In March, I attended the annual Global Issues Network Conference in Saigon, where students from Grades 7-12 get together to discuss and find solutions to these problems. The theme of this year’s conference is Collaborate to Innovate, as three international schools, SSIS, CIS, and AIS worked together to plan everything. The conference spanned over 3 days, and students are assigned to different GANG groups, depending on the global issue they’re passionate about. This year, I was very lucky to be chosen as a group leader for Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
On the first day, I also gave a TED talk about the importance of English, and how it benefits underprivileged Vietnamese children. This is my second time giving a TED talk at a GIN Conference. I think the most difficult thing is keeping the audience’s attention, but because I had a secret weapon (cookies, very good cookies), my speech wasn’t a complete failure. In fact, I think I like how it challenges me.
One of the highlights of GIN’16 is my GANG group. We worked together over 3 days to produce a video that describes the effects of deforestation on wildlife. My co-leader was Kayla, and she and I made a great team. Everything went smoothly, from assigning jobs to filming. We even used my ukulele as a prop. On the third day, students chose the presentation they wanted to see, and our group of audience seemed to like the video. I think the most impressive presentation was from the Ethics of Science GANG. They chose to present the topic as a live debate, and even let some audience volunteer. This is also one of the topics I’m invested in, so I think they did a wonderful job.
To sum up, the conference was not only a learning experience, it was a chance to explore, create, challenge yourself, make friends, and have fun! This was my third conference, and I think it keeps getting better each year.