We are professionalizing peacebuilding

Together we’ll change the world.

In cooperation with Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the 2016 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 three-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.

As a participant, you receive an IPSI Post-Graduate Certificate in “International Conflict Management” upon successful completion of the course.  If you choose to undertake additional rigorous assignments you will earn an IPSI Post-Graduate Certificate in “International Conflict Management with Distinction.”

Applications Closed

A curriculum firmly grounded in experiential education.

You will graduate from the program with the knowledge to effectively transform violent conflict through the following learned techniques:

⋅  international mediation
⋅  multi-party negotiation
⋅  conflict prevention and diagnosis
⋅  community facilitation
⋅  reconciliation and trauma healing
⋅  social entrepreneurship and societal transformation

The world’s most effective conflict management practitioners.

The Bologna Symposium is different. Through carefully designed activities by current world leaders and educators, including formal exercises, simulations, role-playing, and workshops, you will learn skills never taught in a typical classroom setting. [pictured left: UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson]

Download the 2015 Curriculum

2016 Keynote Speaker: H.E. Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi

Lakhdar Brahimi is an Algerian diplomat whose lengthy career includes peacemaking efforts in Lebanon, South Africa, Haiti, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He was the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan and Iraq. Before his appointment in 2001 by the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, he had served the UN as special representative to Haiti and to South Africa. Brahimi, also represented the National Liberation Front in Tunis during Algeria’s independence movement in 1956–1961, was an Arab League official (1984–1991) and the Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1991 until 1993. Brahimi was also chair of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, which produced the influential Brahimi Report. He was appointed (2012-2014) as UN peace envoy to Syria, replacing Kofi Annan.

2016 Faculty

Dr. Terry Hopmann
Chair, Conflict Management Program, SAIS

Susan Collin Marks
Senior Advisor and Former Vice-President, Search for Common Ground

John Marks
Founder and Former President, Search for Common Ground

Robi Damelin
Head of Public Relations, Parents Circle – Families Forum

Dr. Joyce Neu
Former Team Leader, UN Standby Team of Mediation Experts

Dr. Valerie Rosoux
Professor of International Negotiation, University of Louvain

Dr. William Zartman
Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University SAIS

Michael Shipler
Regional Director, Asia, Search for Common Ground

Stacia George
Deputy Director, Office of Transition Initiatives, U.S. Department of State

Chic Dambach
Former CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Cameron M. Chisholm
President, IPSI

Event Space: SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy

Home to the oldest university in Europe, the city of Bologna has a long tradition of education, cultural heritage, and political vitality, as well as SAIS’ European branch. 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. 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.

Student-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, Boards, and lecturers are available to help you plan and execute long-term career goals. [pictured left: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jerry White]

Application Process

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 draws from a broad spectrum of regions, religions, and ethnicities. IPSI accepts young professionals, graduate students, and accomplished undergraduates, 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
  • Demonstrated ability in undertaking social entrepreneurship ventures

HOW TO APPLY: 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
  • $10.00 application fee

Tuition & Deadlines: IPSI accepts applications on a rolling basis (acceptances are merit-based and spots are limited). Your tuition includes all academics, trainings, educational materials, and special events.  Tuition does not include airfare, accommodations, or most meals. IPSI has negotiated extremely reasonable group rates for optional accommodations, which will be provided upon acceptance.

Standard tuition: $4,000

Apply Online Now
“I was impressed and energized by your students… and the important work IPSI is doing in training bright young people in the practice of peace.”
Jan Eliasson • Deputy Secretary General, United Nations
“At IPSI, students focus on how to actually do the work of peacebuilding out there on the front lines of conflict. That’s where I work, I know what it takes, and IPSI delivers precisely what is needed.”
Susan Collin Marks • Senior Vice President, Search for Common Ground
“No other skills training program in the field can match IPSI’s intensity, depth, and ease of direct access to world leaders.”
Dr. William Zartman • Legendary Conflict Management Academic, Johns Hopkins University SAIS

Bologna, Italy Symposium

on Conflict Prevention, Resolution, & Reconciliation
July 23 – August 13, 2016 

Application Closed

The Hague Symposium

on Post Conflict Transitions & International Justice
July 9 – July 30, 2016 

Learn More