Over 300 students from across the G8 countries took part in Morgan Stanley International Foundation's J8 competition to win the chance to represent their country at the "Junior G8" meeting in St. Petersburg this July.
Teams of 13 to 16-year olds from schools across the world - from Massachusetts to Frankfurt, from Bologna to Susaki - entered the J8 Competition by submitting online a G8-style Communiqué outlining how they would tackle some of the topics to be discussed at the G8 Summit 2006: education, energy security, infectious diseases, and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Competition participants were able to vote online for their favourite short-listed Communiqué and their votes, together with votes from the Ministries of Education in several of the G8 countries, were taken into account by the expert judging panel which made the final selection.
The judging panel, which included experts on each of the discussion topics and a 16-year old student who took part in J8 2005, was looking for entries which demonstrated that young people could tackle global issues with innovative and ambitious solutions. They were impressed by the high standard and obvious passion for global issues demonstrated in all the entries. As one team declared: "We are young, we have dreams and we aim for a bright future for all…. we want to act to make it happen".
The winning entries were:
- Canada: St Joseph High School, Ottawa
- France: Le Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, London
- Germany: Gymnasium-Essen-Überruhr, Essen
- Italy: Istituto Studium, Milan
- Japan: Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School, Tokyo
- UK: Caedmon School, Whitby, Yorkshire
- USA: Glendale High School, California
Justin Simpson, Chairman of the Morgan Stanley International Foundation which developed J8, said: "As many of this year's competition entries demonstrated, young people feel passionately about the environmental, economic and social issues facing our world today. The J8 programme gives young people a unique opportunity to influence decision-making at an international level and we are proud to be associated with it. We congratulate the winners and thank all the teams for participating with so many inspiring ideas and such enthusiasm."
The Government of the Russian Federation, in collaboration with UNICEF, is organising the Junior G8 meeting in St. Petersburg in July as part of Russia's plans for its G8 Presidency in 2006 and is running a national competition in eight major cities in Russia to select young people from the host country to attend the event. These young people, who are being selected through the "Magnificent Eight" national television contest, will welcome delegates from all G8 countries to St. Petersburg in July.
At the Junior G8 meeting in St.Petersburg, young people from all G8 countries will discuss the G8 topics and other global issues of interest to young people, and will present their joint work to President Vladimir Putin and the other G8 leaders at the G8 St Petersburg 2006 Summit later that same week.
Promethean, a global leader in the provision of interactive group learning and assessment solutions, is kindly donating interactive whiteboards and integrated Activote technology to the winning schools. This technology will be ideal for collating and presenting junior G8 views on the issues being discussed by world leaders.
Notes for Editors
The Junior G8 meeting will take place at the Management Training Centre, Academy of Additional Professional Training in Pushkin, St. Petersburg, from 7 to 18 July 2006.
The J8 Global Citizenship Programme
The Morgan Stanley International Foundation developed the J8 Global Citizenship Programme to provide young people from across the world with opportunities to learn more about topical global issues, to come together to debate and discuss these issues, and to take their solutions to global challenges to world leaders - those who run the annual G8 Summit.
The J8 Global Citizenship Programme was developed in partnership with the Morgan Stanley International Foundation ("MSIF"), Morgan Stanley's charitable grant-making arm in Europe, and the Department for Education and Skills ("DfES"). It first ran in 2003 as a pilot programme in London and was the first global citizenship initiative of its kind for secondary school students. Targeted at students aged 13 to 16, the aim of the programme was to provide a unique resource for teachers to deliver the curriculum subject of citizenship and to offer an opportunity for young people to address some of the most important global economic, environmental and social issues facing our world today.
In 2004-5, the programme was rolled out across the UK and 8 winning school groups were chosen to join international students in Edinburgh in July 2005 for the first ever J8 Summit, modelled on the G8 2005 which focused on the issues surrounding Africa and climate change. At the summit, students heard guest speakers, discussed the issues in workshops, presented their ideas, and voted for the points they wanted to include in their joint Communiqué which they presented to Tony Blair at the Gleneagles Hotel on the first day of the G8 Summit. J8 2005 was supported and officially endorsed by the UK G8 Presidency.
For 2005-6, the programme expanded internationally with the launch of an interactive, multi-lingual website providing teaching resources (lesson plans, research and discussion exercises, fact sheets, curriculum guidance, etc.) and a "My J8" area for students to register their team and begin research on their G8-style Communiqué. Students aged 13-16 were invited to form teams of up to 8 people to work together, using various resources including specially-written information on the J8 2006 topics, and post their G8-style Communiqué onto the website. Short-listed entries from each country were displayed anonymously for all site visitors to read and all participating students were invited to vote for their favourite Communiqué from their own country. The Ministry of Education in each G8 country was also invited to review and comment on the work. All of this feedback was taken into consideration by the expert panel of judges who chose the winning entries.
