Leadership News

HwaChongians At the Virtual Vanguard

03 Aug 2020
Leadership

The Inaugural Hwa Chong Global Digital Young Leaders’ Convention

Written by Soh Yong Xiang (20A15) and Tan Lyn Shann, Rachel (20S7B)

 

In response to the changing global landscape brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak, the Gamemaster Organizers the first-ever Hwa Chong Global Digital Young Leaders’ Convention (HC-GDYLC) imagined an alternate reality.

From 18th to 21st July 2020, HC-GDYLC virtually brought together 101 young leaders from 17 schools across 7 countries around the globe to discuss pertinent issues from a multitude of perspectives, in addition to hearing from eight esteemed  keynote speakers from various sectors. The need to come together in the face of challenges, more relevant now than ever, was aptly reflected in the convention’s theme – ‘Concord: Standing in Solidarity, Chartering a New Era’.

Chartering its own course, HC-GDYLC broke from the structures of traditional conferences by presenting something completely different – in the form of an alternate reality game . Each delegate played a stakeholder with unique goals and abilities, ranging from government ministers to media representatives to healthcare leaders, all within a complex geopolitical system of fictional countries.

Against the backdrop of a fictional pandemic, delegates then came up with solutions to a series of crises, with their actions determining the course of their fictional countries, and the story of the “GD World” at large.

Nonetheless, challenges were inevitable. Given the conference’s digital nature, technical difficulties had to be dealt with promptly. When one keynote speaker was unable to enter the meeting, the OT was required to flexibly switch platforms to accommodate the unexpected circumstances.

Another novel hurdle that the HC-GDYLC team had to overcome was the timezone differences among participating countries. To do so, the delegates were divided into three blocs, which met at different times of the day. As a result, some of Hwa Chong’s own facilitators had to stay up after midnight to facilitate discussions. Yet, this opened opportunities for unique memories to be forged, as facilitators bonded with delegates across timezones.

Despite the challenges, the event managed to leave an indelible impact on its participants.

Reflecting on her Convention experiences, Cora Elisabeth Macmillan, from Dominion High School in the US, remarks, “How funny, kind, and fascinating all the delegates were which conveyed the importance of international friendships and bonds — I will cherish these relationships, regardless of the distance.”

“HC-GDYLC has been one miracle of an event, emerging from a period of adversity and diversity,” Executive Committee member Lee Ru Ye Laura (20S7B) concludes, reflecting on the overall success of this ground-breaking event, which just a few months ago was unfathomable. “It has really been a testament to five months of hard work from everyone involved.”

While it may initially have seemed impossible for such an event to come to fruition, HC-GDYLC ultimately proved itself to be a pioneer in adapting to change, blazing a path for youth leadership in the new digital era.

 

The Gamemasters Organizers  of the inaugural HC-GDYLC holding their online Zoom Meeting

From Left To Right
First Row: Baey Zo-Ren (20S6T) Yin Jiaheng (20A15), Chen Yiming (20S7F), Lee Ru Ye Laura (20S7B)
Second Row: Timotheus Teng Da Hui (20S7B), Ng Jin Yin (20A14), Hoo Hoi Tzer (20S6C), Wong Yuen Sum Sophia (20A14)
Third Row: Koh Zi Ning, Grace (20A15), Ng Tze Yang (20S7D) Tan Rongwen, Daren (20S6E), Khua Yan Han, Cedric (20S7D)
Fourth Row: Ye Haoxiang Robin (20S66), Huang Junwei (20S7F), Ooi Wei Chern (20S7B), Arianne See Rui Wenn (20S70)
Fifth Row: Goh Chin Ray (20S6J), Neo Bo Xiang, Bryan (20S7F)

 

Map featuring the fictional countries of GDYLC’s alternate reality world.

 

Delegates and Gamemasters smile for the camera

我校首办环球青年领袖线上大会    推动跨文化沟通与交融

尹嘉恒  20A15       李侞晔  20S7B

       由我校主办的首届“华中-环球青年领袖线上大会”于7月18日至21日在线上隆重举行。突如其来的世纪瘟疫导致举实体国际会议的计划搁浅;这促使学生筹委会另辟蹊径,采用比萨国际学生能力评估计划中的“全球素养教育框架”,通过视讯科技软件召集与会者在网络平台聚首,一起探讨具有深刻意义的棘手议题,在沟通互动的过程中提升全球意识和跨文化交流技能。

      今年的主题是“团结一致、迈向未来”,为期四天的活动创意满满,让来自美国、法国、英国、印度、印尼、日本和本地的101名学生领袖,在虚拟世界中担任指定国家的不同社会角色,根据虚拟世界中实时更新的信息应对突如其来的大流行病,促使他们从宏观和微观的角度思考问题,拟定兼顾各方利益的解决方案。除了维护自身和国家的利益之外,与会者也须与虚拟世界中的其他国家协商合作,实现双赢的目标。

       网络行动主义是本届大会的亮点。筹委会希望与会学生能把所学的知识付诸行动,回馈社会。虚拟世界的故事板一层一层地掀开疫情给国际社会带来的各种挑战,激发与会者从现实社会中不同利益相关者的视角换位思考,进一步探讨他们能如何在疫情期间为社会做出实际的贡献。其中四名来自印度、日本、印尼和我国的学生代表一同发起“食物零浪费”运动;有的与会者通过信息图帮助公众了解糖尿病、心理病、妥瑞症等疾病;有的则探讨骨髓捐献计划和全球贫富差距的现实问题;有的呼吁民众消除对外劳和释囚的歧视,倡导打造更具包容性的社会。看似简单的社会运动,实际上揭示了在全球化时代,没有任何一个国家在灾难发生时能独善其身。这让学生领袖清楚认识到国际互助的重要性,除了政府间的国际互助外,民间亦可以自发跨国界互助。

       大会的创新教育模式让参与的17所学校深受启发。美国多米诺高中学生阿努莎·佳盈表示:“虽然全程在线上举行,但它无疑是我人生中最可贵的学习经验。参与之前,我完全不知道自己会在虚拟世界中如此充满热忱。整个故事板不断挑战我跳出传统思想的框框、加强了我的批判性思维,这是我从来没有体验过的。”日本筑波大学附属高等学校则是在大会结束后尝试采用同样的教育模式,将这新颖模式推广开来。

 

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