2011 Bologna, Italy Symposium


The 2011 Bologna Symposium has successfully come to a close!  Applications for the 2012 Bologna Symposium and IPSI’s newest leadership training program, The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice, will open on November 30, 2011.  Join our mailing list to receive updates.

In cooperation with Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the 2011 Bologna Symposium will bring together the globe’s brightest young minds from top graduate institutions, international organizations, grassroots peace movements, and the armed services. Over a four-week period, participants will undergo intensive training by the field’s premier political leaders, academic experts, practitioners, and advocates in the practical skills necessary to foster peace and security in their communities and the world. In addition, participants may apply to earn graduate-level course credit from SAIS, one of the world’s top graduate schools for international affairs.

The curriculum of the Bologna Symposium on Conflict Prevention, Resolution, and Reconciliation is designed and managed by IPSI in coordination with Academic Coordinators Dr. P. Terrence Hopmann, Director of the SAIS Conflict Management Program, and Dr. William Zartman, prolific conflict resolution theoretician. The course work includes modules on conflict prevention, conflict management and resolution, and post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction. Participants graduate from the program with the knowledge to effectively confront violent conflict – be it ethnic, social, political, religious, or economic – through learned mediation, negotiation, facilitation, social entrepreneurship, leadership, and societal transformation techniques and a clearer understanding of the dynamics of contemporary conflicts. The course is scheduled as below:


Sampling of  Speakers/Trainers invited for the 2011 Bologna Symposium:

BETTY BIGOMBE Chief Mediator between the LRA and the Government of Uganda

A. HEATHER COYNE NGO and International Organization Liaison Officer, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan

ROBI DAMELIN Head of Public Relations, Parents Circle – Families Forum

DR. FRANCIS M. DENG UN Under-Secretary General, Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide

GARETH EVANS Former Foreign Minister of Australia; President Emeritus, International Crisis Group; Co-Chair, International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

DR. PHILIP TERRENCE HOPMANN (IPSI Academic Co-Coordinator) Director, Conflict Management Department, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

AMBROSE JAMES Country Director, Sierra Leone, Search for Common Ground

AMB. JACQUES PAUL KLEIN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Liberia; Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Bosnia and Herzegovina

JEFFREY MAPENDERE Sudan Country Director, The Carter Center International Observation Program

JOHN MARKS President, Search for Common Ground

SUSAN COLLIN MARKS Senior Vice President, Search for Common Ground

DR. JOYCE NEU Founder and Senior Associate, Facilitating Peace; Former Team Leader, UN Standby Team of Mediation Experts


SERENA RIX-TRIPATHEE Country Director, Nepal, Search for Common Ground

EMERIC ROGIER Head of Analysis Unit, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court

DR. VALERIE ROSOUX Research Fellow at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) and Professor of International Negotiation at UCL

RAYMOND SHONHOLTZ Founder, Partners for Democratic Change

ALVARO DE SOTO Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central American Peace Process; Former Special Advisor to the Secretary-General for Cyprus; Former UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process

WILLIAM STUEBNER Former Special Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY); Former Chief of Staff and Senior Deputy for Human Rights of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

DR. ANTHONY WANIS-ST. JOHN Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

JERRY WHITE Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Co-founder, Survivor Corps (formerly Landmine Survivors Network)

DR. I. WILLIAM ZARTMAN (IPSI Academic Co-Coordinator) Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

ACADEMICS:The Bologna Symposium’s unique curriculum bridges the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge by employing practitioners at the forefront of the peace and security field to teach about theory from the perspective of personal experience. For example, participants will learn conflict analysis techniques from the head of the UN’s mediation team of experts, mediation skills from Search for Common Ground, social entrepreneurship from a Nobel Laureate, negotiation skills from some of the top negotiators in the world, and civil-military cooperation from a high-ranking military official. During a morning session, a top academic will lead participants through a workshop on the fundamentals of International Justice. In the afternoon, the class will then hear from the Prosecutor at the ICC and a judge from the ICJ.

Each expert lecture is matched with a workshop, game, or simulation to provide the student body with crucial experiential learning.  Students also have the opportunity at the end of each day for a thirty minute break-out session in groups of ten, each led by one of IPSI’s experienced summer staff.  In these break-out groups, students are able to grapple with the issues of the day in small comfortable groups.

Participants graduate from the Bologna Symposium with a firm understanding of the three phases of conflict management (conflict prevention, resolution, and reconciliation), as well as the practical skills to confidently address violent conflict at all stages.

