Academic Steering Committee

The Academic Steering Committee of the Geneva Challenge is a young, enthusiastic and competent interdisciplinary group of professors.  Their main task is to read and evaluate all the contest submissions and check them for compliance with the substantial criteria including, their academic quality and the innovative potential of the solutions presented.

Meet our Academic Steering Committee:


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Prof. Martina Viarengo (Chair)

Martina Viarengo is an associate professor in the Department of International Economics. She is faculty associate at the Harvard University Center for International Development, at Harvard’s Women and Public Policy Program, a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Women's Empowerment and a member of the International Growth Centre in London. Prior to joining the Graduate Institute's faculty, Professor Viarengo was an economist at the Centre for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics and a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Professor Viarengo is a specialist in applied microeconomics and development.




Prof. Ravinder Bhavnani

Ravinder Bhavnani is a professor and Chair of the International Relations/Political Science department at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. His  research explores the micro-foundations of violence by means of agent-based computational modelling and disaggregated empirical analysis. More specifically, his work examines the endogenous relationships among: (i) the characteristics, beliefs, and interests of relevant actors; (ii) social mechanisms and emergent social structures that shape attitudes, decision-making and behavior; and (iii) patterns of violence. Professor Bhavnani is a member of the Graduate Institute's Center for Finance and Development. Bhavnani is a Swiss member of the EU COST action "European Network for Conflict Research (ENCoRe)".



Prof. Filipe Calvão

Filipe Calvão is an anthropologist and assistant professor in Anthropology and Sociology of Development at the Graduate Institute, Geneva (PhD U. Chicago). Professor Calvão’s current research examines the political economy and ecology of mineral extraction in postcolonial Africa. He has taught on resource extraction in the global economy, the anthropology of labor and corporations, social theory, and is currently preparing a book on diamond mining in Angola.