How We Choose Projects: The Forum

Deputy Director Avril Haines

Every few months, Columbia World Projects convenes approximately 35 experts from inside and outside of Columbia University to address a fundamental challenge facing humanity. The participants have a range of substantive and institutional perspectives, and are asked to come to the meeting — which we call a Forum — with concrete project proposals for how research and scholarship can be brought to bear to address some facet of the challenge in partnership with practitioners who are trying to solve the problem, in a way that results in measurable impact.

The goal of the Forum is to identify the projects that have the greatest potential for addressing the challenge and thereby improving people’s lives, while also enriching research and scholarship. After promising project ideas are identified in the Forum, they undergo a rigorous design phase, at the end of which Columbia World Projects decides whether to implement them in the world beyond the university.

Read more information on how a Forum works.