Carlos Sevilla, Grade 11 Student, American School of Quito, Ecuador
This past Friday, (God, as if I knew when this will be published) I had the spectacular honor of visiting the Global Issues Network Conference, or as most came to know it or at least here it is known: the GIN conference, A gathering of nations at our doorstep to discuss the issues mentioned in Jean Francois Rischard’s book, High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them. The event, in all its grandeur, was a spectacle to behold, a testament to the passion for knowledge our school may sometimes lack, put into practice, becoming quite a miracle to witness.
If there is any way to truly describe this great reunion of minds is that it was civilized, mindful, inspiring and most of all real, a gathering of students who give importance to knowledge. As I observed, there was a very real fascination with what was being done, with the speeches, with the projects, with the issues, as Jasmin Akhavan from Brazil put it, “I wanted new project ideas to take to school, because we’re seniors now. It’s kinda our last chance to do something worth… doing.”
Our international guests began by separating into small mixed groups dedicated to discussing and solving each of these 20 issues, which included such problems as Carbon emissions and Glacial melting. Issues that we, here in Ecuador, are all too familiar with. Coupled with these meetings, an assortment of keynote speakers, going from Ecuador`s very own Randy Borman, to David Poritz from the States, were given the chance to regale us with their own exploits and inspire our own, when the time comes. Then, invested in the true spirit and dedication of the affair, our diverse guests where given a chance to present their own accomplishments and dreams, not dismissing our own enterprise, which, and I say this with quite reserved and awkward pride, did a fantastic job.
Jasmin Akhavan from Brasil
If there was any criticism I would have with the GIN conference, it would be that I almost missed such an inspiring event, one that definitely took me by surprise. It simply was nothing I had seen at our school before.
People Unexpectedly Photographed
It was not only environmental concern. It was not only people looking to get socialized. It was not only people looking to feel important. It was not only people looking to inspire. It was not only people following what they feel is right. It was our schools true potential, as if we all had passion for knowledge, and I seek to abase all who missed it, or never knew it existed.
My only problem now will be trying to forget how dedication without criticism felt, and I dearly hope I can take part in the next conference in Buenos Aires, and I, as the Argentinian guests plainly expressed, “We wanted to get inspired and to get other people inspired with it as well, back home.” That is what I now hope to accomplish, that is what I want our school to have, inspiration. And to become such dreamers that any of us could set the world right.