Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

Program on Information and Resources, Earth Institute at Columbia University


The Program on Information and Resources (PIR) is a core unit of the Columbia Earth Institute and the site of the UNESCO chair. It has its focus on a new scientific area: Earth Management. The program’s research activities cover a broad area: they integrate physical, social and biological sciences, and provide the mathematical tools that make this integration quantifiable and rigorous. In its short existence since 1994, PIR has made major contributions in the areas of: alternative global environmental policies (a proposal to establish an International Bank for Environmental Settlements), a new form of cost benefits analysis (“sustainable cost-benefit anaysis”), new financial instruments (“catastrophe bundles”), and the “Knowledge Revolution”. PIR is renowned for its active connectivity within and beyond the institutional boundary. Building on its successful international visitors’ program, PIR is coordinating an effort to develop University-wide Ph.D and Postdoctoral programs at Columbia to focus on the specific issue of Earth Management. Major partners are UNESCO, the Smithsonian Institution, IBM, and the Universities of Brasilia, Brazil and Belgrano, Argentina.

Working Papers

Title: The Knowledge Revolution
Authors: Graciela Chichilnisky
Date: September 1996