Reflections from ISS President Liz Duffy

February 2018

Transforming the World Through Education


Liz Duffy, ISS President

liz-1-(1).jpgEarlier this month, I had the privilege of introducing the three opening keynote speakers at the AAIE annual conference in New York City:
   • Award-winning CNN journalist Isha Sesay who has covered countless breaking news events around the world;
   • Homa Tavengar, an acclaimed author and video consultant, who has worked with dozens of schools, corporations, children’s media organizations, and non-profits (including ISS) to foster empathy, inclusion and global competence;
   • Will Richardson, a leading thinker, writer and speaker about the intersection of social online learning networks and education.

This year's keynote session was held in the iconic General Assembly of the United Nations, an especially meaninful location for ISS. Our founder, Arthur Sweetser, worked at the UN prior to establishing International Schools Services. Upon his retirement from the United Nations, Sweetser remarked: “You are working for all the ends that make life worthwhile on this planet – for peace, for the eradication of war, for human advancement, for human rights and decencies, for better living standards, better education, better travel and communications – in short, for the world as it ought to be.”

Sweetser was addressing his colleagues at the United Nations, but he could have been speaking as well about the three distinguished speakers whom I was introducing and about the hundreds of international educators who were there that evening to reflect on how we could “Transform Our World Together.”

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The theme of AAIE's February conference also resonated strongly with me, because the ultimate purpose of ISS is to support your efforts to inspire and prepare the students whom you teach and mentor to become global leaders. Our fervent hope is that graduates of international schools, including all the schools represented at the AAIE conference, will use their global educations to resolve the many complex issues confronting our world and that the alumni of international schools will help stem the nativism, division, and suffering across the world.

Our tagline, “Making a World of Difference,” reflects those aims. We are pleased to highlight efforts by international schools to inspire students to become transformative global citizens and change agents. We invite you to share other examples with us, and we hope that one day graduates of your schools will be addressing the General Assembly of the UN as educators, diplomats and world leaders.