The Morgan Stanley International Foundation
The Morgan Stanley International Foundation was established in 1995 and is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Its main purpose is to make grants to not-for-profit organizations which benefit the communities in Europe and South Africa in which Morgan Stanley has a physical presence. While grants are made to all sectors, including health and social welfare, the main focus of the Foundation's support is in the area of education, training and employment.
Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm and a market leader in securities, investment management and credit services. With more than 600 offices in 30 countries, Morgan Stanley connects people, ideas and capital to help clients achieve their financial aspirations.
UNICEF is partnering with the Russian government to organise the Junior G8 meeting in July 2006. In the other G8 countries, the Morgan Stanley International Foundation, G8 country governments and UNICEF National Committees are working together to prepare the national teams for the meeting. UNICEF organised the "C8 Children's Forum" at the same time as the G8 Summit in Gleneagles last year. At the St. Petersburg meeting, UNICEF is inviting some of its Goodwill Ambassadors to join the event, facilitating media coverage and a video-link between the children from G8 countries gathered in St. Petersburg with children from around the world.
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world's leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Promethean is a global leader in the provision of interactive group learning and assessment solutions. Developed by and for educators, Promethean's digital learning and assessment technology empowers teachers to deliver dynamic learning environments. Through collaborative use of electronic text, imagery, internet, audio and video content students' attention is focused and individual learning styles accommodated. Through their work with educators and digital publishers worldwide Promethean continues to support local curriculum standards. Beyond the classroom, Promethean offers comprehensive teacher training and support services to ensure improved results and maximum realization on investment.
For further information on J8, please visit www.J8summit.com, email information@J8summit.com, or call Caroline Redrup on +44 (0) 20 7479 4226.
Extracts from some of the competition entries can be found in the attached appendix.
Quotes extracted from J8 Competition 2006 Entries
Below are just some of the sentiments expressed by the participating teams:
"The J8 has inspired us to learn more about solving global issues." (Canada)
"Through the process of writing the J8 communiqué, we have learned that many world issues are interrelated and interdependent to an extent which none of us could have imagined prior to our research." (Canada)
"We are young, we have dreams and we aim for a bright future for all…. we want to act to make it happen." (France)
"We believe that by exchanging ideas and acting together, the issues we face today must not be the issues of tomorrow." (France)
"We are interested in the topics of the G8 competition because we are convinced that solving these tasks and problems is the foundation for making our society ready for the future. Solving these problems also means doing away with a part of the inequality existing in our world and, besides, to give other nations a chance to achieve wealth and acceptance in the world community." (Germany)
"We were all born in 1989: while we were seeing the sky for the very first time, down below it that famous wall (or may we say a whole world?) brick by brick, was collapsing. By now, like us, this world is an upset teenager who doesn't know yet who's going to become. We have to grow up with it until we'll be able to grow it up, just like our parents do with us. It's our duty, our challenge for a better tomorrow. It's our chance, and it begins right now." (Italy)
"We discovered so many things we didn't actually know before and it was a real challenge trying to 'give solutions' to the given issues….. 'reasoning' with our mates, teachers and families about energy, education, CIS and diseases has really improved our skills!" (Italy)
"We hope that we can help to improve life, even a little bit, for us and for others. We think that we can improve the world by learning about it and teaching what we've learned to other people. For many weeks, we have thought about the G8 every day." (Japan)
"To be honest, we were shocked to find how little we knew about the past and the present world. We did look into many affairs that have agonised the world, only to find how complicated and difficult the issues are. But this will not be the end. We have determined to carry on our interest and perspective to tackle these universal assignments." (Japan)
"We as a group feel that the small suggestions which we are putting forward might be one small step on the way forward to a brighter future full of equal opportunity for all young people throughout the world." (UK)
"We used the opportunity not only to find out more ourselves, but to share with our year group by arranging assemblies with speakers who had first hand experience of some of the issues." (UK)
"The J8 has made us open our eyes and ears to world issues of which we had been previously oblivious and we have learnt to appreciate those basic things which we had taken for granted." (UK)
"This project was a real eye opening experience and our group learned more about the issues of our world today. Most people in our society often act as if there are no problems in the world outside their own, but the J8 Summit project really allowed our team to focus on these problems and what we can do to help resolve them." (USA)
"Even though we may not win, we have had this valuable and fulfilling experience which we will carry through the rest of our lives. This has motivated us to do more for the world and inspire others to do so as well. Thank you for this chance to express our ideas and opinions about the world issues." (USA)
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