Monday, August 24th, 2015

The Circle Economy Presents ‘The Circular Awards’ Apply by September 30

circularsUpon reading this headline, you might be asking yourself, “What is the circular economy?”.  The circular economy is a resource efficient alternative to the traditional wasteful linear economy. It decouples growth from scarce resource use allowing economic development within natural resource limits and allowing companies to innovate to enable customers and users to do ‘more with less’.

The Circular Awards cover 7 categories and a people’s choice award, they are: Award for Circular Economy Leadership, Award for Circular Economy Multinational, Award for Circular Economy Government, Cities & Regions, Award for Circular Economy Investor, Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor, and the People’s Choice Award. Entries are due by September 30th, 2015 and can be submitted by clicking here. The awards will be presented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2016.

Past winners include organizations such as Method. Based in San Francisco, Method is a pioneer in premium, environmentally-conscious and design-driven home care, fabric care and personal care products. The company has a product development engine built on circular economy principles to ensure that all its products are sustainable. This includes using materials that can be infinitely recycled in technological and biological cycles, using renewable sources of energy, producing clean water and practicing social fairness. The company’s products and processes have brought about innovations that have saved millions of tons of waste, eliminated countless toxic chemicals from homes, and reduced the carbon footprint of ordinary household products by more than a third. method currently has over 80 products that are “Cradle-to- Cradle” certified at the Gold level. The company is also building the first LEED Platinum certified manufacturing facility in the industry, which will be carbon neutral, water neutral, and landfill free. It will be powered by 800kW of on-site solar and wind energy (thecirculars.org).

 

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Congratulations to 2015 IPSS Graduating Fellows

Miis_flags

 

Congratulations 2015 IPSS fellows! 

This Spring, 30 International Professional Service Semester fellows set off to work in Austria, Italy, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, Romania, Samoa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Washington D.C., and Monterey County.  These students worked for some of the most well known organizations in the international policy world, including The United Nations Development Program, UN Women, The Food and Agriculture Organization, The World Trade Organization, World Wildlife Fund, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The Marine Conservation Institute, The International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Organization for Migration.

IPSS fellows have written that their internships were tremendously valuable, both academically and professionally.  Students were able to expand on their academic studies through trainings, conferences, and field-research.

Several of these semester long internships have resulted in job offers for IPSS 2015 fellows!  We wish all fellows the best in their new careers!

 

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

DPMI Plus Fellow Mia Schmid works to improve water security in India

Mia Schmid

Mia Schmid is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at the Middlebury Institute with a concentration in learning, evaluation, and accountability.

Mia Schmid believes that “monitoring and evaluation of social development projects needs a radical reorientation to locate community organizations at the helm of the learning process.”

Mia is currently on her DPMI Plus assignment,  a semester long immersive learning opportunity for graduate students at the Middlebury Institute, working in 120 degree heat in Jodhpur, India. Her first project involves launching a new initiative focused on water security within 6 villages in the Thar desert.

Schmid will also document program strategies related to women’s self help groups and vocational training programs, develop a field reporting tool, and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan for a new pilot program.  Learn more about her experience on her blog>>>. 

 

 

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

IEM Practicum-DPMI Plus fellow collaborates with progressive language school in Mexico

Luz Vasquez

Prior to studying at the Institute, Luz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador in the Community Organization and Economic Development Program.

Luz Vazquez-Ramos, candidate for a dual graduate degree in Public Administration and International Education Management, is currently working as a Special Projects Manager for the CETLALIC Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico for her IEM Practicum and DPMI Plus fellowship.  CETLALIC, self-described as the most politically and socially progressive Spanish language school in Mexico, was founded in 1987 by Salvadorian and Nicaraguan refugees.  Every language course is taught following Paulo Friere methodology, an approach designed to teach Spanish, Mexican culture, and generate a sense of solidarity with Latin America.  The program also offers students an opportunity to participate in a variety of social justice programs.   In a recent exchange with the GSIPM office, Luz wrote, “As a former student of CETLALIC, I have learned about current and past social justice movements through CETLALIC, however I never understood the intentional and direct connection to El Salvador and to Nicaragua.  I am beyond touched and humbled by the work CETLALIC has done.”  This summer and into the fall semester, Luz will be developing a new study abroad program specifically created for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.

Through her background and work at CETLALIC, Luz has become inspired to develop greater solidarity among undocumented immigrant youth in the United States and the academic community in Mexico.

