and Brazil – exploring how the Obama Foundation can support leadership development for making an impact in the world.
Immigration has become a hot button issue, churning electoral politics around the world. In 2015, 1 million refugees crossed the Mediterranean to arrive in Europe, fueling concerns among the public about immigration, leading to the rise of far-right political parties across most of the continent and ultimately galvanizing Brexit – United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. In Asia, rising resentment towards expats led to a new policy, giving Singaporeans priority over expats in the job market while Malaysia and Thailand turned away hundreds on migrant boats.
Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai partnered with the Committee on Global Thought on a project intended to discuss pressing issues affecting globalization in the world today and to do so in conversation with colleagues in different parts of the world in academia, government, business, journalism, and civil society. The Mumbai component of this Global Think-In, organized on April 24, 2017, took the form of a virtual video conversation among experts from India and the Columbia University campus.
Creativity, which is considered to be a key driver of innovation, is often characterized as an indefinable and innate quality possessed by a few people. The Center organized a presentation and panel discussion with Gita Johar, Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and writer Aparna Piramal-Raje to demystify the concepts of creativity and innovation.