Thought-Provoking Content

Explore pressing global questions from diverse disciplinary, analytical, and professional perspectives while remaining sensitive to specific local contexts. The Global Thought Leaders Program will focus on the geopolitical, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of four topics: climate change; world order; technology and social media; and race, gender, and identity. In line with the Committee on Global Thought’s multidisciplinary approach, these themes will be addressed as global issues that are experienced in complex ways across space and time. The program will feature case studies from various regions, including, but not limited to, participants’ home countries.

This program is run in partnership with the Committee on Global Thought and the Istanbul, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro Global Centers.

Develop a Global Professional Network

As Global Thought Leaders, you will belong to a cohort composed of different nationalities, demographic groups, professions, and disciplinary backgrounds. Course sessions will be led by world-class faculty from Columbia University and experts worldwide. Participants, faculty, and guest speakers will jointly contribute toward the construction of Global Thought.  

A Strategic Tool for Global Exploration

Through dialogue and collaboration among the global network of faculty, guest speakers, and students, participants in the program will develop a tool kit for analyzing transnational issues that can be applied to their professional and personal lives.

Designed for Emerging and Experience Global Leaders

Join an international cohort to critically discuss how the program’s four topics relate to and affect your professions, daily lives, and career trajectories. For example, what are the implications of climate change, technology, and identity for lawyers, teachers, and international development specialists? How are these issues reshaping various professions? How can thinking about collective challenges and experiences with par from distinct professional spaces and life circumstances generate solutions?

Education Team

Dr. Kevin Funk, Head Instructor

Kevin Funk is a political economist and Latin Americanist who specializes in globalization, the politics of Brazil and Chile, and urban studies. He is a Fellow in Global Thought with the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, where he is also a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and an affiliated faculty member of the Institute of Latin American Studies. He is the author of Rooted Globalism: Arab-Latin American Business Elites and the Politics of Global Imaginaries (2022, Indiana University Press).

Guest Speakers to be announced.

"The Global Thought Leaders program is a bold new learning experience offering you Columbia-quality instruction and expertise combined with interaction with your fellow leaders from around the world, all brought together to examine the issues that most matter to the world today!"

Thomas J. Trebat, Director, Global Centers Rio; Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs • Global Centers & Development

"The Global Leaders Program is for anyone who wants to exist beyond the confines of geography, all the while engaging local stories into global dialogues - it is refreshing, it is urgent, and more than anything, it is going to be transformative!"

Shagun Sethi, Director of Global Leadership at OneShared.World, Program Manager at Wedu, and Academic Research Fellow at Leading Cities Global Thought Alumni ‘20

More Information

"The Global Thought Leader Program is an innovative training program that empowers and connects emerging leaders from around the world. This unparalleled initiative will equip participants with the skills necessary to identify and implement creative solutions to today’s most pressing challenges."

Marie Volkea Doezema, Paris Global Center, Special Projects Manager


Global Thought Leaders is an 8-week program that begins on March 20, 2023. Sessions are held at 11:00 am EST and take place synchronously over Zoom and last 60 – 90 minutes.

Capstone Project

The solutions-oriented, small-group capstone projects will analyze how a particular place (or places) is/are experiencing, responding to, and could respond to a global issue of participants’ choosing (e.g., environmental challenges, migration flows, and data governance). Participants will be assigned to groups in which they will work on their project during in-class meetings in the final weeks of the program. The last session will be devoted to a brief presentation of each group’s findings.


Our programs are highly competitive and spaces are limited. We recommend that candidates begin their application at their earliest convenience.

If you have further questions or wish to discuss your goals for the program, please direct all inquiries to