Reflections from GILPP 2022

As an almost high school graduate pursuing international relations in university, being able to attend the Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy “GILPP” was an incredible opportunity.  I was able to witness real leadership and hear from advocates for change across our world. In comparison to the debates, lessons, or power points I have participated in or heard in school, seeing the power of true voices was transformative. I truly saw the impact our individual lives can have when there is a united cause. 

    The GILPP call I was able to attend addressed the role of sustainable development and leadership that works. The impact of COVID-19, which we all experienced in our own ways, created many setbacks in goals and projects around our globe. Through this ongoing pandemic, the number of people in extreme poverty and starvation has increased significantly. Millions of jobs were lost creating devastating impacts around the world and increasing inequality. The need for intervention and development from leaders is crucial as people must collaborate to help those in need. The mission throughout all of this correlates with sustainable development, as they had to find ways to provide sustainable aid in a moment of crisis. This call led me to think about the shared interests and needs of all people around the world. Although we have created and may live, in divisive environments, as humans we all have similar concerns and cares to improve our communities. I saw how imperative it is to work together towards a common good rather than the individual gain to abolish this division between people.

Another point brought across was the role of the law and leadership in sustainable development. In terms of collaboration, a leader must find a balance of power and equality. This means being collaborative with all people and having no single individual being above the law. It made me reflect on the state of leadership throughout our world and if any single country follows this. Leadership is the core of public policy and to attain sustainable development, it is essential to have an equal, solid foundation where leaders see people as people. As a student, I feel that we lack this foundation in education of showing students what a fair or equal government should look like. This foundation consists of seeing people as people with leaders working together as a united people. I believe all people should have more exposure to this simple task of seeing people as human beings since it has been a tragic fault throughout our ancient and modern history. Together we can reform this and see that a leader should be equal to the people and the law, leaving the law to govern the people, rather than individuals. 

As a student, this call transformed my view on public policy and the way leaders can unite for a common cause. The combined power between people is eye-opening and showed me that we must “co-opt society”, as Nelson Mandela once said. We are not taught how corruption can be avoided in our world and do not learn how to work together as people. I believe that all people should be able to have a glimpse into real public policy to see how leadership affects the world and development.  Many countries in our world have faced, or still do face oppressive and corrupt leadership and have still not encountered equal leaders. We must join together to create resolutions to these problems and create universal justice because as I saw this week, individual lives can create a beneficial ripple effect in a common effort.

Anna Morin is pursuing her passion for international relations and foreign affairs. As an intern for GHNI, we asked her to share her thoughts and experience as she participated in the 12th Annual Geneva Institute for Leadership and Public Policy.