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ASSIST conference brings together international students, teachers, and global issues

February 16, 2013
Bridget, Annalena, and Ms. Georgis at the ASSIST conference

On February 12, two Madeira students attended a conference sponsored by the American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers (ASSIST) organization. The conference, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS, a Washington, D.C. think tank that advises government institutions and corporations on foreign policy issues), was attended by several independent schools that are members of the ASSIST consortium.

Each member school brought at least one ASSIST scholar, accompanied by an American student and faculty advisor. Our ASSIST scholar, Annalena Kill ’15 (from Dusseldorf, Germany), was accompanied by Bridget Duru ’15 (Maryland), and Madeira faculty member Mary Georgis. They found themselves in the vibrant company of ASSIST students representing the Czech Republic, Moldova, Ireland, Australia, Pakistan, Lithuania, China, Korea, and Vietnam.

The cornerstone of the conference was a presentation by CSIS policy experts called "The Seven Revolutions" that addressed seven of the most important global trends instrumental in shaping world events looking ahead to the year 2030. The seven major global trends discussed were: population, resource management, technology, information and knowledge, economics, security, and governance.  Following the presentation, students and faculty discussed and debated the issues, gaining much insight from the wide array of perspectives brought to the table by their various backgrounds and experience.  Following the presentation and discussion, Annalena and Bridget enjoyed lunch with a group of young staffers employed by CSIS, who shared with them what it was like to work for a D.C. think tank.  Everyone came away from the day-long conference invigorated by the international fellowship and thought-provoking discussions, excited to share what they had learned with their classmates.

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