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

MIIS IPSS Fellow Liz Martinis researches financial inclusion in Peru

For her IPSS fellowship, Liz Martinis worked with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development and conducted field research with IPSS fellow, Gaelen Hayes.

 

Imagine hiking up a mountain, finally arriving to a house, flipping a coin that ultimately lands heads instead of tails, and continuing up the mountain to the next house. Such research has been conducted using dice and flipping a coin in order to maintain randomization. For the last 6 months, IPSS fellow and Dunspaugh Dalton recipient Liz Martinis has been hiking around the Sacred Valley of Peru conducting research centered on financial access and inclusion.  Fortunately, Liz has had the support of IPSS fellow Gaelen Hayes and the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, a non-profit started by MIIS Alumni, Aaron Ebner and Adam Stieglitz, to conduct this immersive research project.

Liz’s interest in the region began with an initial research project with Team Peru in January 2014.  Since then, she’s been determined to learn more about financial culture within historically marginalized communities.  She believes that, “a key asset for insuring health of communities is access to financial resources.  These resources allow families to invest in livelihoods, education, and health, as well as fortifying them against unexpected shocks and times of hardship.”  Through her research with Hayes, Liz has experienced surprises and challenges in the field, and her study has evolved based on responses from surveys, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews.  Ultimately, her hope is to “help families gain resources which can be used in a manner they deem most beneficial.”  Read more about her findings here.

 

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Are you ready for a challenge?

D-Prize is dedicated toward expanding access to poverty-alleviation solutions. While many solutions exist, the challenge is distributing these solutions to those who need them most.

D-Prize challenges social entrepreneurs to develop better ways to distribute technologies and methods to improve people’s lives.

D-Prize is awarding up to $20,000 to social entrepreneurs with the best solutions to specific challenges in the following areas:

  • Girls Education
  • Energy
  • Education
  • Governance and Infrastructure
  • Global Health
  • Custom

A two page idea needs to be submitted by September 7!

Visit the D-Prize website to learn more about the challenges, the goals of D-Prize, and the read about recent winners.

Monday, July 6th, 2015

GSIPM Students wanted for participation in graduate student panel!

Attention MIIS mafia! Your future classmates need your help! If you are a current student of one of the following programs (or know a friend who is) and will be in town on 7/24, please come, share your experience and provide guidance for our incoming graduate students! If you are interested, please email Kimberly England (kengland@miis.edu) or Howard Wu (haochew@miis.edu). Thank you!

  • Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies
  • International Policy and Development
  • International Trade and Economic Diplomacy

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

DPMI alumnus puts training to work in food security efforts in Ethiopia

IMG_1772Sitting down with Care Deputy Chief of Party and January 2015 Monterey DPMI Alumnus, Girma Hailu

During a 3-day trip to Addis Ababa after the DPMI Kenya training, I was able to meet-up with January 2015 DPMI Monterey alumnus, Girma Hailu in his hometown of Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia.

Girma has been serving as Deputy Chief of Party, Food Security for Farmers (FSF) for CARE in Ethiopia since last fall.

The CARE Food Sufficiency for Farmers project (FSFP) is a 5 year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and executed by CARE Canada through CARE Ethiopia. The project aims at ensuring sustainable food security of chronically food insecure women, men, girls and boys in selected districts of the Oromiya and Amhara regions. The project works in collaboration and builds on the Ethiopian government National Food Security Programs and targets over 34,000 households; among which 13 percent are female-headed. The project will be implemented through 3 main components: i) improving the enabling environment for food security; ii) diversifying economic activities for food insecure households and iii) improving resilience to climate risks.

Click here to read more

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

MIIS Professors Release Study on Importance of Agriculture in Monterey County

MIIS professors Jeffrey Langholz and Fernando DePaolis conducted a study on the impact of agriculture on the economy of Monterey County. KSBW.com reported on the study on June 30.

The study shows that agriculture contributes $8.1 billion to the local economy and provides 76,000 jobs, making it the county’s largest employer.

According to the KSBW.com report, Professor Langholz says that while having one sector be responsible for employing so many people has risks, the fact that agriculture in Monterey County is so diverse does help lessen the risk. He adds that Monterey has one of the most diverse crop portfolios in the nation.

Read the full article by KSBW.com.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Incoming MIIS Student Receives Prestigious Rangel Graduate Fellowship

Connecticut College graduate, Pablo Tutillo, has spent much of his time traveling in the last several years. Born in Ecuador, he graduated from Connecticut College in 2013 and has spent time working and/or studying in places such as Turkey, Egypt, and Brazil. He was recently named one of 30 recipients of the prestigious Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, awarded to college graduates interested in foreign affairs.

