News 2021 The news-based overview of GIMLA's activities in the year 2021. 10.12.2021 Guest Lecture on urban deprivation at the NCID From earth observation to urban policies, at the Navarra Center for International Development (NCID). The panel included Monika Kuffer (University of Twente), Stefanos Georganos (Royal Institute of Technology), Pere Roca Ristol (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations & Joint Research Centre of the European Commission). Our project manager presented an overview of policy approaches to tackle informal urbanization and slums and how these relate to data requirements. A fruitful debate laid out interesting ideas for future collaborations. 08.12.2021 Latam Term Infosession The application for the bachelor exchange in Spring 2023 will open in December 21. Stay informed about this unique opportunity to study a full semester at the FGV in São Paulo by joining our last info session for this year. Are you ready to go beyond ? 12.2021 Executive Education in St.Gallen As an ongoing collaboration, which entered its 4th edition, our Institute hosted the Advanced Cooperative Management program in St.Gallen. The executive course resumed in 2021 and took place in December on the main campus. In partnership with Sescoop/OceMG and Wix Business, the course takes around 25 high-level executives of the State of Minas Gerais (Brazil) cooperative sector for a one-week intensive training in St.Gallen. Participant lecturers include professors Martin Eppler, Simon Evenett, Amanda Shantz, Judith Walls, and Thomas Zellweger, and local coordination of Dr. Christian Opitz and assistance of Ana Carolina Basile. In addition to the formal lectures, participants also engaged and exchanged with local policymakers and cooperative representatives, learning about a long Swiss tradition of cooperative work. 04.12.2021 A virtual trip to the Brazilian Amazon 02.12.2021 Guest Lecture on water governance from a human rights perspective Our institute director has been invited by AIESEC in St. Gallen to talk about water governance from a human rights perspective at the 70th anniversary of the organization. Other interventions of this interesting panel were provided by Nitansh Sherpa, Anoop Nautiyal, and Miran Avidan. AIESEC is a global student-led organization that promotes youth leadership, fosters intercultural understanding, peace, solidarity, and sustainable development. It has been an honour. 01.12.2021 Paper on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Amazon published During the pandemic, our Institute’s director researched the impacts of the COVID-19 on Amazonian populations and the environment. Following the social quality approach, the paper published by the International Journal of Social Quality inquired into how the COVID-19 pandemic intertwined with and reinforced underlying trends and inequalities in different life domains expressed in long-term societal complexities, urban-rural dynamics, and environmental transformations. The article found that the pandemic, following coloniality of power patterns, has been instrumentalized as a necropolitical tool, and has disproportionately impacted certain peoples and territories based on ethno-racial bias. The collapse of the local health system in the State of Amazonas was the reflex of a systemic burden, not serendipity. A dialogue is proposed between decolonial and social quality approaches to analyze, unveil, and denounce the interplay between the coloniality of power patterns in non-Western contexts. 01.12.2021 Consultancy project leads to the publication of seven review papers Under the lead of GIMLA and financed by Cities Alliance and its Global Programme on Informality, seven review papers were written on several key topics related to informality and slums. As the main applicant GIMLA coordinated the publishing process between researchers from the African Centre for Cities (South Africa), Jindal Global University and GIZ (both India). GIMLA staff directly (co)authored four papers, a background paper on the challenge of slums, a review paper on slum upgrading programmes and strategic approaches, and one paper on concepts. The publications are soon available on the Cities Alliance website. 26-27.11.2021 Hackaton on Health: The potential of 3D Printing Our institute supported a Hackathon event, organized by Dr. Michel Bielecki (UZH) and supported by various organizations (Microsoft, McKinsey, ICRC, the Imperial College, ETH Zürich). 40 participants from different institutions were invited to Schloss Sihlberg in Züich to reflect on the potential of 3D printing and compete in small groups to develop the most convincing proposals for a given assignment. 24.11.2021 Join us for the next Latam Term info session The application window for the Latam Term 2023 will open soon. Bachelor students from all disciplines at the University of St.Gallen are invited to apply. The info session represents the perfect opportunity to receive answers to any questions you might have about an exchange semester at the FGV in Sao Paulo. Join us on December 8, on 17h, either in person (room ) or online. 21.10.2021 Webinar organized for 100 Years Value Capture in Colombia In collaboration with Cities Alliance and RIVHA, GIMLA organized a webinar for a webinar series to commemorate 100 years of land value capture in Colombia. The series “100 años de contribución de valorización en Colombia. Plusvalías que financian inversiones públicas” was organized by several leading institutions on land management including the Lincoln Institute, the Universidad de Los Andes, UN-Habitat, OECD, the Latinamerican Development Bank (CA), Cities Alliance, and the GIZ. The webinar taking place El Potencial de Instrumentos de Financiamiento a base del suelo para el Mejoramiento Integral de Asentamientos Precarios», raised a debate how betterment charges and similar land value capture tools could be used to finance slum upgrading. 