Hertie School students compete at 2024 GPPN Conference

Four teams of public policy students present proposals at Sciences Po in Paris.

On 22 and 23 February 2024, ten students from the Hertie School travelled to Paris to participate in the annual conference of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN). This year’s conference, which was hosted by the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, included 31 teams competing with innovative policy ideas to reduce the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations and territories. 

Four Hertie School teams presented proposals, one made it to the final round

Four teams of Master of Public Policy (MPP) students from the Hertie School pitched ambitious proposals to a jury including Hertie School President Cornelia Woll and deans from the GPPN schools. The proposals covered a broad array of topics:

-    “Rapid recovery policy to mitigate the impact of Coastal El Niño on small and medium sized farmers in the Northern Coast of Peru” – William Fernandez and Valeria Otárola, MPP 2024
-    “Resilient Roots: Enhancing Efficiency in Indigenous Consultations through a Collaborative Platform” – Christine Cepelak, MPP 2024, Analy Torres Morán and Sofía García-Durrer, MPP 2025
-    “Treegether – Reforest Community Work in Araucanía, Chile” – Johanna Möller and Felipe O´Ryan, MPP 2024
-    “Improving climate resilience by digitalizing the food supply chain in India” – Meghna Jalan, MPP 2024, Ananya Jha and Keerthana Girijan, MPP 2025

William Fernandez and Valeria Otárola reached the second and final round of the competition with their proposal on mitigating the impact of Coastal El Niño in Peru. Although they delivered an inspiring presentation, the first prize went to teams from the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

The GPPN is more than just a competition

However, the GPPN Conference is not only about competing: the event also gave students the chance to connect with other policy students from around the world. Moreover, participants were able to further explore the topic of the conference with a public lecture and various activities.
Second-year MPP student Meghna Jalan said the GPPN Conference was “one of the most amazing experiences of my master's programme. From refining our topic to navigating elimination rounds at Hertie to presenting our policy solution at Sciences Po, it's been a journey of growth and learning. Being in a room filled with brilliant minds from top policy schools in Paris was truly inspiring.”

About the Global Public Policy Network

The Global Public Policy Network consists of eight prestigious policy schools on four continents. The network aims to train bright minds to address the policy challenges of the 21st century. The annual conference is a cornerstone of this collaboration with its highly anticipated student competition.

Next year’s annual conference will be hosted by the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York. There we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the GPPN and its vision to bring together the future policy leaders of the world.