The fellowship provides up to $95,000 over two years for a master’s degree and arranges for internships on Capitol Hill or in U.S. Embassies.

Pablo will be attending the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey this fall with dreams of  becoming a diplomat.

The MIIS community looks forward to welcoming Pablo! More can be read about him and his previous work here.

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Adventures to Parts Known & Unknown

MIIS and Frontier Market Scouts alumna, Yuniya Khan, has certainly been making the most of her experience in Brazil. Yuniya is wrapping up a seven week stint working with entrepreneurs in Salvador, Brazil. Her work with the organization Instituto Mídia Étnica (IME) has included workshops on design thinking, business modeling, financial sustainability, fundraising, and marketing. And she’s done it all while learning Portuguese!

In addition, Yuniya has also been learning about the obstacles that entrepreneurs face while starting and running a business in Salvador. She plans on returning to Salvador in late August to continue working with IME to launch the organization’s first ever co-working space targeting black entrepreneurs. She will also be collaborating with another organization, the Amani Institute, to offer courses on social innovation, design thinking, and other relevant topics to the entrepreneurs in our co-working space, as well as in Salvador at large.

Yuniya is a FMS alumna and founder of Team El Salvador.

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

MIIS Professor Writes on the Politics of Trade

The issue of trade has been a hot topic recently and is weighing heavily on the minds of President Obama and congressional leaders. MIIS GSIPM professor of trade and development, Robert Rogowsky, recently published an editorial in the Washington Examiner concerning trade and the role of the United States.

Professor Rogowsky’s editorial, “Trade politics and the decline of American leadership”, focuses on the historic role the U.S. has played over the last 70 years in liberalizing trade policies along with the importance of upcoming trade policies.

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

MIIS Center for the Blue Economy fellow gets surprise visit from MIIS staff at Nairobi UNEP Headquarters

IMG_1707On the day of my departure from Nairobi, I ventured to the Gigiri neighborhood of Nairobi to visit the 140 acre United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON). The complex houses over 20 UN offices including the headquarters for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). Both UNEP and UN-Habitat headquarters were established in Nairobi in the late 1970s.

After you pass through UNON security you are greeted by a beautiful winding walking path lined with international flags ending at life-size bronze elephants and 10 meter high “KaribuUN” letters. The compound offers the chance of observing local wildlife such as red duikers, squirrels, marsh mongoose, vervet monkeys and olive baboons.

As I toured the conference center, I made my way to the new UNEP offices to visit our unsuspecting Center for the Blue Economy Fellow, Emma Tonge, currently serving as an intern on the Marine Litter Project. Emma follows in the footsteps of 2015 CBE fellow, Kelsey Richardson (IEP ’05) whose summer 2014 UNEP Marine Litter Project research is now being used in two published UNEP reports including: “Valuing Plastics: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry” and a second report on the use of microplastics in personal care and cosmetics products. Kelsey is now serving as a MIIS International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) fellow at the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa.

Click here to read more

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

MIIS IPSS alumnus tracks illicit weapons trading around the world

Jonah_Leff_UN_Weapons_Inspector
Information provides governments and policymakers with arms data previously never available.

It was my first year working at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey when I met MIIS IPS ’06 alumnus Jonah Leff. He was studying the effects of conventional and small arms violence under the tutelage of MIIS professor Edward Laurance, a pioneer in the field of small arms and light weapons trade treaties and research. Jonah was also a fellow serving an internship at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Research (UNODA) through the MIIS International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program. The IPSS program is designed to help students jump-start their careers through junior-level internships in their field during their final semester of graduate schoo.

Jonah currently serves as Director of Operations at Conflict Armament Research and is based out of Nairobi, Kenya (where we recently met). It’s been wonderful reconnecting with Jonah over the years and to see the MIIS and Middlebury College students he has supported in entering the important field of preventing armed violence.

Click here to read more

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Creating a Broader Impact: MIIS’s Summer Peacebuilding Program

2015 is the inaugural year for the Middlebury Institute’s newest opportunity for professional and academic advancement, the Summer Peacebuilding Program (SPP). It is set to begin July 27 with a total number of 17 participants. The first cohort represents a varied background, from activists to students and entrepreneurs.

