Inter-Policy School Summit Brings Together Rising Policy Stars to Generate Innovative Policy Solutions

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy will host more than 30 students from top public policy schools from around the country, as part of the first-ever Inter-Policy School Summit, March 3-5, 2017.  The Summit, developed to revolutionize the landscape of policy conferences, will unite great minds in a collaborative environment to design tangible solutions for a carefully chosen global challenge.

“Too often, policy conferences consist of talks and discussions that do not result in concrete outcomes,” says second-year Harris Public Policy MPP student Marie-Noelle Steinig. “The brainpower that comes together at the Summit shall be used to generate impactful public policy solutions for real global challenges.” Steinig, along with fellow second-year student Manuel Esquivel and a committed team of Harris students, have been the driving force behind the Summit, with strong support from Harris Public Policy’s Career Development Office.

In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNDP RIO+ Centre, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and the International Innovation Corps (IIC) at UChicago, the policy challenge selected for this year’s Summit deals with the legal recognition of indigenous lands in Brazil, drawing on existing research projects of the IIC, implemented in the Brazilian Amazon region. The questions that will be tackled and answered during the Summit will address key challenges involving conflict resolution, climate change and sustainable development.

Students from policy schools around the country will be joining Harris students on a weekend-long event of teamwork and collaboration on topics such as economic value of natural resources, game theory models for conflict resolution, cost-benefit analysis, inclusive markets and social new ventures, with the objective of the development of a final proposal to be implemented by the IIC.

“Innovation is key to successfully addressing big challenges,” says Harris Interim Dean Kerwin Charles. “The entrepreneurial Harris students who inspired the Summit have given the next generation of policy leaders an incredible opportunity to come together and make an impactful contribution to ongoing policy work. We are excited to host and showcase the bright thinking of students from around the country, highlighting our data-driven approach to solving global public policy issues.”

Many generous supporters have made the Inter-Policy School Summit possible, including The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, the Harris Public Policy Student Association, the UChicago Graduate Council and Student Government.

For more information on the Inter-Policy School Summit, please visit our website or follow the conversation on online using #IPSSummit17 on Twitter and Facebook.



The International Innovation Corps (IIC) is a program based at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and has as mission to identify and implement scalable, sustainable, high-impact interventions that make great leaps in solving pressing development challenges. The IIC aims to foster a culture of innovative problem-solving within the public sector and build a generation of global leaders on a foundation of international collaboration. Launched in India in 2014, the program currently operates in India and Brazil and plans to expand to other countries around the world.


Driven by the belief that there’s a science to social impact, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy empowers a new generation of fearless thinkers to turn their passion for social good into measurable social impact. Combining real-world immersion and the latest tools of social science, we look at the evidence of how things are and uncover how to make things better, developing solutions that don’t just feel good; they are good, because they are built on rigorous analysis. Through this distinct point of view, our faculty drive innovative policy research and pedagogy, and our graduates emerge able to make smarter, data-driven decisions and lead positive change across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Photo: Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT).