Youth to explore challenges through World View Conference


Wanted: Students from grades 9 to12 who are open-minded, eager to learn, and want to make a difference. This was the call that went out to high-school students to encourage them to attend the World View Conference (WVC), “Youth Exploring Global Challenges and the Law” from Tuesday to Sunday, June 22-27.

Some of the most respected leaders in law, social sciences and humanities will be speaking at the conference on such issues as global challenges, the role of law and life skills. The main part of the conference will be at Osgoode Hall Law School’s Professional Development Centre on Dundas Street in Toronto, and the closing event will take place at the law school on York’s Keele campus.

“Never has there been a more appropriate time to develop a public legal education program to instill in the youth of today the importance of awareness and understanding of world issues, and of making a difference,” said Barbara Tong (right), WVC program director at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School.

“The aim of this innovative week-long summer program is to provide youth the opportunity to explore and learn about the interplay between current global challenges and the law, as well as the essential communications skills needed for their voices to be heard. And it’s for students to learn how to effect change within themselves and others.”

Through a series of interactive discussions and workshops, participants will have the chance to learn “essential life skills” in listening, writing and presenting, and will be introduced to dispute resolution techniques in mediation and negotiation.

“Our history of innovation continues with the World View Conference,” said Osgoode Dean Patrick Monahan (left). “Through this unique program, Osgoode Hall Law School introduces youth to the legal concepts that underlie global issues such as the environment and international human rights, and challenges them to become part of the solution. Our internationally renowned faculty and keynote speakers have a wealth of experience to share with the next generation of community leaders.”

Tong added: “Now more than ever before, humanity shares a common destiny. The ‘butterfly effect’, which beautifully describes the interconnectedness of life, also means that those who are making the decisions, good or bad, may be continents away from those who feel the consequences of them. Thus, the welfare of anyone should be the concern of everyone.

“Young people, in particular, are highly affected by the global challenges of today; but they are also potentially the most adaptable to change. As such, today’s youth can be the key agents for change.”