12 NOVEMBER 2018 / Columbia’s Institute for Ideas and Imagination now a reality

On Monday, November 12th, Columbia University inaugurated its new Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris. Lead support for the Institute was provided by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), and additional support was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Institute will reside at Reid Hall, part of the University’s Paris Global Center.

The Institute for Ideas and Imagination seeks to question the ways in which knowledge has traditionally been produced. In its inaugural year, it brings together 16 fellows from diverse backgrounds—exemplary scholars, writers, composers, and philosophers, among others.

The inauguration of the Institute was attended by SNF Group Chief Financial Officer Christina Lambropoulou, who gave brief remarks, and Communications Officer Alexia Vasilikou. “Both the intellectual products of the Institute and the model through which they will come about are much needed,” said Ms. Lambropoulou. “Never has the question of how knowledge is created, shared, and accepted been more pressing. The establishment of this Institute signals to the world that ideas are to be taken seriously.”
(Read the full speech)

The idea for the Institute arose from discussions between Columbia faculty about how to adapt the pursuit of knowledge to the realities of a modern, globalized world. According to Mark Mazower, the Institute’s Founding Director, “Its primary goal is to enrich academic modes of presenting ideas by drawing together the scholarly and artistic imaginations.”

Another significant collaboration between Columbia University and the SNF announced last year also seeks to adapt knowledge production and sharing methodologies to the modern age. Τhe SNF has supported the establishment of a scholarship program to bring promising journalists from Greece to study at Columbia Journalism School.