2019 International Student Summit on Information and Democracy
Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2019; 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: The Fox School of Business at Temple University
Fee: $55 per student

The shifting nature of modern communication, technology, and media consumption is exposing significant flaws in the global community’s efforts to gather quality information. Journalists, social media entities, and advocates for free speech and free press are increasingly threatened by pervasive misinformation and antagonistic state actors. This fundamental problem has even threatened both nascent and established democracies who are struggling with the consequences of damaging misinformation.

The 2019 International Student Summit on Information and Democracy (ISS) will simulate a meeting of international advocates for free speech, journalism, and a free and independent press. This meeting will take place under the collective pretense that rising instances of pervasive disinformation, the suppression free press, and a growing influence of anti-democratic regimes, is posing a major threat to the integrity and security of journalists, global freedom, civil harmony, and world peace.  

Nearly 250 high school student participants from across the greater Philadelphia region will represent free press advocates from countries that rank on either end of the World Press Freedom Index. In these roles, students will be assigned a technical working group where they will debate and discuss specific issues confronting the global community. Using their assigned country as a case study, students will highlight specific opportunities and challenges surrounding the global communication and information space and will create a series of proposals that present creative solutions to this pressing global crisis. With their student assignment in mind, and using the principles set out in the International Declaration on Information and Democracy as a benchmark, students will ultimately craft an International Pledge to the international community that responds to contemporary challenges, renews commitment towards the right to exercise freedom of opinion and expression, and defines a set of objectives to be pursued while taking account of the rights and interests of future generations.

Participation in the Council’s education programs, including the 2019 International Student Summit, requires a High School Membership. The 2019-2020 membership fee is $250 and provides all students and faculty members at your school access to our global education programs as well as our signature speaker events.

If you have not yet registered for membership, please take a moment to fill out a membership form here: https://forms.gle/3vchhcjCNqQz6yJL7

If your school requires financial assistance to support your participation in this program, please contact Eric Bumbaca, Associate Director of Student Programs, at (215) 561-4700 ext. 216 or at ebumbaca@wacphila.org.
Application Deadline
All applications must be submitted no later than Friday, October 25, 2019 by 4:00 p.m.
Application Requirements
In order to successfully complete the application process for the 2019 International Student Summit, all faculty advisers are requested to submit the (1) exact amount of student participants, (2) full names, and (3) grade levels for all student participants. In addition, you must know exactly what each student's role will be (see below for the two options available to participants). We recommend that you recruit and select students as soon as possible and prior to completing this online application, as you cannot save your work and return at a later time.

We highly encourage each school to nominate a student or multiple students (up to four) to serve in a Student Leader position, where he or she would help to facilitate discussions between student delegates, act as a timekeeper and note-taker, as well as ensuring that their country and/or committee completes the necessary agenda items. Candidates for student leader positions must first complete a phone interview in order to be considered, as well as attend two pre-Summit prep sessions. This year, these sessions will take place on Wednesday, November 13 (5:00 - 7:00 p.m.) and Wednesday, December 4 (3:45 - 5:00 p.m.). If you plan to register a student for a Leadership position, you will be requested to submit the student's (1) name, (2) primary email address, (3) grade level, and (4) date and time confirmations for the two Student Leader prep sessions. The Student Leader position is an excellent resume-enhancing opportunity for your students to hone their public speaking and leadership skills. In addition, the Council confers special awards and recognition to those leaders who go above and beyond in their role on the day of the Summit.

If you plan to register Student Delegates, you will be requested to submit only each student's (1) name and (2) current grade level. Student delegates are responsible for: (1) discussing and debating the issue at hand in a thoughtful and respectful manner with fellow delegates; (2) representing the views of their assigned country delegation and committee while making sure to differentiate from personal opinion; (3) maintaining an open mind for alternative viewpoints; and (4) devising a set of talking points to support their position through background research and preparation. There is no interview requirement for student delegate positions.
Important Dates for Student Leader Nominees:
Student Leader Prep Sessions:
Wednesday, November 13th (5:00 - 7:00 p.m.) and Wednesday, December 4th (3:45 - 5:00 p.m.)
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