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A Global Helping Hand

Friday, March 23, 2018

Making a meaningful contribution to people who live on the other side of the world is the goal of a popular co-curricular club at Bayview Glen. The Global Ideas Institute (GII) at the Munk School of Global Affairs, encourages participants to develop innovative solutions to complex world issues. Upper School students work on finding solutions to issues like clean drinking water, access to electricity or other identified areas of need. 

With the popularity and growth of GII, schools now take part in a lottery in order to guarantee a place in the annual challenge. Bayview Glen was invited for our first three years, but have been winners in the lottery for the last two.

How it works at BVG:

At a September assembly, Upper School teacher DJ Church announces the GII program and challenge for the year. This year's initiative is food insecurity. Students can then apply via an application and essay explaining why they are interested, what they feel they can offer and other commitments. The team is selected, registered, and ready to go for the first orientation session, usually end of September/beginning of October.

On average, there is one session a month with a variety of experts in different aspects of the year’s challenge. Students also work with mentors after the speaker session to gradually begin to develop their strategy and work on problem based learning approaches as the year progresses. These mentors are usually grad students from the Munk School of Global Affairs, OISE, and Rothman School of Business.

It culminates this year with an all day symposium on April 13th. Students will show a one minute pitch/overview video of their solution, followed by a five minute presentation which outlines their ideas in detail. This is done in front of other school groups, teachers, mentors, and panel of judges who are experts in these areas. The experts come from many walks of life ranging from government, academia, private sector, NGOs etc. The presentations are followed by six minutes of questions and feedback from the judges on the students presentations. The day is a celebration of innovation and provides an opportunity to receive valuable feedback on the ideas the students have worked hard on.