International Studies & Programs

Delegates Form Lasting Connections at the Global Youth Advancement Summit

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Published: Tuesday, 02 Jul 2019 Author: Global Youth Advancement Network

One hundred and eighteen young professionals from around the world were invited to the Global Youth Advancement Summit at MSU to present their innovative research, ideas and/or business ventures that address global inequities. Representing 38 countries across six continents, delegates engaged in exciting Big Idea Talks, panel discussions, interactive workshops, case studies and poster community presentations.

In addition to these lively discussions and knowledge sharing sessions, delegates had opportunities to connect with each other from the moment they arrived on campus. Upon arrival, they were welcomed to Rather Hall — a residence hall in the Brody Neighborhood on MSU’s campus. Each delegate had their own room, with shared common spaces. These spaces helped facilitate genuine interactions and connections and fostered a real sense of community

Throughout the conference delegates found opportunities to develop friendships, provide support and encouragement to one another and socialize during their free time. A campus tour was organized on their first night in East Lansing, in order to help them take in the new environment and familiarize themselves with MSU. This exploration continued after the Summit ended as delegates made plans to visit other places in East Lansing and across Michigan.

Delegates were also able to connect with stakeholders during their stay at MSU. Specifically during the Networking Dinner (sponsored by MSU’s Alliance for African Partnership), delegates interfaced with Summit mentors, sponsors and planners, as well as faculty and staff from MSU and other institutions. Delegates were able to learn from stakeholders and receive advice and referrals to a range of resources to help scale their global initiatives.

Following the Networking Dinner, delegates attended a concert, which showcased local Michigan performance artists such as Jahshua Smith, a Detroit-based hip-hop artist, and the Mariachi Femenil Group, a Detroit-based, female-led Mariachi band. Performances were entertaining as well as educational and included enthusiastic Q&A discussions between delegates and musicians.

As delegates reluctantly bade farewell to each other at the end of the Summit, it was wonderful to observe how their excitement and determination had grown; due in (large) part to the connections and friendships they had built over the three days. These connections were a significant part of the event and helped create a genuine network of passionate, creative and committed global change-makers!