Global Innovations in Sustainability Summit (GISS 2023)Event Date: February 24, 2024
Event Time: 22:41 - 22:41 Qatar Academy Al Wakra hosted the Global Innovation in Sustainability Summit (GISS) on 7th of March 2023, where the Global Innovation in Sustainability Summit brought together students from Qatar and 13 schools from around the world to discuss sustainability solutions. Participating schools engaged their students in a “challenge” on sustainability action, focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), while students were invited to submit their project ideas to the GISS committee of educators and environmental sustainability experts. Dr. Goodall was the Keynote Speaker for the summit where she inspired the audience with her keynote speech at the Global Innovation in Sustainability Summit, encouraging students to make a difference in the world. Dr. Goodall is the founder of Jane Goodall’s Institute, and the youth-led global community action program Roots & Shoots, and UN Messenger of Peace - has dedicated her life to the study and protection of chimpanzees and their habitats, and finding harmony between humans, animals, and the environment. Despite growing threats to wildlife, people, and ecosystems, Dr. Goodall said she still has hope for the future and encouraged students to make a difference in the world. “People need to understand that we are actually part of the natural world,” she said. “We depend on it for food, for water, for clothing, for clean air, for everything. But what we most depend on is a healthy ecosystem. Goodall also spoke of the importance of looking at the whole picture when trying to solve an environmental issue in a way that considers the whole ecosystem: “We can close down a coal mine, and all its emissions are prevented from going into the atmosphere. “But at the same time, we're probably causing hundreds of people to lose their jobs, and they, in turn, are going to harm the environment as they struggle to survive, which is why we need to address balance and alleviate poverty.” A project exhibition on the day of the summit showcased the students’ work, as the event allowed them to engage with their peers from other schools and learn from experts attending the conference. The summit show a panel discussion led by QF production Doha Debates’ youth ambassadors, Dr. Goodall and students who shared their innovative sustainability projects at the summit. It addressed the challenges they faced within their communities while working on their projects and how they managed to workaround it to reach their goals, providing other students with an opportunity to expand their views on innovative solutions for sustainability challenges. “My project which I worked on back home with a friend of mine, focused on running a group that cleans parts of our city,” said Harriet Habicht, one of the students participating in the panel. “The crucial challenge we faced was how can we involve the community? We had to make it fun and interactive. We organized competitions so people would join and had sponsors to secure prizes for participants. “It encouraged more individuals to join us in cleaning the streets of our city and we managed to make it a consistent activity that we do every two weeks, so we can really make a change.” In hosting the Global Innovation in Sustainability Summit (GISS), Qatar Academy Al Wakra welcomed international students to the country for a week, who toured the country’s most prominent landmarks as well as attending the summit, which gave them a platform to showcase their work on tackling sustainability challenges.