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Global Perspectives: Three Lessons from the World Economic Forum

10 February 2020

This January, Surval students were invited to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos. As world leaders and activists were discussing issues such as Ending Modern Slavery, and Our Disposable Society, our students noted recurrent themes and enduring understandings that they can apply to their experience here at Surval. The following are four key takeaways which schools should look to in preparing students for innovation and leadership.

Courage – Panellists in the Power of Youth session focused on the fearlessness of young people and how their tenacity and willingness to take risks and mobilize others is a strength that should be encouraged and developed. In a world that has historically underestimated and sheltered its children, movements such as March for our Lives have flipped the script, begging the question, how can schools foster courage and tenacity in the next generation?

Empathy – This was perhaps the most persistent theme throughout the conference as panelists and speakers emphasized the need for people to look after each other and our world better as we tackle the issues of the 21st century. At Surval we teach a broad global curriculum, encourage social enterprise, and ensure students have rich and diverse experiences in order to foster this sense of empathy which is so crucial.

Authenticity – Panellists in the Digital Safety for Youth forum stressed the need for young people to be socially responsible in the digital world. They stressed that in addition to being kind, it’s important to be your authentic self as you look to make meaningful connections and build relationships. As social media is pushing companies to be more transparent for communications, the workforce will greatly need people who are practiced in building connectivity in authentic ways.

Implications for Education

The WEF showed Surval students through first-hand experience that our world needs a different kind of leadership. As their teachers, our task is to focus on holistic learning and giving our students access to resources and experiences which will further develop these qualities.