Bimal Dahal Quote

Mediation & Negotiation: Training in the art of mediation and negotiation is not only useful when at the negotiating table, it has the capability to transform the way people think about the world and how they approach communication in all their interactions. Upon completion of an IPSI Symposium, you will be equipped with the tools to break down complex conflicts into their individual pieces and then confront each piece separately. You will understand how to differentiate between interests and needs and find common ground where none appeared to previously exist.

Social Entrepreneurship: Social entrepreneurship models provide innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change. Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps. At the Bologna Symposium, you will undergo instruction on social entrepreneurship theory and techniques from some of the world’s current leading social entrepreneurs.

Matt Hughes QuoteStudent-Trainer Network: By connecting participants to one another and to leading experts, IPSI provides an active and on-going forum for our alumni.  Through social networking, IPSI facilitates a platform to brainstorm innovative solutions addressing some of the world’s leading security threats and development challenges.  Relying on the power of dialogue, networking, and collaboration inherent in our programming, IPSI catalyzes constructive discussions regarding peacemaking, peacebuilding, and human security.  Through the diverse skills and regional expertise of its vast network, IPSI strives to be at the forefront of thought leadership in Peace & Security.  In addition, IPSI’s Staff, Board of Directors/Advisors, and lecturers are available to help you plan and execute long-term career goals.

Student-Speaker Dinners: According to student feedback, one of the more popular and unique aspects of the Bologna Symposium is the Student/Speaker Dinners.  Prior to arrival in Bologna, each participant is asked to list the top three speakers/trainers he or she would like to have dinner with over the month.  From these requests, a schedule of nightly dinners is posted so each student is included in two dinners.  Each weeknight, a group of 5-8 students enjoy a leisurely Bolognese-style dinner with some of the world’s top peace and security leaders.  It is at these dinners that much of the mentoring, awareness of employment/internship opportunities, and one-on-one conversations take place.

Peer Learning: Because peer learning is a crucial component of IPSI’s curriculum, we provide two structured ways to formally initiate the process.  First, participants have the opportunity over the course of the month to give an optional thirty-minute presentation on a topic of personal interest.  These optional student presentations are scheduled for the last half-hour of lunch each weekday and were extremely popular in 2010.  Participants are asked to sign-up for a time-slot prior to arrival in Bologna.  Second, IPSI is adding a new optional evening feature this year for students to share their favorite peace and security-related documentaries or films and then facilitate a discussion or conduct a skills-training for their fellow participants that will take longer than the alloted 30 minutes at lunch time.  Each weeknight at 20:00, a different film screening or peer-training will take place related to the topics discussed in class.  Participants will have the opportunity to suggest films or peer-trainings for the schedule prior to arrival in Bologna.

Peace & Security Labs:One the most exciting aspects of IPSI symposiums are the Peace & Security Labs.  A select number of innovative participant projects sparked by the Bologna Symposium and developed under our expert guidance are supported by IPSI and used to test new and pioneering approaches to peacebuilding.  IPSI then utilizes the lessons-learned from the Labs to drive the evolution of our training curriculum.

IPSI has already funded one social entrepreneurial student project from the 2010 Bologna Symposium through the Peace & Security Labs competition.  Inspired by an IPSI training on Social Entrepreneurship, a participant designed a proposal for an innovative microfinance project in rural southern Uganda focusing on microloans for graduates of vocational institutes to begin their own businesses.  He is currently in-country, working on making his dream a reality and in the process is empowering an entire community.

SAIS ACADEMIC CREDIT: Participants selected for matriculation may apply to receive one (1) transferable graduate level course credit (4 units) from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) if they satisfy SAIS requirements for admission into its non-degree summer programs; failure to be admitted to the credit program does not prevent students from participating in all other aspects of the seminar.  The Academic Coordinators for course credit are Dr. P. Terrence Hopmann and Dr. William Zartman. Please indicate on your application whether you are electing to take the Bologna Symposium for academic credit, as SAIS will require additional application materials.  Those students pursuing the academic route will face an additional rigorous, albeit ultimately rewarding, curriculum including graded written assignments.

PROGRAM DETAILS: The Bologna, Italy Symposium on Conflict Prevention, Resolution, and Reconciliation will take place from June 26 – July 22, 2011.  You will arrive on June 25 and depart July 23. Classes will be held at the SAIS Bologna Center, with accommodations nearby at the Aemelia Hotel. Your tuition includes all educational materials, shared double room, meals (breakfast seven-days-a-week and lunch Mon-Fri), and special events. Your classes will be held from 9:00 to 18:00 Monday-Friday.  Tuition does notinclude travel to or from Bologna.

Your weekends are free for the exploration of Bologna’s cobblestone streets and Italy’s treasures. In addition, IPSI will arrange optional group trips to vineyards, museums, cathedrals, and other attractions to learn about Italian culture, food, wine, architecture, and history.

