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change the world

How to Change the World: A Workshop for High School Students

Young adults can shape the world they want to live in. They just need to have the tools to do so.  

Martin Luther University College invites students entering Grades 10, 11 and 12 for a three-day workshop called How to Change the World. From July 26-28, students will be challenged in a university setting while tackling issues that matter. 

Each day will focus on a different topic including democracy, climate change, and social media.  

Students can expect an introduction on the topic, followed by a role-play simulation, a debrief, and a Q&A with a Christian group to discuss how they might integrate faith into their work within the community.   

John Milloy, assistant professor of Public Ethics at Luther and co-organizer of the event, helped bring all the moving parts together into something that started with the notion of giving high school students the tools to engage head-on some big issues.  

At Luther we offer a course called 'Why Am I Here?' which challenges students to think about how they can make a difference in the world,” Milloy explained. “It's a very popular course among university students, which is why we decided to offer something similar at the high school level through How to Change the World.” 

“We are going to ask high school students to consider their role as citizens in this complex and difficult world and how they can bring about positive change,” said Milloy, who is also practitioner-in-residence in Wilfrid Laurier University's Political Science Department. 

Participants will meet a variety of Luther faculty and staff offering their expertise on the topics explored.   

Each simulation will use interactive e-learning software. There will be characters with different perspectives they must incorporate into their decision-making. Their decisions will give the educators feedback that they’ll use when debriefing after each simulation.   

But the thing about working through big issues as a group is it isn’t always easy, and that’s partly what this experience is. Students will have the chance to understand what goes into creating change from different perspectives and societal lenses, including religion and faith. 

Michael Kearns, co-organizer of this workshop and teacher at Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School in Cambridge, Ont., helped create the workshop curriculum. 

“There will be a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how there will always be opportunity costs or trade-offs you must make,” Kearns said. “We will never have a world where everyone agrees on everything. But it's important to look from other perspectives and try to make a less-polarized world.”  

Being on a university campus will introduce participants to a world that is bigger than their high school, with a variety of attitudes, belief systems and ideologies. 

“There are many people out there and not everyone is going to think the same,” Kearns said. That is fundamentally what university is all about."  

Kristine Lund principal-dean of Luther is pleased to welcome students for this event.  

“We are excited to offer our campus to high school students for this unique experience. It’s a chance for them to integrate their beliefs and faith into their life and engage them with real-world issues. It’s important for us to support them to respond to these issues,” Lund said.  

“We understand big change sounds like a big task, but any change inevitably starts with small steps on a path to something that is meaningful for you,” Lund expressed. “We look forward to having a dialogue surrounding important topics, and actively engaging through shared ideas and differences to build that change.”  

Check out the video.

To acquire some tools to change the world, register here. 

Program information contact: John Milloy 

Media contact: Mirko Petricevic 

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