Quick Links: ACADEMICS / SAIS CREDIT OPTION EVENT SPACE / PROGRAM DETAILS / STUDENT SELECTION / DEADLINES & INVESTMENTS / FINANCIAL AID


The 2012 Bologna Symposium has successfully come to a close!  Applications for the 2013 Symposium will open in mid-November.   

  • See slideshow of photos from the 2012 Bologna Symposium [here]
  • View the 2012 Bologna Symposium official program of events [here]

In cooperation with Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the 2012 Bologna Symposium will bring together the globe’s brightest young minds from top graduate institutions, NGOs, international organizations, grassroots peace movements, and the armed services. Over a four-week period, from June 16 – July 14, 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 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. Each expert lecture is then matched with a workshop, game, or simulation to provide the student body with crucial experiential learning.  Participants graduate from the program with the knowledge to effectively transform violent conflict – be it ethnic, social, political, religious, or economic – through the following learned techniques:

2012 Skills Trainings

The course is scheduled as below:


Primary Links of Interest:

  • Access your Online Application and Apply Now [here]
  • Download the 2012 IPSI Symposiums Poster [here]
  • Learn more about a typical day at the Bologna Symposium [here]
  • Read the 2012 IPSI Guide to Bologna, Italy [here]
  • In their own words: Read the 2011 Participant Blog [here]
  • View the Official Program from last year’s Bologna Symposium (2011) [here]
  • View Slideshow of Photos from 2011 Bologna Symposium [here]
  • Watch a student-produced short documentary about diversity at the 2011 Bologna Symposium [here]

Invited Faculty for the 2012 Bologna Symposium:

DR. MACIEJ BARTOWSKI Senior Director, Education and Research, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

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

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

JACK DUVALL President and founding Director, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

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)

MARY KING Distinguished Scholar, American University Center for Global Peace

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

HEIDI OBER Peacebuilding Design, Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator, CARE International UK

JOHN PRENDERGAST Co-founder, The Enough Project

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

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)

Tim Clark Quote


ACADEMICS:   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 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


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.

  • Learn more about how to earn academic credit [here]

PROGRAM DETAILS: The Bologna, Italy Symposium on Conflict Prevention, Resolution, and Reconciliation will take place from June 16 – July 14, 2012.  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 not include 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.


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. 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 2011.  Second, each evening students are invited to 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 peer-to-peer training will take place related to the topics discussed in class.  Participants will have the opportunity to sign-up for peer-to-peer training time slots  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.

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 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.

Janosch Kullenberg Quote


STUDENT SELECTIONThe 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  60 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
  • 10 EUR administration fee

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.”

  •  Access your Online Application and Apply Now [here]


DEADLINES & INVESTMENTS: IPSI will accept standard applications in two rounds from November 30, 2011 – April 23, 2012.  Your tuition includes all educational materials, shared double room, meals (breakfast seven-days-a-week and lunch Mon-Fri), and special events.  Applicants will be informed on a rolling basis within one-to-two weeks of submitting their applications (acceptances are merit-based and spots are limited, so apply as early as possible).

Item Due Date Investment (EUR)
Early Decision Deadline Monday, February 13th   CLOSED
Regular Decision Deadline Monday, April 23rd        CLOSED

SAIS Academic Credit (optional) upon acceptance

Due to the competitive process and high volume of applications (over 700 in 2011), you will be asked to make a non-refundable 750 EUR down payment within ten days of notification of acceptance to the 2012 Bologna Symposium to reserve your spot. The entire cost of the symposium is due within five weeks of notification, or one month before arrival in Bologna (whichever falls first).

Three Ways to Save:  There are three ways to reduce your tuition upon acceptance.

  1. Alumni/Participant recommendation: If you were directly referred by alumni of IPSI’s Bologna Symposium or by an already confirmed 2012 participant, your tuition will automatically be reduced by 50 EUR.
  2. Full Payment bonus: If you choose to pay your entire tuition by wire transfer or check within ten days of acceptance, your total cost will be reduced by 50 EUR.
  3. Peer Recommendation bonus:  For every applicant directly referred by you (up to three) who is accepted and confirms his/her participation in the 2012 Bologna Symposium, IPSI will reduce your tuition by an additional 50 EUR.
IPSI reserves the right to modify tuition price if there is any major change in the value of the Euro against the US dollar.
  •  Access your Online Application and Apply Now [here]

Sajeer MAM Quote


FINANCIAL AID: IPSI will carefully select a number of participants from conflict and post-conflict countries to receive financial aid for the Bologna Symposium. IPSI will place special emphasis on recruiting participants that work for peace, understanding, and reconciliation on opposing sides of any given conflict.  The majority of financial aid awarded will be between 250 – 2000 EUR off the full tuition cost.  Financial aid applicants will be informed of IPSI’s selections in the second week of April.

Item Due Date Investment (EUR)
Financial Aid Deadline (firm deadline) Monday, March 26th   CLOSED
  • Learn more about eligibility and how to apply for IPSI Financial Aid [here]

Muhammad Usman Quote

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