Beyond Climate Change: Shaping the Future of Humanity
May 18-20, 2018, NYU Shanghai
The application deadline is 11:59PM EST on Sunday February 4th, 2018.
The Global Leadership Summit is an issue-driven leadership development program for sophomores and juniors across NYU’s degree-granting campuses. The program invites students to think critically about a complex real-world issue facing their global community and develop the leadership skills needed to take action.
The 2018 Summit, Beyond Climate Change: Shaping the Future of Humanity, will bring together 30 students for a weekend at NYU Shanghai to rethink the role they can play in exploring solutions to global challenges affecting the environment. This idea came to us from Michelle Huang, a student at NYU Shanghai and former Leadership Initiative Summit participant. The Summit is hosted by the NYU Leadership Initiative, NYU Shanghai, eARThumanities at NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Office of Sustainability, NYU Office of Global Programs, and the NYU Environmental Humanities Event Series
At the Summit, students work collaboratively with peers, field leaders and organizations in the local community where the Summit takes place. Students participate in conversations with speakers representing diverse perspectives on the issue, peer-to-peer learning and hands-on skill-development workshops to advance their capacity for leadership. As part of the program, students learn from the work of a local organization and explore how they might advance the organization’s mission and goals.
The theme we are exploring this year is Beyond Climate Change: Shaping the Future of Humanity. In less than .01% of the earth’s timeline, humans have had a disproportionate effect on the planet’s climate, oceans, biodiversity and geography. So much that a new geologic age has emerged, the Anthropocene. Leadership in this new era must look beyond climate change to the complex global issues arising from human-driven changes to the planet.
The industrialization of agriculture, human overpopulation and the use of fossil fuels are some of the human activities responsible for a number of global issues – accelerated animal and plant extinction, stronger storms, drought, wildfires and rising sea levels – that threaten coastal cities, the sustainability of resources including food and the future of humanity. Global trends towards urbanization and the creation of megacities, especially in Asia, provide a timely lense to discuss the role of citizens, cities and nation-states in shaping the future of human life on our planet.
What is required to solve complex global challenges beyond climate change? What is the role of “leadership” in bringing change to these issues? Which global actors will take the lead on these issues? With the United States pulling out of the Paris Accord, will China take the lead? How do college campuses fit into the discussion? These are some of the guiding questions we hope to tackle through the 2018 Summit.
The 2018 Summit invites students to:
- Examine human-driven changes to the planet from a “systems” perspective.
Students will examine why this conversation is beyond climate change, make sense of the context in which our current environmental crisis developed, its underlying issues and the interactions between diverse players.
- Rethink leadership as collective work.
Through group discussions and collaborative action planning, students will examine the role that leadership plays in helping individuals and organizations actualize collective achievements.
- Develop their capacity for ethical, inclusive and collaborative leadership.
Students will participate in hands-on skill-development workshops to grow their leadership capacity on this issue.
- Take action by partnering with a local organization.
Students will learn from the work of a local organization and explore how they might advance its mission and goals.
- Extend the impact of the Summit to other student communities next academic year. Students will reflect on their experience, the role of college students and Higher Education and develop an action project to share skills or knowledge gained on this topic with peers.
The selection committee reviews each candidate carefully from a competitive pool of applications. Participants are selected based on the quality of their whole application, including essays and recommendation letters. The most competitive applicants display a commitment to the Summit theme and goals, leadership potential, and ability to work collaboratively across difference.
Students selected to participate in the program meet the following criteria:
- Show leadership potential through formal or informal roles in academic projects, extracurricular or service activities, internships or jobs
- Demonstrate the ability to work with others across difference
- Exhibit interest in the Summit theme and a commitment to the program goals
- Have sophomore or junior status during the academic year 2017-2018
- Be in good academic and disciplinary standing