The Observatory on Latin America (OLA) fosters public debate about the processes of social reform occurring in the Western Hemisphere. A majority of this work is done through its ongoing programs: Latin America on the Move, Design and Development, Cuba Program, and New Urban Practices.

Established in 2006, OLA’s main objectives are as follows:

  • Improve academic and public understanding of Latin America by observing and studying the processes of political and economic change.
  • Foster a public dialogue between and within the United States and Latin America about the challenges of building social democracy in a globalized world, including creating opportunities for Latin American leaders to directly express their views to audiences in the United States.Collaborate with Latin American institutions to further these objectives within countries across the hemisphere by linking and mobilizing ideas and institutions.

OLA has hosted more than 150 events with over 6,000 attendees at The New School and in the New York region. This agenda has allowed it to become a widely recognized, open platform for the dissemination and discussion of Latin American ideas to an international audience in New York, and an active collaborator with universities and civil society organizations across the New York region.

OLA is homed at the Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs in the Schools of Public Engagement.

Latin America on the Move

This program is a series of debates and encounters in New York City among Latin American leaders in which they discuss the changes underway in their countries.


This program is the site of multidisciplinary, transnational, and networked research and advocacy in the field of design and social development, with a particular emphasis on urban policy.


This program calls for new urban practices where problems are no longer addressed in conventional disciplinary silos.

Cuba Program

In 2016 we supported the creation of the International Field Program in Cuba. Current work is focused on a 3-year GPIA course. 


Through our search engine you can find all of the activities and materials produced by the OLA. You can search by categories, dates or tags.