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Students find innovative solutions to global issues at IB World Student Conferences

By Laura Wellesley

Since bidding farewell in July to the latest group of IB students to attend an IB World Student Conference, we remain proud and delighted that such a wonderfully-engaged group of young people joined us to develop innovative solutions to some real, significant global issues.

We welcomed 361 students to the two 2016 conferences, at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Bluche, Switzerland and at University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, USA. They had a packed agenda that included inspiring speakers like Christiane Stepanek-Allen, Chief of Communications at UNCTAD and Adrian Miller, author of Soul Food. Students at each site formed Global Action Teams (GAT) to tackle the issues of Global Responsibility and the Ethics of Food and developed thought-provoking solutions in the form of creativity, action, service (CAS) projects. They also had plenty of recreational activities like baseball game, city scavenger hunt, and cultural night to get to know each other and their host locations.


We design these conference experiences to encourage the building of meaningful relationships with peers, and develop international understanding and leadership skills that benefit participants far beyond the conference week. Students return to their homes and schools to share their experience and demonstrate their new leadership skills. We also hope that they have taken the opportunity to interact with the host university faculty and world-renowned speakers representing a wide variety of disciplines and areas of expertise. These skills and experiences are designed to inspire students in the creation of action plans that are theme-based and can be implemented in their local communities.

We hope that this year’s participating students thoroughly enjoyed their experience – do get in touch with us if you have feedback or a conference story to share by emailing

Save the date!

We are already thinking ahead to 2017 and deciding which global issues to address next. We will be at the University of Rochester from 30 July to 5 August 2017, and at King’s College London from 6-12 August 2017.

Looking ahead to 2018, what do you think the global topics should be? Post your suggestions below.

Laura Wellesley is Global Recognition Manager at the IB and has enjoyed coordinating the IB World Student Conferences for four years.