The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

GIN Conference: A Must-Attend Event


On March 12th-13th, over a hundred students gathered at George Washington University to discuss the worlds current issues, and express their thoughts and emotions on the complex subjects seemingly taking over our world at the 2018 Global Issues Network(GIN) Conference.

The GIN Conference discussed the nature of humans and current societal predicaments through small group discussions and keynote addresses.

The day was comprised of student held Global Villages, which are mini group projects which touch on current events occurring in today’s society; as well as individual student displays and lectures in front of a large audience. Specifically, the conference touched on gun violence in America, the flu epidemic, and other social dilemmas which were discussed within their respective Global Villages during the event.

The event was fascinating, and very interactive, as it dealt with issues which are in need of immediate attention from the general public, and offered great funds for a future project planned out by the winning Global Village.

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Overall, the conference was very engaging and filled with very innovative ideas and suggestions proposed by the general audience, although, it was notable that there were several moments throughout the day, where students could’ve taken it a bit more seriously.

The lack of earnestness was evident during the several meeting periods for the Global Villages, as students and presenters for the groups were seemingly just going through the motions, with no obvious intention of making change. Members of each Global Village could be seen playing on their phones, sending Snapchats, and senselessly looking through their Instagram feeds.

There was no true leader, meaning that there was nobody guiding the group and keeping them focused on the task assigned. However, at the time of the presentations,  contrary to the expectations of many, all groups showed up with very interesting, intuitive presentations for the audience. Groups used interactive websites such as Kahoot for educationally engaging games for the audience, which was very cool.

Apart from the actual global presentations showcased at the conference, there were several other non-educational aspects which contributed to the conference’s success and engagement. The event offered free breakfast and lunch for all attendants, including items such as croissants, pastries, salad, etc.

Members of the Washington International School expressed their gratitude and appreciation through the several servings of food which they consumed. 9th grader Saul Pink described the food as ‘exceptional.’ “It was so tasty, I ate four hot dogs,” Pink said. 

The event also kindly took into account potential dietary restrictions, with the inclusion of chicken sausages and gluten-free bread. Freshman Dean Atassi, who doesn’t eat pork due to his Muslim background, said, “It was really thoughtful of them to consider things like that.”

The event was a culinary masterpiece, and it wasn’t surprising that, by the end of lunch, there were no leftovers.

Overall, it was clear that the minds of many students were changed by the end of the conference. Some very powerful and compelling presentations were showcased by several social justice advocates, including one which left my mind blown.

Jasper Pearson of the 12th grade described his controversial thoughts on gun control and explained his reasoning on why automatic weapons should be permitted in the USA. By way of using quotes from the 18th century, discussing the structure of rifles, and clearly emphasizing his thoughts, Pearson left the audience speechless.

The purpose of the conference was to stress the importance of social epidemics, and the necessary changes needed to be put in place in society. These days, individuals tend to lose sight of problems occurring outside of their line of vision.

This conference was a great opportunity to educate ourselves on problems and was very well organized, for us to vividly see the reality of our society, and the overarching problems existent in the present day.

By Diego Maldonado 


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