On January 23, Winsor kicked off the 2019 Global Forum, a biennial, weeklong Jan term dedicated this year to the study of one of the world's most pressing challenges: disease. For daily updates, check the student-run blog or Instagram.
On the opening day of Winsor's Global Forum, the entire school turned its focus to one of the world's most pressing challenges: disease. In a stirring, interactive keynote on health and human rights, Dr. Joia Mukherjee, chief medical officer of Partners in Health, inspired students and faculty alike to dive into the topic. (Click here to read more about her and her organization.)
The 2019 Global Forum will immerse student teams in imagining solutions to the ongoing ravages of particular diseases around the globe. This year's edition of the biennial, weeklong Jan term will run from January 23 to January 29, ending with a new twist, an afternoon of presentations to panels of judges. The two top teams from each division will present at a February 23 all-school ssembly.
In introducing the forum, Brian Didier, Winsor's director of global studies and History Department head, invited students to "lean into discomfort," borrowing a familiar phrase from his colleague Julian Braxton.
"That phrase could be the motto for this Global Forum," he suggested.
The host of intractable problems faced by our world means "there's a lot of discomfort to lean into," he reflected. However, "if we don't face these uncomfortable truths now and start thinking about solutions, the problems only get worse and our list of problems gets longer."
For teams, thinking about solutions started from day one.
Mr. Didier also encouraged students to "lean into the discomfort" that comes with independent learning. In preparation for the forum, student teams have chosen a country and a disease on which to focus. "Now YOU have control over your curriculum and classroom," he noted.
On day two and three, students will have a choice of an array of workshops led by guest presenters, including many Winsor parents and alumnae.
To help the wider school community follow along, a team of student reporters will be covering the daily action on their own news blog:
You can also follow them on Instagram:
NOTE: As Mr. Didier acknowledged at the keynote assembly, the forum is made possible in part by the Patni Family Global Fund, established in memory of Naren Patni P'98 by his daughter, Ambika, Class of 1998, and his wife, Poonam Patni P'98. "During a remarkable life between two continents, Naren fundamentally transformed the software industry and his native India," he noted. "As his daughter has said, he would have loved the hands-on aspect of our Global Forum. Her dad loved solving problems and diving deeply into topics. In supporting the Forum, the Patni family hopes to help each of you to develop a more global outlook so that you’ll give back to the world with your own bold new ideas."