2021 Summer Global Leadership Seminar: Global Governance, Citizen Activism and Constitution Building

Grades 9 – 12

Subjects: Social Studies, Politics, Civics, Civic Engagement,
Work Readiness, History, Government, ELA 
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia - Summer Program

The 2021 Summer Global Leadership Seminar is an intensive, week-long, virtual summer program that brings together a diverse group of up to 40 academically advanced high school students. Through nonpartisan guest lectures, interactive workshops, asynchronous activities, a formal debate, and a half-day crisis simulation, students will debate and discuss issues central to the program theme.


About the Course:
The 2021 Summer Global Leadership Seminar, entitled Global Governance, Citizen Activism, and Constitution Building will give high school student participants the opportunity to analyze, debate, and investigate the form and function of various governments throughout the world. The program will delve into different approaches to the study of international cooperation while examining emerging issues of global governance including the role of civil society and international institutions.

Students will explore the relationship between governments and their citizenry, critically examining government action and accountability from a local, national, and international perspective. Guest speakers and lecturers will provide students with historical, philosophical, and contemporary views of authority, sovereignty, and accountability.

Through lectures, presentations, and hands-on activities, students will gain critical insights into governance and state-building, culminating in a week-long project focused on crafting the constitutional underpinnings of a newly created mock-state.

Through the week’s activities, program participants will also develop a number of critical communication and peer leadership skills. Students will participate in a number of leadership development and public speaking activities meant to develop critical soft skills. Upon meeting the course requirements, participants will earn a certificate of program completion. 

Several days before the start of the program, registered students will receive access to a program webpage that includes all the resources and materials needed for the program. Students will convene via Zoom and will need access to a computer, reliable internet, and access to the free suite of Google products.

Expected Outcomes:
Participants will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the role of governments as well as a greater understanding of the role that constitutions play;
  • Understand the role of diplomacy, sovereignty, accountability, and governance in international affairs;
  • Examine a variety of domestic and international citizen activist movements and the response of respective governments to those movements;
  • Hone key interpersonal skills including debate, research, negotiation, and problem solving by participating in collaborative activities with like-minded peers;
  • Role play as diplomats and practice digital literacy through self-paced, asynchronous learning resources and optional activities; and
  • Write, amend, and ultimately vote on the formation of a constitutional framework for a mock-state. 

Additional Information:
The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia’s educational programming supplements the humanities and social studies curricula in area schools by teaching students how to hone their research, writing, critical thinking and public speaking skills. Each program provides a comprehensive learning experience for students that focuses on international affairs and meets nationally recognized educational standards. The Summer Global Leadership Seminar provides the opportunity for the development of students’ abilities to think critically, negotiate, analyze diverse perspectives, communicate effectively, and work to solve problems that arise in everyday life, school, society, and the future workplace.

Subject Matter:
Social Studies, Politics, International Relations, Policymaking, Global Affairs, Civics, Civic Engagement, Work Readiness, College Readiness,  History,  Government, ELA

Targeted Age Group(s):
High School (Grade 9 – 12)

Class Size:
40 Students

Date / Time Offered:
Monday, July 12 – Friday, July 16, 2021

Sessions (Mon. – Thurs.):
9:00 am – 12:45 pm
with extended sessions and asynchronous activities

Session (Fri.):
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

SI YES Partner World Affairs Council PHL

About the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia:
Believing that Democracy Demands Discourse, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to informing and engaging people of all ages on matters of national and international significance. The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is proud to bring global affairs education to an average of 5,000 people per year through our programming for Philadelphians of all ages and backgrounds. In particular, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia’s educational programming directly reaches an average of 2,500 students in 85 middle schools and high schools in the Greater Philadelphia area each year and has touched the lives of over one million students since the Council’s inception in 1949. 

About the Educator:
Since our founding in 1949, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia has established an award-winning record of providing students and teachers in the greater Philadelphia region with programming aimed at engagement around issues of national and global significance. Our nationally recognized programs introduce a diverse group of middle and high school students to the world of international affairs, diplomacy and foreign policy and equip students with the tools to be impactful citizens participating in the
global economy. Most importantly, these programs expose students to civic engagement at a young age and build the foundation needed to help to make them college and career ready. 

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