​ISC66

TOPIC

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 66th International Student Conference August schedule has been CANCELLED. The topics below will be addressed in a series of online events from June onwards. Find more information here

Overall Theme

The current progress of globalization is expected to bring about societal changes. At the 66th International Student Conference (ISC66), we believe that we, the youth, have the responsibility and power to contribute to the formation of the future as global citizens. 

The term “Global Citizens” is rather relative, therefore there are no correct interpretations to it. At ISC66, we define “Global Citizen” by the following six keywords: Awareness; Action; Cooperation; Global; Sustainability; Empowerment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current movement of globalization itself is facing numerous obstacles such as terrorism, violation of human rights, inequity, and more. We believe that “Global Citizens” are individuals who should be aware of these current issues and determine to take action to resolve those issues. Through problem solving and cooperation with students from around the world, we expect to bring changes to achieve a sustainable society. Finally, we believe we should also empower our peers in realizing themselves as global citizens who are capable of creating a sustainable future. 

 

Through the activities at ISC66, we hope that every participant can recognize themselves as “Global Citizens” whose action can initiate changes to their future. 

Table Topics

About The Topic

It is an undoubted fact that humans, more than ever, are connected digitally today. Technology has transformed the homo-sapiens. It has penetrated every sphere of our lives. Our digital personal identities on social media have become as important as our physical presence. While we can have control over the privacy of our physical presence, our digital profiles are a source as well as point of intrusion into invaluable information about our personality, from our habits to our medical conditions, relationships, travel details, our reactions, and behavior. Social scientists fear the nexus between digital and corporate-political giants, through algorithms and artificial intelligence, are using human digital personalities and their privacy vulnerabilities as raw material to achieve corporate and political goals. Our real-life data is being fed back to us by framing personalized marketing strategies to increase sales and expand political influence. Facebook’s annual revenue mostly consists of digital advertising, reaching up to 70 billion US Dollars in 2019. U.S. investigations into allegations of Russian manipulation of the 2016 U.S. elections are just the tip of the iceberg. Table 1 will debate this complex issue of data privacy in the age of social media and try to formulate guidelines regarding digital literacy and data rights. 

Table Chief

 

Wasim Abbas

Quaid e Azam University

PhD Y3

Message from the table chief

Thanks to the innovative tools of digital communication and social media forums, we are enjoying the fruits of endless connectivity and entertainment. In fact, it is this connectivity that relates the idea of Global Citizenship, our digital interactions are practical manifestations of this term. Take the example of Facebook, if Facebook was the name of nationality with its 2.3 billion active monthly users, this nation would have been greater than any other nation on Earth, and interestingly a nation that does not recognize borders and spread all over the planet. However, it is very important that we all are aware of the potential and harmful impacts of this new transformation. While we enjoy the fruits of this advancement, we must make sure that we are aware of our rights in the digital age and that our privacy is well protected and not used against our interests and well being on digital platforms. 

 

 

  

About The Topic

The iPhone you are using, the clothes you are wearing and the fruits you just bought may have been produced, assembled and transported in/through many different places before being brought to you - the processes which involve millions of people. Do you really know who and in what conditions were these things produced? Do you know how much money they earn, compared to the price you paid for the products? Do you know who are the human forces that support modern, convenient urban life? Either between cities and its rural hinterlands or between different countries, migration and inter-connectedness are not new in history. But they definitely have changed from ancient times to our era. Nowadays' capitalist mode of production and organization of labor, combined with intense globalization and urbanization, have shaped labor conditions in many places in a way that can be named as “the race to the bottom.” This leads to inhumane treatments of labor, e.g poor working conditions, discriminatory regulations, lack of proper housing and healthcare, human trafficking – to name just a few. 

Table Chief 

 

Nguyen Pham Lam Phuong

Leiden University

Masters Y1

Message from the table chief

October 23rd, 2019, 39 bodies were found dead in a lorry container in Essex, eastern England. An investigation later concluded that all 39 people are Vietnamese citizens. As a Vietnamese living in Europe, this incident did not only shake me emotionally, but it also shows me how little we can see (let alone understand deeply) the often mismanaged relationship between the global and the local until something tragic occurs. “What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over,” they say. I named my table “When local labors meet global capitalism” with the hope we can better understand this global-local relationship, especially in the context of labor, consumption, and production. Why/how people migrate? Where do our goods come from? Who produced them?  So eventually, we can be better aware, thus more compassionate and work to prevent another Essex.

 

 

  

About The Topic

These few years, the United Nations (UN) through its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been encouraging us to save the environment through adopting principles like circular economy. What is this innovative concept? Normally, we extract and take from the environment; we produce things, we use them and then, dispose of them. Every time we extract, use and dispose of, we are consuming finite environmental resources that will run out and increasing toxic waste into the same environment and humans. Additionally, manufacturing/industrial processes are often inefficient, leading to further waste of natural resources. Linear approach: Circular economy, materials for new products come from old products. As much as possible, everything is reused, re-manufactured or, as a last resort, recycled back into a raw material or used as a source of energy. It is designed to create value from waste and eliminate pollution in a manner that remains profitable to businesses. Circular approach: How do all of this affect our lives more than we think? 

