By Gitika Bose
Following ISM’s annual student-led Global Issues Network Manila, GINila, twelve delegates from ISM represented the larger Philippine community at the GIN conference in Bali from Thursday, March 10 to Saturday, March 12. Through collaboration and discussion among students from other international schools, this conference aims to find solutions for global issues such as poverty and water scarcity.
The goal of the delegates is to create a 45-minute pitch in the form of a video simulation on the day of the conference. Students can enjoy the beautiful beaches of Bali whilst engaging in fruitful discussions with other equally passionate students. The opportunity to meet new people and share ideas is in itself a fulfilling experience. While this project brings with it a great deal of excitement, there is no doubt that students have had to put much time and effort into it.
Junior Sofia Rodriguez, one of the ISM delegates working on the social issue of illegal drugs, explains that “there [has been] a lot of planning going on before the conference [and] it requires a lot of teamwork.” She also tells BT that “the kind of preparation work was making a presentation, figuring what we are most passionate about, and getting it all into a 45-minute pitch.” The amount of time these students have dedicated to this project both in and out of school is certainly incredible.
Junior Michael Babin, another delegate, explains what really sets this conference apart from the rest. He believes that, “in addition to teaching delegates about global issues and the importance of collaboration, the conference revolves around sustainable development and its relationship with systems thinking. GIN delegates attend workshops to learn about and implement different forms of issue solving and “systems thinking” (think the sustainability compass) in the context of global issues and sustainable development.”
Junior Miguel Villar, another delegate, shares that, “there’s just an unparalleled satisfaction in knowing that you’re doing your part in making the world a better place. Although it may sound cliché, we have to realize that—as of now—the Earth is our only home; and the same goes for the generations to come. It’s exciting to know that destined global leaders will be listening to our stance in the collective pursuit towards a sustainable future.”
In addition, Miguel is eager to “meet the delegates from other participating schools! It’s always fun conversing with people from different social backgrounds; we all have different ideas when it comes to global issues, due to our cultures and upbringings. I honestly think it will be interesting to gather ideas from newfound friends, while also cherry-picking the best aspects of each, in order to create tangible solutions.”
The GIN conference in Bali is of great relevance in today’s society. With a generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, conferences like these give students the opportunity to engage in issues of global importance. These students are representing the local community to make a greater impact on the rest of the world. No activity better captures the “Think Global, Act Local” aspect being integrated into ISM’s new CAS system!