Get Global 2015 Inspires Students To “Be the Change”

It’s a wrap! The 10th annual Get Global Youth Conference is in the books and it will go down as one of the BEST youth-planned and youth-events hosted by OneWorld Now!.

OneWorld Now! students spent eight weeks preparing for the conference and their hard work was rewarded with a packed house – over 200 participants from all over Seattle – and as far as Honolulu, Hawaii – attended, including OWN alumni, local high school students, community members, University of Washington students, and more.

The OWN talks and workshops covered a wide range of topics, from the challenges of youth depression to the importance of and how to minimize our ecological footprints as well as the impacts of police brutality on families The speeches and workshops were carefully crafted by OWN students and went through a rigorous feedback process. First, students got feedback from each other, then from OWN staff, mentorship from community partners at Deloitte Digital, and, finally, students presented to members of the Starbucks China and Asia Pacific Network for a final run-through. The preparation and coaching paid off and students gave speeches worthy of the TED stage and presentations of university student caliber.

Get Global 2015 was held at the University Ethnic Cultural Center, an ideal  venue for the theme of the day: Seven Continents, One Horizon, and generously donated through the sponsorship by the UW Office of Minnority Affairs and Diversity. Speeches and performances were held at the Ethnic Cultural Theater before a full house and break-out sessions, workshops and an Opportunity Fair were held in the main ECC building.

Over a lunch of international cuisine, students wandered through the Opportunity Fair to network with representatives from like-minded organizations, including: Associates for Cultural Exchange, UW Young Executives of Color, World Affairs Council, Global Campaign for Education, Confucius Institute of Washington, IIE Generation Study Abroad and the Gilman Scholarship, and School’s Out Washington. Students walked away from the Opportunity Fair inspired to take action locally and globally to make a difference.

The goal for Get Global is to engage high school students in global issues, provide practical leadership opportunities, and engage the community on a meaningful level. Kyle Haddad-Fonda of the Nicholas Sparks Foundation and partner for an upcoming video collaboration called “Around the World in Seattle”, had this to say about Get Global:

“One of my reactions after filming “Around the World in Raleigh” was surprise at how successfully we had created an environment in which a bunch of teenagers could be genuine and sincere about sharing with each other. Teenagers (and, indeed, all people) often default to sarcasm when confronted with awkward situations, and I had worried that having a camera in one’s face while one talked about personal experiences would count as awkward. And yet it didn’t! What struck me about Get Global was how OneWorld Now! has created that same kind of environment of sincerity on such a broad scale. It’s truly a remarkable achievement.”

Finally, the saying goes it takes a village to raise a child; at OWN we say it takes an incredible community of like-minded global leaders to throw the annual OneWorld Now! GetGlobal Youth Conference. OWN would like to express our sincere thanks to all our sponsors, promotional partners and volunteers for their role in the event. While Get Global is planned for students, by students, OWN couldn’t hold this event year after year without our wider community. Thank you for making Get Global possible so that OWN students can gain valuable professional skills of running a conference and students from around the greater Seattle area can join us in dialog around important global issues and be inspired to take action.

OWN Get Global 2015 was truly an incredible affair and planning for the 2016 event – slated for mid-April – is already on our minds. We can’t wait to see you there! Be sure to sign-up for updates via email.

More photos available on Facebook.

Thank you Get Global 2015 Supporters!

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