In 1998, Tufts University, in cooperation with Peking University (Beijing), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The University of Hong Kong, began this unique leadership program. The program fosters cross-cultural team building through intensive, intellectual inquiry and practical study. Initially, students from all four universities spent the summers in Hong Kong, working in pairs at specifically designed internships and attending the Leadership Lecture Series and a weekly seminar. They also spent ten days in mainland China before returning to their respective universities to plan the annual international symposium held at Tufts University, where they all reconvened.
Continuing its work with China, TILIP was re-conceptualized in 2008 to expand its reach to such countries as Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Israel, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea. For the last two years, more than 90 students from 14 countries have participated in programming around the annual EPIIC symposium and attended and participated in the symposium. This interaction is leading to collaborative research projects, sister organizations, and sponsorship of local research. At Peking University, the students have launched the Peking University International Student Energy Initiative in collaboration with the IG's Tufts Energy Forum and the Institute is currently sponsoring a research project on the Household Registration System in China in Zhengzhou.