For prospective students

Policy & Pizza: Breaking Down Barriers: Public Policy Approaches to Addressing Stigma

Join us for Policy & Pizza and get to know the Hertie School by debating with professors and experts on the topics that are most relevant to our society today.

Do the current events and crises that dominate the headlines keep you up at night? Do you ever wish that someone would help you make sense of it all? Our professors here at the Hertie School are there for you, and they've even brought pizza.

Join us for our latest open series Policy & Pizza and get to know the Hertie School by debating with experts on the topics that are most relevant to our society today. If you are interested in our master's programmes, also feel free to talk to our admissions staff while fighting over one of the last slices.

This edition will be hosted by Assistant Prof. Egon Tripodi, Prof. Ruth Ditlmann and Prof. Sébastien Mena on the subject, "Breaking Down Barriers: Public Policy Approaches to Addressing Stigma.” Free drinks and pizza will be served from 5:00 pm, and the talk will begin at 5:30 pm.

Please register in advance via the form on right or by sending an email to 

In conversation with

Prof. Egon Tripodi, PhD

  • Egon Tripodi is Assistant Professor of Economics at the Hertie School. Egon is an applied microeconomist, broadly interested in Behavioral, Public and Political Economy questions. His research uses lab, field and natural experiments to understand how incentives and the social environment shape behavior and beliefs. Before joining the Hertie School, Egon was a JILAEE Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Chicago and at the Universidad del CEMA in Buenos Aires. He earned a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute in 2020, and holds a BSc in Finance and an MSc in Economics from the University of Rome, Tor Vergata.

Prof. Ruth Ditlmann, PhD

  • Ruth Ditlmann is Professor of Psychology and Public Policy at the Hertie School. Her research focuses on intergroup contact and intergroup interaction, the potential and limitations of interventions based on social psychological theories to promote integration and to build peace in field-settings, and the psychology of national identity. She is also interested in how behavioural insights can responsibly inform policymaking.

    Previously, she was a Research Fellow at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin in the Migration, Integration and Transnationalization Department and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University in the Department of Psychology and Social Policy. She received her PhD from Yale University in 2012 and was a Research Affiliate at Columbia University. She has authored publications in leading journals in social psychology and is the recipient of a Lichtenberg Professorship awarded by the VW foundation. She also has gained non-academic experience working as an impact analyst for PHINEO gAG.

Prof. Dr. Sébastien Mena

  • Sébastien Mena is Professor of Organization and Governance at the Hertie School. His research focuses on the role of business in society and its responsibility for social and environmental issues. He adopts an organizational sociology perspective on business-society interactions to study how these shape corporate responsibility, sustainable development and governance activities, beliefs and norms. He frequently works with firms, NGOs and social enterprises in varied settings and countries, such as commodity supply chains in Sub-Saharan Africa, working conditions in the South East Asian textile industry, or sustainable banking and investment in Europe. Sébastien’s research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Human Relations and the Journal of Management Studies. He previously held academic positions at City, University of London (UK), the University of Alberta (Canada) and the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). He is an Associate Editor of Business & Society and serves on several editorial boards of management and organization studies journals.