15.10.2021 A warm Good-bye to our Research Assistant Matheus Silva, a business student at FIA Business School has been with us for the largest part of the pandemic and supported GIMLA in various activities. Ready for a new challenge, we wish Matheus all the best for his future. 30.09.2021 Ecuador Event on University and Climate GIMLA was invited to an Urban Thinkers Campus on the role of universities in climate action. Organized by Smartly and the University of Loja in Ecuador, the one-day-event united several international experts to present promising initiatives and discuss the challenge of anchoring climate-related topics at universities. Our institute director presented Insights from GIMLA's activities in Latin America during her speech “How to form leaders of tomorrow and close the theory-practice gap.” 30.09.2021 GIMLA at the International Day As the first on-campus event, GIMLA organized a stand for the international day in combination with a Latam term info session. Interested students were able to exchange with prospective term students and the first Latam Term students who completed their exchange experience in June 2021. 29.09.20211 Global Water Resources Governance The recurring course on the Global Challenges in Water Resources Governance is offered to BIA students. This core elective course is designed to approach the triple water energy food nexus, placing water at the central stage as an object of analysis. Starting from concrete ʺon the groundʺ issues, water governance is studied from an interdisciplinary perspective, engaging with multi-level focus of analysis that goes from the local to the national and the international. In that way, the course gives the students access to the different points of view of a plurality of actors and agencies, including governments, international organizations, social movements, local communities, and businesses. In 2021, we’ve connected the course students with international organizations that were involved in our Institute’s consulting projects, in particular, the Cities Alliance project on informality. Practitioners involved in slum upgrading projects in different countries around the world spoke to the students about the centrality and challenges of water service provision in the poorest and most vulnerable urban areas, including many Latin American communities. At the end of the semester, students will invited to elaborate a research paper prompted by the above-mentioned challenges, studying a database of real-world cases provided by this collaborating community of practice. 28.09.2021 The Impact of Human Rights Norms on Business A new course started being offered to master’s in international Affairs Students (MIA). The Impact of Human Rights Norms on Business is a presential block seminar taught at the University of St.Gallen campus in Fall. In 2021, the course lecturer discussed the connections between development and human rights through the lenses of business. The meetings invited participants to reflect on the evolving nature of human rights norms while putting them in relation to the practices of business corporations enquiring about the degree of responsibility of these non-state actors in relation to individuals, specific groups, and the natural environment. The study was guided by real-world cases presented before regional and international courts of law, as well as the analysis of domestic and international norms that aim at regulating corporate behavior and establishing mechanisms to protect the environment and victims of violations. The course was designed for students interested in working in the third sector advocating for human rights and environmental protection or who whish to align corporate values and conduct with the most up-to-date developments in this field. 16.09.2021 Trialog Conference Panel organized A panel was organized for the TRIALOG (virtual) conference on the topic “An Informal Debate on the Informal - Different views on concepts and underlying characterization”. The panel aimed at stimulating an exchange of ideas to foster a cross-cutting understanding of urban informality that recognizes the diversity within, and a wide range of responses to, informality. We are thankful to the speakers The speakers were Dr. Alice Sverdlik (Human Settlements Group/International Institute for Environment and Development /IIED), Anacláudia Rossbach (Regional Manager LAC, Cities Alliance), Dr. Alexander Jachnow (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies; N-AERUS Coordination Team), Cynthia Goytia (Professor Universidad Torcuato Di Tella) and Dr. Paola Alfaro d’Alençon (DFG-Research Fellow TU-Berlin). 13.09.2021 Meeting with Atlas Schindler Atlas Schindler, the project partner for the Latam Term Capstone in 2021 met with the Latam Term coordinator to reflect on the learning experience and future ways to collaborate. Each party involved (company, teacher, students) seem to share a very positive view of the capstone experience. GIMLA is looking forward to follow-up activities with Atlas Schindler including the possibility of a future second capstone, internships and practice-oriented thesis assignments. 01.09.2021 Call for contribution to a book on contemporary amazonian affairs The Revue of the Swiss Society of Americanists – LA Revista de la SSA invites researchers affiliated to Swiss universities, research centres, and international organizations to submit articles to its 82nd volume on Contemporary Amazonian Affairs. Accepted authors are expected to hand in papers of up to 7.500 words (including references) on 17 December 2021. An author's workshop and a public conference will mark the publication of LA Revista in Switzerland in June. For additional information, please contact our institute’s director and the editor of the book. 30.08.2021 GIMLA joins the organization of a special event in Colombia GIMLA was invited to organize an event in connection to the 100th anniversary of land value capture mechanisms in Colombia. Together with Cities Alliance and RIVHA, a webinar is envisioned for October 21. The event series can count on the support of various prestigious institutions, such as the World Bank Group, OECD, UN-Habitat, CAF, IDB, and Lincoln Land Institute. 