Looking back on Global Inspiration
Our latest Classroom, Global Inspiration, was broadcast live to over two million children at the end of January. We were fortunate to be joined by an exceptional group of inspiring women who have made a huge impact on our planet. Missed the classroom? Read on to find out all about our Global Inspiration event and how you can catch up with the full session.
Baylee Ritter and Kehkashan Basu
Baylee Ritter, a National Geographic Young Explorer, joined us from Chicago to discuss how inspiration and hope can encourage the young people of today to become changemakers.
After telling us a little about herself, Baylee went on to introduce Kehkashan Basu, another member of the Geo Gen community and founder and president of the Green Hope Foundation.
Both young women talked about the huge responsibility we all have to protect our planet, which is why Kehkhashan founded the Green Hope Foundation at the age of 12. This foundation gives young people a platform to take action and become eco-warriors and now has upwards of 140,000 members across 25 countries.
Dr Carol O’Donnell and Hana Pasic
The Global Classroom has been fortunate enough to welcome Dr Carol O’Donnell, the Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), to our virtual classroom on several occasions. We were pleased to have her join us again for Global Inspiration.
Carol discussed how all of our global students had the opportunity and ability to inspire hope in those around them during the fight against COVID-19. Dr Carol also shared how the SSEC were working with young people around the world to understand the science behind COVID-19, and she shared practical ways that would allow our students to give back to the community. Carol explained:
- Why we are being advised to regularly wash our hands
- The importance of social distancing
Through these simple, daily tasks, Carol reminded our students that being an inspiration isn’t always a loud demonstration. She explained that there are simple ‘ways that you can bring hope to others in your community through your actions in response to the pandemic’.
After her interesting and informative session, Dr Carol O’Donnell introduced us to Hana Pasic who, through her work at the World Scouting Organisation, is leading young people and organisations to do social good.
When Hana joined us, she explained that despite the ‘unprecedented challenges’ of COVID-19, she is full of ‘optimism and hope for the future’ after seeing the inspirational power young people have illustrated amidst the pandemic. She then went on to shine a spotlight on several youth-led movements that were supporting local and global communities in light of the pandemic. Hana shared the following movements with our global students, hoping to inspire them to have an impact in their own communities:
- Global Youth Mobilization for Generation Disrupted: Scouts in Tunisia were packing food parcels to support the needs of their local communities. These young people have dedicated 1.8 million service hours to create a safe, supportive and inspiring atmosphere within their communities, despite the pandemic.
- Girl Guides in Nepal were reaching out to members of their communities to increase education and awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic. They were raising awareness of how to protect yourself from infection, and even distributed free PPE to elderly members of the community.
- International Award of Participants, The Red Cross & The Red Crescent Society Collaboration: In the Bahamas, these groups were serving food to hundreds of families who were in need as a result of the pandemic
Hana acknowledged that efforts such as these have been occurring globally, and noted ‘I’m sure that all of you have had a chance to help your communities, no matter how small that opportunity has been’, including our global students in the global fight against COVID-19. Inspirational behaviour can start from anywhere, and placing the safety of yourself and others at the heart of those actions is bound to inspire those around you to follow your example
Denise Lewis, OBE
For our final session in the Global Inspiration classroom, we were joined by Denise Lewis, OBE, Olympic champion and sports presenter.
During her opening comments, Denise explained that in order to cope with the repeated lockdowns in the UK, she’s turned to what she knows best: her passion for sport and activity.
These comments reminded our global students that in times of struggle and challenge, they should always turn to things that make them happy, and inspire them to achieve. Denise also reminded our children that whilst times may be tough at the moment. She share a truly inspirational quote with them, explaining that ‘this time won’t stay like this forever, so we have to take tentative steps towards a new world, a different world, and a happier time.’
Thinking back on times when she had to overcome challenges and setbacks, Denise shared how she found inspiration and how to quickly overcome difficulties and disappointment.
Denise gave setback examples of injury, not being selected for teams, and not delivering your best performance. To combat this, Denise explained that these setbacks affect your self esteem, so it’s critical that we learn how to deal with them. Denise noted that we can always find inspiration in our loved ones and the people we have around us every day. She explained that you should ‘trust in the people around you as much as you can, but you have to be courageous.’ This inspiring tactic of blending strong support with courage showed our global students that they should focus on what they can achieve in the moment, rather than always focusing on the long term goal.
Denise’s message amplified the earlier words of Dr Carol and Hana earlier on when she explained we should think about ‘the small goals you can achieve rather than focusing on the things that you can’t in that moment in time.’ Sometimes our inspiration must come from within us, and should push us to focus on what we can change rather than dwelling on the things we can’t.
Global Inspiration – Inspiring a Generation of Young People
As is evidenced above, our latest classroom was one of the most inspiring classrooms we have had yet. From scientists to Olympians, this classroom provided unique stories that will inspire our global students to great success.
One of the best messages from this classroom was the impact our children can have in their small actions. At times, we feel that we are too small to ever make a change. This classroom showed our children this is not true, and that the greatest inspiration comes from the small moments, which everyone can partake in.
It was wonderful to be joined by such inspirational women whose experiences proved that our young people have the power and opportunity to impact their local and global communities.
Watch our live classroom again on YouTube and be sure to subscribe so you can stay up to date with our future classrooms.
Tune into our next classroom – Deep Breath – on 11th April 2021 at 16:30BST. We’ll be celebrating World Breathing Day alongside bestselling author James Nestor, and a host of guest speakers, including musicians, doctors and YouTubers. Join us as our special guests share the benefits of healthy breathing with young people around the world.