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Making It Happen: Our Student Leaders Turn Ideas into Reality

Students present at Dulwich College International Student Leadership Conference

“How can I turn my ideas into tangible actions?” This is the challenge set to the Head and Deputy Head Prefects from the DCI family of schools and the School Captains from our founding school in London, who came together earlier in January for the annual Student Leadership Conference in Shanghai.

Now in its fourth year, the conference underpins our aim to empower our students to lead, inspire, and make a positive difference in the world. Being elected to the student leadership team bears significant responsibility and imparts valuable skills for personal success and the tools to positively impact the school community and beyond.

In order to help the students develop the skills they need to become effective change-makers, the conference offered first-class training and mentorship from influential speakers, including d’Arcy Lunn, the sustainability consultant and founder of Teaspoons of Change, and Pete Rogers, corporate trainer, motivational speaker, leadership coach and body language expert.

Themed ‘Make It Happen Leadership’, the conference offered the 32 students the chance to take part in professional-level workshops that focused on sharpening presentation skills, strengthening project management and team communications, and learning from progressive leadership models, all skills that will enable the student leaders to turn their ideas into tangible reality.

The conference was also planned to help the student leaders become even more empathetic and mission-oriented, so the participants were encouraged to collaborate and collectively ensure that they:

  • Brought the longer-term view into clear focus
  • Encouraged and practised non-linear complex thinking and actions
  • Committed to personalising the problems facing humans around the world
  • Encouraged others to be bold in the face of the uncertainty.

The conference culminated with each school group pitching ideas on the areas that would directly benefit their respective school communities. The ideas included introducing new wellness workshops, ways to further boost cultural literacy and competency, and programmes to foster even more positivity in school culture.

On top of collaboratively pitching ideas that could lead to real change, they then received valuable feedback, input and direction from the mentors on how to best plan and execute their proposals for maximum impact.

As ambassadors for their schools, the students are now eager to leverage their newly honed skills and ideas back in school, applying them to enrich their respective communities by making a difference through meaningful and far-reaching actions. We can’t wait to see what they do