Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Keeping abreast of information in a rapidly changing world can be a challenge for may professionals. Swiss Style spoke with Jasmine Champenois of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, who offered some words of advice and spoke of the Institute’s executive education programmes that are designed for
Swiss Style: Professionals who need to stay well informed about their global environment face a new challenge: how can they keep up with the growing flow of information?
Jasmine Champenois: Global affairs have, by definition, always been a busy field. What has changed is that today there is tremendous pressure on civil servants and businessmen alike to keep on top of the constant changes in global regulations, geopolitics and the world economy. What was once a career asset has now become a career necessity. Most professionals now have to deal with global or multicultural issues every day: climate change, global crises, public-private partnerships, etc.
SS: Professionals don’t always have enough time to acquire information on how global governance impacts on their activities. How can they cope?
JC: In most fields of work, people are encouraged to continuously update their knowledge and skills. This is particularly true of professionals working in a fast-moving field like global affairs. Fortunately, today there are a number of tools available for personal and professional development including competitive intelligence newsfeeds, independent tailor-made reports, peer forums and executive programmes.
SS: Which skills do you think are important in the ideal global enterprise?
JC: When we reflect on the cluster of skills needed by both graduates and participants in our executive programmes, we come up with an endless list. What really matters therefore is for each individual to have a clear vision of where to find the information they need, and not to be overloaded by it. So, for example, if someone is looking to sell more milk in a new market or develop a local-governance project, what type of information should they be looking for? The efficient professional needs to build a framework for analysis and action based on expert knowledge, available global information, and most importantly, what we term “innovative thinking”. This is very often the missing link that participants are seeking when they turn to our programmes. It is this asset that gives any organization that little something extra in the world today.
SS: The Graduate Institute offers executive education programmes on world affairs. How do these fit in at a time of high uncertainty in the work market?
JC: Professionals come to us for degree-granting programmes but also for short and tailor-made courses. Most have between three and 20 years’ professional experience in both the private and public sectors. What we do is to bring together experienced professionals and a world-class faculty who share and work towards a common goal: a commitment to help professionals develop a deep understanding of world affairs.
Our part-time programmes, for example, such as the Executive Master in International Negotiation and Policy-Making, enable participants to design their own analytical framework through which to quickly and critically make sense of their global environment. Our short programmes on specialized topics such as international trade, development project evaluation, or global health diplomacy, offer participants a space within which to think outside the box and an opportunity to discover alternative perspectives that they might not have otherwise explored. For instance, one diplomat recently admitted that a case study that she had examined as part of our programme on international law had been spot on! The very next day she had had to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach in order to solve an issue with a business partner.
Our programme on Global Economic Governance teaches a lot about decision-making in time of crisis while at the same time contributing to creating scenarios for a sustainable future. This is perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of our approach to the study of world affairs: we look at what is happening today in the global arena and examine how events can be transformed into opportunities for achieving the long-term ideal of just and sustainable development.
Geared for working professionals
The Executive Master in International Negotiation and Policy-Making (INP) offers working professionals the opportunity to build up knowledge and practical skills in international affairs and negotiation. The INP programme explores world affairs with a focus on global governance, international policy-making and international negotiation. The INP Executive Master is a part-time programme and runs annually from October to June.
The INP Executive Master aims at balancing academic background, analytical expertise and practical skills. At the end of the 9-month programme, successful participants receive an Executive Master on International Negotiation and Policy-Making from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Ideally located in Geneva, the Graduate Institute strongly benefits from the environment of international, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as diplomatic missions. The research centres also widely contribute to intellectual debates by providing independent and rigorous analyses of international and development issues.
For further information about the Graduate Institute’s Executive Education programmes, contact Jasmine Champenois, Executive Education, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (tel:+41-(0)22 908 57 35; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.graduateinstitute.ch/executive).
Article by Jules Landon