Key Speakers

Lord Michael Hastings
Baron Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE

Jason Mraz
BMG Artist

Dr Maria van Kerkhove
WHO

Melati Wijsen
National Geographic Young Explorer

Andrew Brennen
National Geographic Fellow

Dr Macdonald Farnham
Smithsonian Institute

Dr Carol O’Donnell
Smithsonian Institute

Dr Brian Mandell
Smithsonian Institute

About this class

The Global Classroom’s second class took place on World Environment Day (5 June 2020) to bring children’s environmental concerns into focus. As our future world leaders, children all over the world have been inspired by Greta Thunberg’s example to speak up for the type of world they wish to inherit. This session gave our global pupils the chance to discuss environmental issues with some of the world’s leading experts on the subject.

In a session led by Scarisbrick Hall School, pupils were treated to another stellar line-up of speakers, including BMG artist, Jason Mraz; World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Lead, Dr Maria van Kerkhove; Smithsonian Institute Director, Dr Macdonald Farnham; and leading environmentalists Melati Wisjen and Andrew Brennen. The Smithsonian Institute once again provided their invaluable academic contributions, with support from UNESCO.

Melati Wisjen, co-founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, told students that she and her sister Isabel were “a living example that kids can do something” to make a positive impact on the environment. Dr Mac Farnham from the Smithsonian Institute gave an in-depth talk about how “we are all connected; humans, animals and the environment.” A theory that Dr Maria van Kerkhove built on with her explanation of the WHO’s “one health” concept.

BMG artist Jason Mraz is a double Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter perhaps best-known for his hit single “I’m Yours.” What many people don’t know is that he’s also a sustainable farmer and passionate advocate of organic, fair trade agriculture. Jason answered pupils’ questions live from his California ranch and explained how he goes about writing songs that “inspire us to take action and stay motivated to change the world for the better.”

A small group of 45 incredibly lucky students from across the globe also took part in a songwriting masterclass with Jason. His latest single, “Look For The Good”, really captures the essence of this session’s teachings and the positive influence that he, our other inspirational speakers, and The Global Classroom strive to provide the next generation of environmentalists.

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Video Snippets

Jason Mraz - Q&A

Watch as Jason Mraz hosts a LIVE songwriting Q&A seminar with students via video conference for World Environment Day.

Dr O’Donnell and Dr Mandell - WHO

Dr Carol O’Donnell and Dr Brian Mandell from Smithsonian Science Education Center join The Global Classroom for World Environment Day.

Jason Mraz - Musician

Award-winning BMG artist and songwriter, Jason Mraz, joins The Global Classroom to discuss sustainable farming for World Environment Day.

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