May 18, 2020

WWF Our Planet´s Future Summit

Students from Nobel Algarve took part in the first ever “virtual” WWF Our Planet´s Future Summit on May 11th and 14th, organised by WWF and Globeducate as the first in a series of online sustainable education events to complement online schooling and the international school group´s Global Agenda project.

The students from Nobel Algarve took on the role of Experts of the Oceans Biome at this summit, putting forward a compelling, well-researched case for managing ocean industries and the threats of fish farming. The team included Michael Borges de Sousa, Alekzander Musk, Nicole Fagan, Philippine Cailleux, and Rafael da Cruz Silva joined the cross-school World Leaders delegation.

The workshop, usually involving face-to-face contact, immersed the students, aged 14 to 15, in the varied and interlinked issues that face our planet, and aimed to build their understanding of the complexities involved in bringing about change at a global level.  Students from six schools across Spain, Italy and Portugal met as a diverse group of 30 twice during the week, beginning with a briefing from WWF Education Manager Matt Larsen-Daw, and were split into a World Leaders group and six smaller Biome expert groups to focus on their expert areas. After each Biome pitched for investment and international agreements, World Leaders retired to consider their options and then took part in a lively round-table discussion.

Dawid Botha, Deputy Head of College at Nobel Algarve and Global Perspectives Teacher, said: “It was a real honour to be part of this event and to see our students perform with such confidence and maturity in what, even for many adults, was a high-pressure environment. Nobel Algarve´s students tackled the expert Biome of Oceans, which seemed appropriate for us with our location on the Atlantic Ocean coast. There were many learning take-aways from the experience for the students and we look forward to more joint WWF – Globeducate online events over the coming term. We are fortunate to have this partnership with a world leader in sustainability education and what was so rewarding was to see how the students didn´t want the event to end – they were completely engaged and motivated and saw the real potential for change.”

Matt Larsen-Daw, Education Manager for WWF said: “The young people did themselves proud with an excellent and nuanced set of presentations that really did delve into the complexities of some issues. The world leaders were very impressive – both in their grasp of issues but especially in their willingness to work together and workshop ideas. At this time of planetary emergency, it is vital that the next generation understands not only the science behind the environmental issues we face, but the mechanisms for change. This workshop builds political literacy and systems thinking alongside knowledge and understanding of our planet and the impact of human activities on nature. The students of these Globeducate schools rose to the challenge, confidently negotiating complex issues and drawing some far-reaching conclusions about the future options we face. Seeing the younger generation taking on the role of stewards of our planet with such determination gives me real hope for the future.”