This weekend Northwestern hosted the 2013 GlobeMed Summit, bringing more than 300 students to Evanston for three days. The theme for the summit was “The Student Momentum,” which examined the reasons why empowering students is the most effective for global health organizations.
The summit began Thursday night with an opening keynote by University President Morton Schapiro on “Global Engagement and Higher Education” at the Hilton Orrington. Schapiro told attendees that, unlike his “self-indulgent” generation, the current generation of students is more focused and cynical.
“Take that cynicism and make the world a better place,” he told attendees.
A screening of How to Survive a Plague, a documentary on the early years of the AIDS epidemic and how two innovative coalitions created change, followed Schapiro’s keynotes address. Activists from the coalitions featured in the film held a Q-and-A after the film.
On Friday and Saturday, delegates participated in workshops on youth participation in global change, the role of universities in global health and global and professional partnerships.
Zeenat Rahman, director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues and Secretary John Kerry’s special adviser on global youth issues, delivered the plenary keynote Friday night. She spoke about how her office supports youth-driven organizations, like GlobeMed, to take on the world’s greatest issues.
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Leymah Gbowee told attendees to discover their vision and work diligently toward change in her closing keynote Saturday afternoon. As a leader in the Liberian women’s peace movement, Gbowee helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.