Four Loomis Chaffee seniors joined a group of more than 200 of their peers from around the world for the 2020 Student Sustainable Development Goals Summit, a student-directed online activism forum on November 7–8.
The summit was inspired by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity, that was adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015.
Hosted by Envoys, a global education organization, the summit brought together young people and global policy leaders, allowing the students to take an active role in achieving sustainability goals as global citizens.
Seniors Annah Clyner, Biani Ebie, Loren Jones, and Charlie Morrison represented Loomis Chaffee at the weekend event. All four of the students are working toward Global and Environmental Studies Certificates, conferred by the Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies at Commencement.
Summit attendees heard from several experts and educators, including Dustin Liu, U.S. youth observer to the United Nations; María Paula Martínez, executive director for Save the Children in Colombia; and Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation professor of practice in international education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Student participants worked in groups to come up with actionable, creative projects for tackling global problems related to hunger and poverty, access to health services and education, human rights and social justice, sustainable economic growth and jobs, and protecting the planet from environmental degradation.
The four Loomis participants said the experience was inspiring and correlated with the take-action approach to citizenship that they explore through the Global & Environmental Studies Certificate program.
Charlie said the summit experience shed light on the interconnectedness of global problems, such as the way production of and access to energy affect literacy rates in parts of the world. Annah’s takeaway was that action can have an impact even if it is not at a systemic or government policy level. Biani said she gained a renewed commitment to sustainable growth activism through the pandemic.
Loren was struck by a proverb, from the Asaro tribe of Indonesia, that guest speaker Dustin Liu shared at the summit: “Knowledge is only a rumor until it lives in the muscles.”
Connect to the Alvord Center webpage for more about Global and Environmental Studies at Loomis Chaffee.