15.08.2021 Seed Money obtained for Research on Migration and SDG11 Our Institute, in collaboration with the University of São Paulo (Brazil), the Pontifical Bolivarian University (Colombia), the Edgelands Institute (Switzerland), and affiliated researchers from Brazil, Colombia, Switzerland, and Venezuela, have jointly successfully acquired a Joint Research Collaboration grant from the Leading House for the Latin American Region. The project, which kicks off in the summer of 2022 will investigate the impact of massive migration on hosting communities and will work with four Latin American communities that have been receiving an intense influx of Venezuelan migrants, specifically looking into the implications for the negotiation and localization of the Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Communities), for the promotion of social cohesion, and guarantee of public goods and services. Interested students and researchers from the University of St.Gallen and partner universities may contact us to find out more possibilities for collaborating in on this project. 30.07.2021 Workshop series on informality co-organized As part of the consultancy on writing review papers, GIMLA co-organized feedback workshops for each paper. On July 30, the papers on slum upgrading programs and the impact of COVID 19 on informal settlements were presented. Two weeks later, the second workshop discussed the review of the informal economy, informal land markets, and national frameworks. On August 20, a special workshop on informality concepts is taken place. Each time, the Community of Practice, a network of important knowledge stakeholders on the topic of informality, are providing valuable feedback on the work in progress. 13.07.2021 GIMLA invited to Global Taskforce Meeting GIMLA was then invited for a Global Taskforce Meeting on Informality to discuss conceptual challenges of informality the ongoing research on a multi-dimensional reading of informality. 09.07.2021 Land value capture for resilient cities event Research findings were presented at the conference “Financing urban resilience through land value capture” organized by the IHS/Erasmus University Rotterdam. The event featured several panels with international experts and scholars to present and debate promising financing opportunities for local governments to become more resilient to climate change and natural disasters. 11.06.2021 Latam Term Semester ends 01.06.2021 Welcome to Lukas Jähn, our new affiliated independent researcher Lukas holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University (USA). He is currently working as a Consultant for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), focusing on climate finance in emerging markets and has previous experience in strategy consulting and international banking. At our institute, Lukas aims at translating his research on the informal economy and its link to policies in Latin America into an academic article. 26.05.2021 N-Aerus Board Election The project manager of GIMLA Anthony Boanada-Fuchs was nominated and elected for the coordination team of N-Aerus, an international network of academics and practitioners on urban issues in the Global South. The main focus of his activities will be to strengthen outreach activities, including its annual conference and foster collaboration with other networks and international organizations. 20.05.2021 Global Session organized for the Latin American Housing Forum A special global session was proposed for the 4th Latin American Housing and Habitat Forum, taking place virtually between May 17-21 and supported by more than 30 organizations. The online event was organized together with Cities Alliance and RIVHA and provided a global view on comprehensive settlements upgrading. We are very grateful to our panelists, Lorena Zarate ( Global Platform for the Right to the CityJuan Pablo Duhalde (Techo), Pablo Vitale (ACIJ - Caminos de la Villa), Carolina Gasparini Barbosa Heller (Urbel Belo Horizonte), Andrea Fernández Barrantes (Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements of Costa Rica), and Catalina Ortiz (DPU from University College London). 18.05.2021 GIMLA at HSG Science Slam As the first on-campus event, GIMLA organized a stand for the international day in combination with a Latam term info session. Interested students were able to exchange with prospective term students and the first Latam Term students who completed their exchange experience in June 2021. 08.05.2021 Cities Alliance consultancies awarded GIMLA is very excited to have obtained its first externally funding consultancies. As a lead, the institute will organize and oversee, as well as write 2 papers of a Global Review Series on informality. The papers written with the involvement of GIMLA staff will analyze practices of slum upgrading, national frameworks, and the conceptualization of informality. The results shall be published together with the African Centre for Cities (South Africa), Jindal Global University and GIZ (both India) in the second half of 2021. In a second project, that aims at reforming a knowledge library, the project manager is involved as part of a larger consortium. 