EF’s Global Student Leaders Summits are an innovative series of events that bring students together from around the world to address today’s complex global issues. The 2014 Summit, taking place March 17 and 18, will center around the new global economy, with a focus on social enterprise and responsibility.
China has the world’s second largest economy—second only to the United States—and it’s growing faster than any other nation. From 2000 to 2008, China’s imports soared 403 percent and its exports skyrocketed 474 percent. China’s economic reach is growing, too; its investment in other countries could reach $2 trillion by 2020. To engage with the global economy and develop innovations for our shared future, it’s more important than ever for students to understand China’s impact.
The Global Student Leaders Summit begins by giving students, along with their teachers, the unique opportunity to explore China’s cultural and historical sites, while also observing its local schools and businesses. This immersive format allows students to gain firsthand knowledge about China’s relevance to the global economy.
Students from across the United States will gather at the student leadership conference in Shanghai to hear from former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr., as well as Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg, co-hosts of NPR’s “Planet Money.” Students will collaborate in an active learning environment that encourages new ideas, and they’ll participate in workshops that explore economic concepts which will build on their understanding of the global economy.
As part of the Summit, EF has developed a Student Journalism Internship for students to learn how to create articles that share their experiences with their local communities. Students from all over the country will collaborate with mentors as they document both their travels and their leadership conference perspectives.
Meet the three student journalists who will be our eyes and ears into the Summit, right here on EF’s Equator blog:
Jackson French Robitaille is a senior at Wilbraham Monson Academy in Massachusetts. Here’s what he has to say about his upcoming experience:
“I am very eager to hone my leadership skills as I prepare for college next year. Between the various speakers discussing effective leadership and the hands-on experience of working with others to solve major world problems, I can imagine few opportunities that would help me better prepare for next year.
I’m also interested in learning about the problems the world faces today and seeing how people go about trying to address those problems. I am excited to hear the perspectives of others at the summit, and to learn why others picked the issues they picked, and possibly have my own perspective changed because of it. The final reason I am going on this trip with my school is because of the opportunity to travel to China. I have always loved travelling, and to be able to travel halfway around the world to experience an entirely different culture is very exciting to me.”
Austin McConnell is a 17-year-old student at the Epiphany School of Global Studies in North Carolina. Here’s what he has to say about his upcoming experience:
“Travel has been a fixture in my life since I was born, having had the opportunity to travel to Greece, Italy, and many U.S. states. I am traveling to China because I want to initiate changes on a global scale. I want to brainstorm new and innovative ideas while also learning from other students, as well as global leaders. This conference will be an opportunity for young people to focus their ideas and engage with those who share similar interests. I cannot wait to go to China for the first time and meet people from another part of the world.”
Reece Rodriguez is a junior at Loyola School in New York City. Here’s what he has to say about his upcoming experience:
“I will be in China for two weeks, along with four other members from my school. The Summit will be right in the middle of our China trip, and we’re all very excited. We will all be attending the Summit, and will work with others to actively better society. Personally, I’ve wanted to travel to China since I was 10. I remember in middle school doing a big project on Chinese history and culture, and since then my desire to go to China has been intense. Of course when I heard my school was offering a trip to China, I jumped at the chance: and now I’m going. It’s going to be amazing. The Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, and of course the Summit: I cannot stress my enthusiasm enough. I’m genuinely ecstatic.”
Stay tuned over the next month to hear more from these three student journalists as they make their way to the other side of the globe to participate in EF’s Global Student Leaders Summit. We’ll follow them as they apply their knowledge and discover solutions to issues impacting our shared future.