Yugen Conference Pathways World School, Gurgaon
The Yugen Conference was held from 3rd to 5th July organised by the Students of Senior School. The opening ceremony began with inspiring words by Ms Sabeena Menon and the School Director Ms Sonya Ghandy Mehta followed by a mesmerising performance by Shubhangi Dutta. These helped the delegates begin the conference with the right attitude and energy.
Mr. Akshun Abhimanyu, Mr. Gurfateh Pirzada and Ms. Mehreen Pirzada, the Alumni of the School were invited as Guest Speakers in the Opening Ceremony and they shared with the participants their experiences and perspectives on various aspects e.g. success, happiness, and mental health. They also spoke about the importance of community service especially to those who have been affected by the pandemic.
The Dance performance by the students of Grade 11, was a celebration of the message of this conference and the name which is derived from Japanese philosophical discipline. With the encouraging words from the Senior School Principal Ms. Manjula Shenoi, the opening ceremony was a huge success and one that has set the tone for the rest of the conference.
Courage. Inventiveness. Responsibility. Compassion. Diversity. Tenacity. Sustainability. Communication. Risk-Takers. Open-Mindedness. Creativity. Thinkers. Inquisitiveness.
What are baraza groups? These cohorts are spaces for all the students to interact, discuss, and debate effectively with everyone participating in their respective groups. It’s not only a great way to get to know one another better, but also a place to imbibe the qualities each baraza is named after. The lovely baraza heads energized their groups with fun games during the first ice-breaking session.
The second baraza session consisted of more meaningful discussion and debates on political and economic situation. The students showed their interest by being proactive and shared their perspectives on the current situation. A video presentation was also held that enabled the students to collaborate with each other and to creatively express their views on all the discussions that took place.
Day 2 in the baraza groups was just as fun and eventful as the first. The delegates and the baraza leaders all met once again to continue their meaningful discussions and debates and to explore new topics as well.
After a keynote speech, the baraza groups played a Kahoot quiz based on topics related to the current pandemic that led to many eye-opening conversations exploring various topics on this. In their later baraza sessions, the delegates questioned the degree to which the news is often sensationalised and what the role of the media is in keeping the public informed especially during a pandemic. The break-out sessions consisted of healthy debates on compelling and fascinating topics with the delegates bringing up valid and insightful points.
The delegates discussed the points brought up by the various keynote speakers and addressed each other’s queries. Along with that, they also managed to take a few breaks and connect with each through simple games like ‘Secret Missions’ or ‘Most Likely To’.
The much-awaited virtual Cultural Night was held later in the evening in which dance and music performances by all the participants was shared on the school’s YouTube channel. This virtual cultural night presented everyone with an opportunity to celebrate creativity through various forms of performing styles ranging from dances, songs to even short skits.
The 3 days of the conference created a positive impact and gave the students a unique experience of hosting a ‘virtual’ conference.
Towards the end of their conference, all baraza groups sat together and collaboratively came up with their own Conference Statement (key takeaways from the conference summed up in a statement). This is a practice that Round Square strongly encourages and is at the core of their principle and ethos. This ensures that each delegate can reflect on the key learnings and takeaways from the conference in order to take them forward by inculcating them in their own lifestyles.
The Closing Ceremony was an event of mixed emotions as the event was ending. The two Chief Guests, Honourable Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, well-known actor and singer, Mr Meiyang Chang, Pakistani singer, Ms Iqra Manzoor graced the event with their ‘virtual’ presence.
The Keynote Speakers for Yugen 2020:
- Mr Dwayne Leonardo Fernandes (Faculty, Economics and Business Management at Pathways World School, Aravali)
- Mr Aditya Ghosh (Board Member at Fabindia Overseas Pvt. Ltd.)
- Mr GR Arun Kumar (Executive Director (Vedanta Limited) & Group CFO at Vedanta Resources Plc)
- Ms Becky Schnekser (Experienced educator, completing field and expedition science projects alongside scientists from all over the world)
- Mr Andrew De Souza (Currently pursuing a major in Environmental Engineering with a focus on sustainable energy at Harvard University)
- Mr Jean-Luc Henraux (Studying Applied Mathematics and Economics at Harvard University)
- Ms Urooj Raza Sayyami (An experienced anchor for Bol News TV, Pakistan, Electronic Media Journalist, Writer, Poet and Lawyer)
- Ms Szarita Laitphlang (Regional Coordinator, East Zone for the All India Professionals Congress)
- Dr Kamesh Gupta (Currently pursuing Residency in Internal Medicine at University of Massachusetts)
- Dr Ravi Gupta (MD, Radiologist. Experience in the medical field of over 35 Years)
- Dr Rajsrinivas Parthasarathy (Neurologist trained in Stroke Neurology and Neurointerventional Surgery)
- Mr Rajender Sud (Founder and CEO of Max Skill First)
- Mr Sameer MC (Managing Director, Fortune Hotels)
- Mr Naseem Khan Achakzai (Executive Director of BDPRI, and the Founding Executive director at Center for Sustainability Research and Practice at University of Lahore. He is also the Director of International Youth Summit Series & a Focal Person in the Task Force of Baluchistan’s Chief Minister on Youth and SDGs)
- Dr Leesha Kumar (Primary domain of reporting is haematology and blood cancers, with over 10 years of experience in Laboratory Medicine)
- Dr Meena Gupta (Wellness counsellor, therapist, and trainer)
- Ms Meghana Narayan (Co-Founder at Slurrp Farm, India Swim Team: 1991-1999)
- Mr Albie Gian Domenico (Rising Senior at Harvard University majoring in Economics with a minor in Astrophysics)
The final Conference Statement for Yugen 2020:
“We, as responsible global citizens living through an unprecedented pandemic, must recognise our duty to address the economic, environmental, educational, medicinal, socio-political, and psychological impacts of COVID-19 by striving towards raising awareness, cooperating with those around us, being adaptable in order to find effective solutions and display resilience in these trying times”.