06.05.2021 Local Event organized with the St.Gallen Symposium GIMLA joint efforts with the Lemann Foundation and the Consulate General of Switzerland in São Paulo to organize a local event for the 50th St.Gallen Symposium on the topic of Trust Matters. A panel debate focused on the challenge of building a culture of integrity and promoting legal certainty in the Brazilian public sector. The inputs for this online event were provided by Diego Costa (President, ENAP), Vera Monteiro (Professor, Law School of the Getulio Vergas Foundation), Denis Mizne (Chief Executive Officer, Lemann Foundation), and Urs Brönnimann (Consul General of Switzerland in São Paulo). 22.04.2021 Join us for the next HSG Latam Term Info Session 2022 Join us for the next info session to receive more details about the Latam Term in 2022 including the curriculum offer and the needed administrative steps. In the perspective of the unfolding pandemic, the info session is taking place in Zoom. 15.04.2021 Academic panel series on financialization and real estate markets At the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Conference in Denver, two panels were organized by GIMLA on the role of real estate developers in urban development. These panels were part of a larger series of approximate 40 papers organized with Manuel Aalbers, Taylor Hafley, Shenjing He, and Fulong Wu and supported by three AAG specialty groups. 13. & 20.04.2021 Preparatory Meetings of the Global Community of Practice As a preparation for the Global Session on Slum upgrading for the upcoming UHPH conference, two preparatory meetings were organized in order to advance the agenda of the Global Community of Practice. The project manager of GIMLA moderated the two workshops that revolved around two pressing questions: What are the Challenges to a global level of knowledge generation on slum upgrading and what concrete steps could be taken to move closer to such an achievement ? 09.04.2021 Panel on the role of real estate developers in affordable housing The panel was originally scheduled for 2020 and took place in a virtual format. At the IV International Sociology Association (ISA) Forum in Porto Alegre, several contributions highlighted the different roles of real estate developers in affordable housing provision around the world. 08.04.2021 Event on sustainable value chains GIMLA attended the conference of the European Latin America Forum “Auf dem Weg zu nachhaltigen Wertschöpfungsketten” to learn from the recent legal developments in Europe and ongoing Swiss debates on the responsibility of companies embedded in international value chains. The event was organized by the Fachhochchule Graubünden and united an interesting panel of experts from science, business, and civil society. 07.03.2021 Spring Project: Practicing Social Ethnography 26.02.2021 Latam Term: Capstone with Atlas Schindler Capstone projects have become a key bridge between theory and practice in tertiary education, offering students the opportunity to gain a compact real-world work experience in the field of general management. This culminating academic experience is designed as a robust consultancy project. The students are invited to develop answers to problems/challenges which are co-defined by selected partner Swiss companies operating in Latin America. During the semester, students from the University of St.Gallen and EAESP-FGV work interculturally in small consultancy groups of 4-6 students guided by an academic supervisor. This year GIMLA is delighted to collaborate with Atlas Schindler, a global leader in the escalator business. 02.02.2021 Join us for our next Latam Term Infosession Do you want to make a difference in society while simultaneously learning from one of the most innovative megacities in the world? The HSG has launched a new exchange program for Bachelor Students in Latin America: the Latam Term. The first edition of the term is currently taking place and the application for the second edition in Spring 2022 has closed on January 7, 2021. At this infosession we shall explain the Term and its requirements as well as opportunities in more depth to enrolled students. 02.02.2021 Latam Term: Introduction Course Latin America - A Geopolitical Guide The director of the institute is co-organizing and teaching the introductory course “Latin America: A Geopolitical Guide”. This joint effort between Professors Vanessa Boanada Fuchs (SEPS-HSG), Julia von Maltzan Pacheco, and Antonio Gelis Filho (both EAESP-FGV) focused on key geopolitical developments in several Latin American countries and is the only mandatory course for HSG Latam Term students. 01.02.2021 The first Latam Term has been launched 28.01.2021 Apply for the next Latam Compact to Chile The application window has opened for the 5th Latam Compact course. Based on a successful organization on master level, this Spring GIMLA invites bachelor students to join us on a virtual trip to Santiago de Chile to learn more about smart cities and urban innovation. The 6 ECTS course is open to all HSG students on bachelor level (also on current exchanges to Latin American countries) and follows special bidding. More information can be found here. 14.01.2021 Special Global Session co-organized for LAC Housing Forum As a direct follow-up to the collaboration with Cities Alliance that resulted in three webinars on slum upgrading practices in the world, GIMLA is co-organizing a special session at the forthcoming 4th Latin American and Caribbean Housing and Habitat Forum, taking place virtually from May 17-21, 2021 in Costa Rica. The forum brings together all relevant actors of the regional housing sector while the special session will discuss slum upgrading practices in the world and how cross-sectoral collaborations can help to advance our knowledge on what works. Such insights and networks are important to improve current mechanisms to unlock trans-national learning. From Insight to Impact.