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IB Students Develop Peace Proposal for the United Nations


IB Students Develop Peace Proposal for the United Nations
Erin Piemontesi

by Caroline Hendrickson

IB Global Politics students from Dwight Global and Dwight New York came together to analyze issues facing the world today in an online discussion and, after, a written Peace Proposal. 

The Peace Summit

During the Peace Summit, students deconstructed and analyzed four core issues standing in the path of achieving peace: sovereignty, human rights, economic inequality, and climate change. These issues formed a framework for details from human trafficking to the north-south hemisphere divide to be addressed. The international diversity of the group lent itself to a truly global approach as each student brought their own unique experiences, opinions, and knowledge to the summit. 

“Students had the chance to become and lean into being ambassadors of their local contexts,” said Dwight Global IB Global Politics teacher Scott Bower. For Mr. Bower, the summit represented a microcosm of the way in which peace is achieved: through collaboration with others. 

Niko Balodimas '24, described the summit as “the coming together of multiple students who for the most part live in different places…their daily lives are very different…they come together to share their experiences on these topics.” 

Those differences were what made the peace summit successful. As each student brought depth of knowledge of their local context, the group as a whole formed a breadth of knowledge. 

Emily Schmidt '24 commented, “One of the highlights for me was how my team on climate change were really able to share knowledge. There were certain aspects of the issue that I hadn’t researched in depth before or wasn’t 100% sure on, [so] we were able to combine our knowledge to expand our view on the issue.”

As a collaboration because of difference—rather than in spite of—the peace summit was able to achieve the global views that Mr. Bower sought to teach his students. 

The Peace Proposal

From the summit, the peace proposal was born. Led by student editors Sylvia Cardew '24, Andres Huart '24, Allie Lynch '24, and Emily Schmidt '24, the 23-page document again leaned into the four core issues to create something tangible from the students’ voices. 

“The premise is to connect with the UN showing we’ve done research on various political issues. Through that research, a conversation comes up,” says Mr. Bower. “We wanted to have the voices of young people get to the desks of these people who deal with heads of state…it’s a great way for students to have a feeling of agency.” 

Over the course of the project, Scott Bower watched his students become a team as they learned to strive together towards a common goal. Students across the Global and New York campuses used VoiceThreads to conduct asynchronous work and, Mr. Bower says, it helped spur communication until they didn’t even need teacher facilitation. In fact, the entire project started and further deepened as one of passion.

As an extracurricular project, the students worked for what Mr. Bower describes as “intrinsic value.” Each student cared deeply about their topic and about peace in its wider entity, feeling personally bound with not only peace in their local context but at a global level. 

Mr. Bower and his students sent their proposal to individual ambassadors and UN leaders. Ambassador Paulette Bethel, Special Adviser for Coordination and Engagement to the United Nations, replied that the project “calls for sincere congratulations to all who participated in the process of its production.” Bethel praised the students for how their work “poignantly illustrates that there are numerous, inextricably linked components and conditions that must be taken into account when one seeks to achieve the goal of peace for all humanity.” She further implores them to continue their dialogue “as students, as members of your respective societies and as members of the global community.”

Dwight Global and Peace

Reflecting on the project and its success, Mr. Bower hopes that these IB Global Politics students have begun a new Dwight School tradition that will eventually incorporate each of the six campuses. He feels that not only has it been both successful and tremendously beneficial to the students, but it also embodies two core pillars that Dwight Global was founded upon: community and global vision. 

“The project reminded me of how capable my students are,” says Mr. Bower. “We should continue to set the bar higher only to realize that they have surpassed it.” 

Congratulations, students, and thank you for representing Dwight Global on such an international scale!