Harpeth Hall's Global Scholars dialogue with international students about ensuring sustainable consumption and production
Global Scholars Juniors Amelia Cummings, Caroline Ford and Mary Roper participated with over 150 students from the U.S., Canada, India, Turkey and Colombia in dialogues about UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The dialogues are organized by the GEBG, an organization that promotes and navigates global education in schools, of which Harpeth Hall was a founding member. All participating students and faculty gather in a virtual room for a brief orientation and then join breakout rooms of about 10 students from other schools with a faculty facilitator to discuss the global challenge, how it affects their own lives and share ideas for solutions. Harpeth Hall students have been participating in the dialogues since the spring of 2021. We are excited to offer opportunities like this one to support the Global Scholars mission to encourage "our students to think beyond the geographic and cultural boundaries of the familiar in order to develop leadership skills necessary to become effective and responsible global citizens."
Students who participated in the most recent dialogues shared the following reflections:
Amelia: "Despite having a largely US residing population in my group, it was still super cool to learn about the perspectives from different regions. We talked a lot about climate change, it was really interesting to see which aspect of the vast issue connected to each individual. I learned lots and it helped me to shape my view on current issues in regard to my personal opinion and of others around the globe."
Mary: "We discussed the power and the limits of social media. It is true that social media can raise helpful awareness, but it is also true that social media can create an overwhelming amount of noise with no actual actions. After considering the many and wide-ranging perspectives of the people in my breakout room group, I think that if individuals can start sharing the things they are actually doing to consume sustainably, others will begin to believe that they could take sustainable steps as well. Social media has tremendous potential for good. Also, we must understand that our actions do have an impact. Perhaps individual actions don’t directly affect the environment as a whole, but, because our world is more connected than ever before with social media and cell phones, one person’s deliberate actions have the potential to inspire thousands of others as well."
Caroline: "I heard a lot about other schools around the nation and the ways they have a sustainable atmosphere, but not surprisingly, Harpeth Hall was doing more than the other schools and setting a national example in having a sustainable environment. I was pondering after the talks, though, whether compostable silverware or reusable dishware is better for the environment, as we talked briefly about it during the talks, but we did not linger on the topic too long."