Table Chief

Narjes Mahjoub

Ghent University

Master Y1

Message from the table chief

Viruses, Death, Pollution, Environmentally friendly, renewable energy, clean technology, healthy lifestyle… By some generations, the world of the 21st century is considered Raplex (rapid and complex). Thus, you, me and us the generation of changemakers working on this topic, we see it differently: Every day is an opportunity to make it a better cleaner world for us and for the coming generations, what is the magic recipe? Simple, understanding, studying and applying one of the eco-friendliest most innovative concepts inspired by nature to feed nature itself: Circular Economy. Together with our different backgrounds and cultures, it is time to contribute to saving the environment, the humans and achieving related sustainable goals of the UN. And as Michael Braungart, Willian McDonough says: “Unless materials are specifically designed to ultimately become safe food for nature, composting can present problems as well.”

 

 

  

About The Topic

In the era where technological advancement and the increasing use of big data are necessary to our daily lives, we might not be aware that our data privacy might be at stake for the convenience that we should attain. In 2018, Facebook had a major political scandal where the company practically played a role in the fact that Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of people’s Facebook profiles, without their consent and used it for political advertising purposes. Such a thing could be prevented had Facebook demanded to be explicit and committed to protecting its users’ data privacy, or simply be open to the business they do with our data. However, there are cases when our information could produce an immense effect on success, which is why open data should be encouraged and participated by all – instead of being restrained or even frightened. To illustrate, successful open data cases have certainly helped countries to increase their government transparency and accountability, which then improved their corruption index and overall development in the country. This table focuses on the demands where open data is necessary to lead the world development, there should be a mechanism where the data are used accordingly to also protect the individuals and the involved privacy rights. This state-of-the-art will then prospectively create an environment where citizens all of the world participate in the open data for world development through the aspects of education, health, politics, and many.

Table Chief 

 

Ayu Puspita Ningrum

Universitas Airlangga

Undergraduate Y3

Message from the table chief

As an avid user of the internet features, there are times when I fear that my information could be used for purposes that I don’t consent to. The news that reported the pictures of deceased people on Google Maps Street View is frightening to me as it’s clear that those are taken without their knowledge and perhaps, will stay for a long time or even indefinitely. However, I’m also aware that shared information is not always terrifying as it also produces great results and success, such as how the open data has tremendously improved my country’s (Indonesia) corruption index and helped the citizens to gain control of what the governments do concerning the country’s development. Therefore, I believe that while open data should be encouraged more by many parties and stakeholders, a certain mechanism should also be empowered to protect privacy within the data itself. I believe that the means do not always justify the ends, as much as to achieve world development through open data, we shouldn’t put our data privacy at stake. If you’re interested in creating such a state-of-the-art, I warmly welcome you to join Table 4!

 

  

About The Topic

Greta Thunberg’s fiery speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit provoked both admiration and criticism. Global climate strikes have evolved into mass movements that attracted millions of participants worldwide. These show us a glimpse of a new trend in environmental activism - more networked, higher profile, and global in outlook. To some, these mass movements are our only hope to effect change on a scale large enough that could save us from the impending climate catastrophe. Yet, climate change activism is not without controversy, especially now that it is led by youths and perceived to be more radical. Criticisms do not only come from climate change deniers, but also from within the activists’ circle and from reasonable and well-informed people who are nonetheless skeptical about the new trend in environmental activism and its efficacy. As responsible citizens and inheritor of the environmental legacy of the generations who came before us, it is our duty to contribute our voice and make sure that both the goal of activism and the path towards it are correct. 

Table Chief

 

Doan Dao Duy

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Undergraduate Y3

Message from the table chief

Nowadays most of us consider climate change to be an important issue, and “something” should be done about it. But what exactly is that “something”? And what should be the proper way to achieve it? In Table 5, I would like to invite you to think deeply about one way of tackling our global climate issue – activism through mass social movements. Let’s imagine we are founding a social movement, taking inspiration from Friday for the Future for instance. What would our manifesto say? And if through our discussion we decide that activism is not worth pursuing, then what would you say to the activists in an open letter?

  

About The Topic

Japan, known as the country that praises and exemplifies hard work, is known for its long working hours. Reports showed that some Japanese employees could work over 48 hours per week even up to 100 hours of overtime per month. This culture of overwork stems from the old idea of loyalty to the company which has its roots in post-war Japan. Whilst this kind of work ethic might seem beneficial, excessive work hours will bring negative impacts on the worker’s health and also the company's overall productivity. Overworking has been a social issue in Japan. The Japanese term ‘Karōshi’ can be translated literally as "overwork death" is defined as occupational sudden mortality. In the government 2017 version of white paper on measures to prevent karoshi, 191 workers died due to overworking with many having been working for up to or over 60 hours per week and over 80 to 100 hours of overtime per month. Overworking impacts lots of areas of one’s life, ranging from social, physical, mental, and so on. Our table thrives to address the issues and problems rising from overworking, as an initial step for us and also for other generations to generate a better working environment in Japan. 

Table Chief 

Yuri Kim

Hasanuddin University

Dentistry Y4

Message from the table chief

Hello and thank you for your interest in table 6 topic! As a girl who happens to be familiar with the medical field, it’s not uncommon to see fellow medical workers doing long shifts for days without sleep or rest, some even passed away from it. From articles that I have read, I find that most Japanese employees are overworked, some even work more than 100 hours of overtime per month for a long period of time without proper rest and this could be lethal. Do you feel as concerned as I do regarding this matter? Together with all of you, we will formulate a proposal to tackle this problem.

  

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