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Global Mind Series 1: International cooperation for Generation Z: from idealism to realism? | 28 september 2017

“I go to Sri Lanka. Not to change the world, but to change my mindset”.  This is what one of the students said at the first Global Mind Series event organised at HMSM in cooperation with the Horizons in Hospitality track. This pragmatic and individualist perspective on international cooperation quite aptly represented the opinions of the majority of the 50 students attending the event: it’s good to give, but we should get something in return as well.

The occasion of the event was somewhat sad though. Third year students Lycia Vens, Fleur Donker and Romkje Beck (on the photograph) embarked in May 2017 on what was supposed to be a  3 month ‘Young Professionals Overseas’ project in Sri Lanka to work in a vocational training centre. But they had to return after four weeks because their area was completely flooded. They were given a compensatory assignment entailing desk research on the use of international cooperation and this event.

The students first silenced the audience with their experiences in Sri Lanka, deeply impressive footage of the flooding and its consequences and an honest account of their attempts to do good by fundraising. After that two guest speakers gave the audience an excellent idea of what international cooperation anno 2017 is about. Hester Pronk, consultant at Edukans, shared her views on how development aid has changed from a heavily subsidised ‘industry’ to a competitive and market-oriented sector. Edukans is a big player on the market of education in developing countries.

Ivo voor den Dag represented the second NGO, Emolife. Emolife is a company that successfully organises sports and other spectacular events for charity. Amreff flying doctors are clients, but also many medical research causes like KIKA (Kids with Cancer). Emolife is extremely good at the ‘I want to do good, but I want to get something as well.' People work their butts off skating, cycling and running in the most exotic places, but get a kick out of raising funds for charity.

At the end of this well-spent afternoon, the students discussed a number of statements about international cooperation and shared their views. Later, there was an informal network event organised to share thoughts about the subject and to reflect on the event.

The Global Mind series event is the successful first in what hopefully will be a new tradition at HMSM. HMSM would like to thank Lycia, Romkje and Fleur for their efforts in allowing us to talk so freely and openly about a subject we all take to heart!


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