The program is set to run for three weeks and focus on bridging theory and practice regarding effective methodologies for facilitating peace in zones of conflict. Offered through the Center of Conflict Studies, SPP offers a fantastic opportunity to work with specialists and practitioners who have dedicated time to resolving some of world’s most pressing security issues. In its inaugural year, SPP participants will have the opportunity to utilize their newly found knowledge within the local community in Watsonville, CA.

For more information, please visit the Summer Peacebuilding Program website.

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Greater Middlebury alumni community comes together in Nairobi

IMG_1640 IMG_1633 IMG_1636 IMG_1635 IMG_1639A June 9th reception in Nairobi drew over 25 members from the entire Middlebury community including alumni from Middlebury College, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), the MIIS Frontier Market Scouts fellowship, and the MIIS Program on Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation (DPMI).

The event was held at the Aga Khan Graduate School of Media and Communications in the 9 West building in the Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi, the site of the June 2-11 DPMI Kenya training. The group welcomed the wonderfully diverse group of DPMI Kenya trainees to the alumni community. DPMI Kenya participants in the June training hail from over seven different countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Niger, Venezuela, the Philippines, South Africa, and the US).

Highlights from the event include how effortlessly the group of alumni from different Middlebury backgrounds connected as well as the short speech made by guest of honor, Dr. Beryl Levinger, a Distinguished Professor and Development Policy and Practice Program Chair at MIIS. During Beryl’s speech, she likened what many alumni are doing in the development and social enterprise space to a quote from Thomas Edison on the process of inventing the light bulb, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Beryl then told the group, “You fail many times trying to find the right approach. The common thread is that you are all here trying to make a difference.”

Click here to read more

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Throwback Thursday: DPMI Rwanda 2015

Check out this great footage from DPMI alum Anissa Bensaid during her time in DPMI Rwanda. What do you think about DPMI Rwanda? Let us know your thoughts!

 

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

20 Participants from Across the World Complete DPMI D.C.

DPMI DC 2015

20 students and professionals from all parts of the globe gathered in Washington, D.C. to attend a three-week intensive training program on the best practices for development. With such a diverse group, representing 13 different languages and cultures, discussions were rich and ideas flowed freely.

Throughout the duration of the program, participants were able to take advantage of their location and visit organizations such as the Institute of Peace and the World Bank. Case studies from Haiti, Zimbabwe and Nepal were also utilized to highlight opportunities for design and innovation. The most fascinating component for many participants was the opportunity to employ the skills they were learning, such as empathy mapping and social marketing campaigns.

Further delving into development  and innovation, the participants recreated the dynamic of  partnering diverse organizations to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. In this simulation, groups were created representing different organizations, who then sent representatives to facilitate partnership agreements. Through the creation of these groups and partnerships, the D.C. cohort was able to conduct significant research both on the organizations and issues at hand. The end result was a combination of very realistic  partnerships and innovative projects.

The DPMI D.C. cohort cannot wait to utilize their newly found skills in the field.

Monday, June 8th, 2015

DPMI Kenya Course Focuses on Designing Solution Strategies for Local Systems

IMG_0017 IMG_0004 IMG_0014  IMG_0015

Group includes 13 wonderfully diverse participants from seven countries

Update from Nairobi, Kenya: We are halfway through our 8-day certificate training jointly offered by the Locus Network and the Program on Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation (DPMI) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).

Participant Profiles

The group includes 13 participants from seven countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Niger, South Africa, the Philippines, Venezuela, and the United States). Participants include Locus Network members from Pact, MIIS graduate students, and other international development practitioners. One Locus participant commented, “I’ve enjoyed meeting others in the group, and it has been a tremendous opportunity to learn from Dr. Beryl Levinger given her decades of experience in international development and teaching.”

Click here to read more

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Middlebury Institute Hosts Frontier Market Scouts Training

 

FMS photo

FMS participants doing hands-on work in the fields of social enterprise and impact investing. Photo credit: Sarah Sterling

The Middlebury Institute is hosting 26 students and professionals for the next two weeks (until June 12) for their Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) training, hosted by the Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL). Over the session, participants will partake in a variety of seminars, lectures, and hands-on activities with a focus on social enterprise and impact investing. These courses are being taught by leading social impact sector practitioners. After completing the training, many FMS fellows use the skills they gained to do a field experience fellowship in these fields. Positions for these internships are available around the world. For more information on FMS or the CSIL, please click here.  For the full FMS blog, see here

Next Page »