“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”
Honoring the spirit of diversity that the GL Summit prides itself in, we got to view some immersive cultural performances and workshops throughout the conference. To begin with, the Comedy Club from Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts put up an enigmatic and extremely engrossing debut act. Aditya, Ishita and Tanmay, made their stand-up act more relevant to our young and passionate debaters by drawing punny parallels between MUN delegate stereotypes and Indian political leaders (and most of these were unnervingly accurate!). “Thanks for inviting us to perform at GLS. I mean, it’s a little unbelievable, you know… If GLS is FIFA then we’re the Shakiras! So thank you guys, and love you all,” exclaimed Tanmay to end their sidesplitting performance.
Not only did the GL Summit become a platform for the showcase of talent, but it also provided with its live art installation, an opportunity for every participant at the conference to discover their inner artists. An idea conceived and executed by exceptionally gifted members of the Art Club at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, it was a day-long installation where anyone could come and paint any part of an abstract canvas collage. The delegates specifically enjoyed the installation because it served not only as a stress-buster post some very heated debates, but also became a lovely way to meet new people – imagine making new friends over painting.
Through the course of the day, we also got to walk past and stop by the beautifully transformed Movie-Buzz wall, courtesy of SSLA’s Film Club. “Since we have such a diverse range of participation at the conference, we thought of going with the theme of classics. It’s a genre that is international. So here are some of the best classics from around the world. Some I don’t agree with, but oh well!” says the secretary of the club Radhika Mohite.
The last performance of the day was the street-play by the Natak Society of SSLA, revolving around the issue of malnutrition. For the GL Summit, nothing could have been more apt than a street-play. Since their audience was the politically and culturally aware youth of India, they not only entertained but definitely gave us a lot to ponder upon. “Kya aaj Pari ka tiffin aayega?” The reality is unsettling for sure, but we at the Global Leaders Summit are attempting to start thinking and discussing ideas of change, in order to empower us to be the change-makers of tomorrow
Talking about change, Teach for India conducted a workshop with the delegates introducing them to their goals and objectives, and their business model. TFI intends to tackle, or at least bridge, the inequity in education in India. Since most of the TFI workforce is composed of young college graduates, they reiterated throughout the workshop the importance of soft-skills such as leadership for working at a place like TFI. Aptly followed by this was the workshop by Jagriti Yatra, an initiative that is concerned with the adaptation and replication of successful enterprise models across the middle-class majority of our country. Like the outlook for TFI and GLS, the aim of the Jagriti Yatra – a 15-day train-ride to nooks and corners of the country – is to sensitize yatris, connect them to a sea of young India that is positive and entrepreneurial, as well as to equip them with skills and qualities to be leaders of the change they want to bring about. Both these workshops were reminders for all our fervent debaters that the discussions we have at the GLS are in no way confined to the walls of the rooms of our committees – the impact of questioning, brainstorming, networking, and thinking like globally aware citizens is perhaps latent but irrefutable.
We cannot deny that we are all going to go home having learned at least one new fact, made one new friend, and pondering about another thought that irks your ‘I Can’ bug!
(If you don’t know what the ‘I Can’ bug is, hit this link and watch this brilliant TED talk now: https://www.ted.com/talks/kiran_bir_sethi_teaches_kids_to_take_charge/transcript?language=en)
– Pooja Yadav