EVENT SPACE: Home to the oldest university in Europe, the city of Bologna has a long tradition of education, cultural heritage, and political vitality that make it an attractive location for IPSI’s flagship Symposium, as well as SAIS’ European branch. Now in its sixth decade of operation, the SAIS Bologna Center—the leading American graduate school for international affairs in Europe—offers a unique educational environment that distinguishes it from typical exchange or multi-institution programs. The Bologna Center is adjacent to the University of Bologna in the heart of the historical university district and holds the largest English language library in international affairs on mainland Europe. As an IPSI student, you will have exclusive access to all SAIS Bologna facilities including the library, computer lounges, wi-fi network, common areas, and classrooms.

James Deane Quote

Accommodations in Bologna: At the Bologna Symposium, you will reside in the four-star Aemelia Hotel, only a short walk from the SAIS Bologna Center and the famous two towers in the city center. The Aemelia Hotel’s rooms, many of which offer superb views of Bologna’s roofs and hills, offer high-speed Internet, satellite TV, film on demand, air conditioning with individual control, minibar, hairdryer, and a safe wide enough to contain a laptop. Two wide terraces will enable you and other IPSI guests to relax in the open air in front of the beautiful skyline of the towered city. The hotel also has a gym for students that like to exercise.

STUDENT SELECTION:The IPSI Bologna Symposium strives to attract a diverse and accomplished student body from across the globe, especially peace and security leaders from conflict and post-conflict countries. A balanced and effective student body will draw from a broad spectrum of regions, religions, and ethnicities. IPSI will accept up to 80 young professionals, graduate students, and accomplished rising seniors, based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Stellar academic and/or professional achievement
  • Keen interest in Peace & Security
  • Proven record of leadership positions in community affairs
  • Experience in/with government agencies
  • Military background
  • Demonstrated ability in undertaking social entrepreneurship ventures

To be considered for matriculation, you will need to provide the following materials via our online application form:

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Short essays (1000 characters or less) on
    • WHY you would like to attend the Bologna Symposium & WHAT you intend to do with the training received
    • WHAT does being a Peace & Security leader mean to you
  • Letter of recommendation
  • $25.00 application fee (waived for full scholarship applicants)

Scholarship applicants are responsible for submitting an additional short essay on “why you are uniquely suited to utilize IPSI’s trainings to foster peace & security in your country/region.”

Student Body Quote

SAIS Academic Credit: Upon selection to attend the Bologna Symposium, you may apply to enroll for graduate-level academic credit for SAIS pending Johns Hopkins’ approval.

DEADLINES & INVESTMENTS:IPSI will accept applications in three rounds from November 18, 2010 – April 25, 2011.

Item Due Date Investment
Early Decision Deadline Monday, January 31st
Regular Decision & Scholarship Deadline Monday, March 14th
Final Decision Deadline Monday, April 25th
SAIS Academic Credit (optional)

Due to the competitive process and high volume of applications, you will be asked to make a non-refundable $500 deposit within two weeks of notification of acceptance to the 2011 Bologna Symposium to reserve your spot. The entire cost of the symposium is due within six weeks of notification, or one month before arrival in Bologna (whichever falls first).

The investment seems high, why should I consider this program? It is important to consider two key factors before you make the decision to apply. Firstly, how much do/did you spend on your education each semester? The Bologna Symposium is often less expensive than the average cost of a single graduate credit at a top institution when you take into account room and board, books, and classroom materials, which we include in your tuition. You should consider the Bologna Symposium an extension of your academic experience, providing intensive training and practical skills development, high-level networking, unparalleled access to the world’s premier leaders, and optional SAIS graduate-level credit to complement your already significant education. Secondly, a new USIP Special Report finds unequivocally that most employers now view skills above academic qualifications when they are considering candidates for jobs. The practical skills and pragmatic approaches to resolving conflict as well as the cross-cultural peer-networking inherent in your Symposium experience may prove just as important as your degree, especially given that most applicants for any position you seek will also have a similar university degree. The Bologna Symposium is a prudent investment in your education and career.

LIMITED SCHOLARSHIPS: IPSI will carefully select a number of participants from conflict and post-conflict countries to receive partial-to-full scholarships for the Bologna Symposium. To achieve a diverse and balanced group, IPSI will consult with embassies, universities, international organizations, NGOs, and other contacts on the ground to seek out participants that have the greatest ability to influence policy and/or impact the grassroots. IPSI will place special emphasis on recruiting participants that work for peace, understanding, and reconciliation on opposing sides of any given conflict.

  • Learn more about eligibility and how to apply for an IPSI Scholarship by clicking here >>

Muhammad Usman Quote

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