MPPGA Students Attend Global Public Policy Network Conference

MPPGA students Tommy Koh and Alexandra Martin in Singapore

Two MPPGA students, Tommy Koh and Alexandra Martin, from UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs attended the 2019 Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) Conference held at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) in Singapore from March 1, 2019 to March 2, 2019.

The GPPN is an international network of Public Policy schools. It is currently composed of seven member schools: LKYSPP, University of Tokyo (GraSPP), SciencesPo, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Hertie School of Governance, Columbia Univeristy SIPA, and Fundção Getulio Vargas at the Escola de Administração de Empresas in Sao Paolo (FGV). The GPPN serves as a platform for institutional partnership, research collaboration, and student exchange. The member institutions of the GPPN organize an annual international conference for students of the member schools to come together and engage in debating the most pressing issues of global public policy.

The purpose of this year’s conference was to showcase creative solutions to the problems defined under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It featured student teams who presented three-minute ‘elevator pitch’ versions of their innovative policy solutions which were assessed by a panel of Deans on the criteria of how well the project addressed the SDGs, the creativity of the solution, and the project’s ability to be scaled-up to a global application. The conference also showcased inaugural student teams completing year-long projects as part of the requirements of a new “SDG Professional Certificate”.

Alexandra and Tommy participated as visiting guest delegates at the invitation of LKYSPP Dean Danny Quah. Both students engaged in partnership building discussions with Kartini Rahman (LKYSPP Associate Director of Career Services, Alumni Relations, and Academic Partnerships) and Florence Siew (Senior Associate Director of MPP MPA and Academic Affairs). Alexandra and Tommy delivered partnership materials highlighting the SPPGA’s strengths in Asia, the VISION20 Initiative, and the close institutional relationship between UBC and the National University of Singapore.

Both UBC SPPGA representatives observed formal conference proceedings and connected with principals and staff from GraSPP, Hertie School of Governance and LSE. Upon their return, Alexandra and Tommy produced a partnership development memo outlining what was accomplished during the trip, highlighting the next steps for the SPPGA to pursue in strengthening relations with LKYSPP and the GPPN.

During their time in Singapore, Alexandra and Tommy also engaged with students, alumni and faculty representatives from across the seven GPPN member universities. They also met with prospective and existing SPPGA partners and affiliates, including the leadership of the Canadian ASEAN Business Council (CABC) and researchers at Yusof Ishak Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS).

To learn more about the GPPN, please visit