By Seema Shaikh, Educator, Mumbai

“AFS Global Conference 2019 – A place where knowledge is transacted and a day that brings along with it a hope of shaping up a better future, is what educators call paradise. With more than 500 participants, 100 organizations, 70 plus speakers & more than 70 countries brought together in the spacious and aptly created learning ambience of Centre-Mont Royal at Montreal, the period between 9th to the 11th of October proved to be a time which made a special place in the memories of those who attended the AFS Global Conference 2019. The essence of this conference lied in creating smart goals that would lead towards a collective effort on coming up with achievable solutions to make Global Competence an integral and an integrated part of the education system across the globe. In these 3 days of tremendous idea and innovation flow, every speaker who addressed the topic of ‘Active Global Citizenship & How to educate for 21st Century‘ voiced his concern on the increasingly divided societies & strategies that people imply to collaboratively make this planet more favorable & sustainable.

The topics of the workshop that ranged from ‘Developing dialogue skills in teen’s to ‘Explore & identify diversity‘ to ‘Leveraging a collective leadership to promote global competence‘, had successfully set a premise of the conference, the ethos of it was visible from the beginning, besides educators knew what to expect when they signed up for this. The essence of any conference lies in the takeaways, and that surely were the effective tools that the speakers shared that could be used to nurture and create global competency, So I personally was glad that the sessions went beyond just chalk & talk and Powerpoint displays.

A premiere that showcased ‘Crash Test the Word‘ exhibited some easy to engage digital tools for integrating global citizenship in the classroom, I indeed felt privileged to be amongst the few Indians to witness this. The mere structure of the 3 day evenly spread sessions was designed in a manner that it took the educators closer to their goals of attaining and raising the Global competency Index of those with whom they collaborated. The remarkable minds who furnished knowledge through their sessions empowered the participants by offering practical, cutting edge & doable solutions to turn Global Competency Education into practice.

Engaging Global Citizenship through Story Telling for Change & Learning to Disagree (L2D) were some things that stood apart on day two. Are we There Yet? Yet another segment from the sessions, enabled the participants to take a hard look at the state of Global Competence education around the world. A talk to enrich the audience about the role of Media on a platform in spreading Global Competency was definitely worth spending time on. ‘Idea Dates’ a creative segment was a wonderful way to interact with people who had done substantial things by thinking out of the box. Short and crisp interviews that generated questions in the minds of the audience and quick & witty answers by the interviewees indeed gathered all the eminence.

Amidst other things that this conference empowered the participants with, it was successful in making each one realize the urgency of creating Global Competency in The Generation Z, so that they thrive in this turbulent world and are able to navigate in this rapidly interconnecting space. These sessions truly inspired us to assume active roles & move a step ahead towards a more peaceful, tolerant & accepting world.”