The Spirit of Changemaking: The Pleasures & Challenges of Hosting GINAsia

by LeeAnne Lavender,

Concordia Global Issues Network Advisor

On the weekend of January 19 – 21, there were two exciting conferences happening at Concordia. In conjunction with our annual Model United Nations conference (CISSMUN IX), this year we hosted the Global Issues Network conference for the entire EARCOS region, GINAsia 2018. 

Do not let anger, frustration, and hatred cloud your judgement and affect your decisions. Let hope, happiness, and forgiveness be more powerful.

We hosted over 350 students and teachers from 30 schools across the region, and the conference featured five dynamic keynote speakers (Melati and Isabel Wisjen, Kim Phuc, Justin Bedard, and Ishmael Beah), four panels involving 30 NGO representatives and individual changemakers, and dozens of student-led workshops and sustainability team sessions. 

It was a wonderful weekend full of inspiring ideas related to making our planet a better place. 

Some reflections by Concordia student leaders, after the weekend, included these thoughts: 

"The younger generation has the responsibility of motivating people to recognize and take action against global issues.”

"Do not let anger, frustration, and hatred cloud your judgement and affect your decisions. Let hope, happiness, and forgiveness be more powerful.”

"It’s very important to find a team if you want to create change - there are probably already a bunch of resources about you and you just have to build these bridges.”

"When you don’t see someone through the lens of their age, you don’t under or overestimate their knowledge or experience.”

We hope that the spirit of GIN will continue to infuse our students, teachers and leaders as we head into 2018 and seek solutions to the problems in our world today.