VAIL – Leaders in education, international development, and global citizenship will come from around the globe to participate in the Global Solutions Forum in Vail from Oct. 26-29. The event, hosted by Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder, addresses the educational vision of global citizenship as an essential aim of schools around the world.
The event, held at the Vail Mountain School, also serves as a meeting of minds for the collective work and partnerships of Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an organization that partners with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, schools, high school students, alumni and investors around the world to prepare youth for citizenship in a globally connected world.
“Providing authentic opportunities for youth to engage in global issues today inspires this next generation of global leaders as global citizens,” said Bob Bandoni, executive director of Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder. “We see effective, long-term global leadership synonymous with global citizenship. The GSF is a platform for collaboration, and an educational model for ethical leadership in a globalized world.”
Among the guest speakers will be Ana Dodson, founder of Peruvian Hearts. Dodson, who was born in Peru, was adopted by an American family as a baby. At 11 years old, she returned to visit the region of her birth. After visiting an orphanage in the village of Anta, the Hogar de Ninas, Dodson was inspired to found Peruvian Hearts in order to help improve the lives and opportunities of orphaned girls in Peru.
Other luminaries in the NGO world will also be present, as will students and young people who have participated in the program. The event is an opportunity for sharing stories, wisdom, and ideas as the group works to improve the lives of millions around the world who live in poverty.
“By partnering with grassroots NGOs, schools, and donors, we can do the work of creating lifelong connections among people of widely varied backgrounds,” Bandoni said. “Together, these networks of individuals can learn from one another, and unify, to shape the world that they live in. That’s what the Global Solutions Forum is all about.”
About 20 youth from around the country, who have experienced Shoulder-toShoulder’s domestic or international programs, will join together with leaders like Tamdin Wangdu, executive director of Tibetan Village Project; Joselo Balderrama Hurtado, director of the Rio Beni Health Foundation; Hal Aronson, co-founder and director of technology and education for WE CARE Solar; Christopher P. Brady, co-founder of the Rio Beni Health Project; Michele Hovey, educator and board member of Shoulder to Shoulder and International Peace Initiatives; Jo MacLaughlin, collective shout officer of Love146; and Fredah Kamene Rajab, board member of Shoulder to Shoulder and liaison with International Peace Initiatives.
Portions of the Forum are open to the public, and community members are encouraged to attend.
Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder, the host of the Global Solutions Forum, partners with NGOs and nonprofits in eight settings, in seven countries, on four continents. The organization is a travel and service program based on a five-lens curriculum for high school students. Each SStS course is designed to actively address the root causes of poverty such as the oppression of women. During the four-day forum, several nonprofit partners will give presentations on how they are working to solve compelling global issues.