Columbia World Projects (CWP) issued a reporton the results of its inaugural forum, focused on expanding access to energy, which has been called a “golden thread” because of the critical role it plays in enabling economic opportunity, health, gender equality, food security, and environmental sustainability, among other measures of human development.
It is this enormous potential for impact, together with the University’s longstanding leadership and deep knowledge in the fields of energy and climate change, that led CWP to select energy access as the subject of its first forum. CWP was founded with the aim of helping academia and outside partners work together to solve real-world problems.
This first CWP forum, held in February, brought together distinguished experts on energy access from government, the private sector, nongovernmental and multilateral organizations, academia, and other fields.
While a range of possible energy projects were discussed at the gathering, the report zeroes in on four ideas that received strong support from participants. Those ideas are now being developed by CWP, in collaboration with faculty and researchers, as potential projects.
As with all CWP Forum gatherings, the aim is to identify specific projects in which research and scholarship can be brought to bear on the challenge, and offer scalable solutions for the benefit of people whose lives are affected by it, while also enriching our understanding of how to tackle such complex problems effectively.