Why a focus on collaboration?
At last year's GIN conference, we emphasized the importance of collaboration and systemic change in addressing the climate crisis. Despite the challenges, these efforts are necessary for the betterment of the world. The pandemic has forced us to adapt and find new ways of doing things, and as we move past it, we should consider which of these changes are worth keeping.
The GIN conference transitioned to a virtual format during the pandemic and has been successful in this new format for the past two editions. This has allowed for greater participation from a wider range of schools, and has also been beneficial for people who may be more socially vulnerable or less confident in public speaking. Additionally, the reduced cost of the virtual event has made it more accessible to a wider audience.
However, the shift to a virtual format has also led us to question the reasoning behind participating in such events. Shouldn't a global conference focused on global issues set an example by promoting sustainable practices? Is it not hypocritical to contribute to carbon emissions when the event could be held without them?
In light of repeated requests from a small group of GIN friends to hold an in-person conference, we have examined the most suitable options for 2023. While we are considering the possibility of a hybrid event, we believe that the benefits of a fully virtual conference far outweigh any drawbacks, as we strive to create an event with the lowest possible carbon footprint in line with our goal of promoting positive change.
We understand the importance of face-to-face interactions and collaboration, and to that end, we have reached out to nearby schools to establish a local community network. We will keep you updated on our progress and hope to encourage other schools to form partnerships with schools in their region. We encourage schools to investigate existing conferences in their area and to contact globalissuesnetwork.org for assistance if they are interested in hosting an event.
What does this mean for student workshops at the March 2023 virtual conference?
We believe that all GIN students have been motivated to address one or more global issues and have devised plans to tackle them. To ensure that each workshop includes clear steps for moving forward with their projects, we encourage students to reach out to other schools, whether locally or internationally. Here are some suggestions for ways to do this:
Inviting other schools to visit and assess the project
Offering to provide training and support to launch the same project at another school
Suggesting to merge similar projects
Organizing regular meetings to share progress and achievements on similar projects
Arranging workshops to address common project management needs.