Students Set Out to 'Embrace Diversity - Empower Lives'
Ashley Ringger, YFS Speaker Coordinator and Fabio Paron, Humanities Teacher 

ISZL is proud and excited to host the inaugural Youth Forum Switzerland in January 2018, an event that will give young people in Central Switzerland a voice in global issues. The Youth Forum Switzerland draws its inspiration from a trip to the Open Forum Davos in January 2017, when a group of our High School students attended panel discussions with some of the world’s leading voices on pressing global issues. Following this experience, our students and their teachers had the idea of creating a similar event for students, hosted by ISZL.

As the first event of its kind to be held in Central Switzerland, Youth Forum Switzerland 2018 (YFS) will welcome students from local Swiss schools as well as other international schools in the region. This has been a major undertaking for an organising committee comprised of students and staff members since its inception in March this year. “The trip to the Open Forum Davos (OFD) was an unforgettable experience,” shares one of three lead student organisers Willemijn P, Grade 12. “I came back from the trip feeling inspired, so naturally I am very excited that we are able to share our experience with our local community through the first Youth Forum Switzerland.”

The Theme and Guest Speakers

The YFS Team has selected a relevant and important topic to be this year’s theme for YFS 2018: ‘Embracing Diversity ~ Empowering Lives’. With the theme set and having coordinated with several world-class speakers from the OFD, the student organizers have already confirmed the attendance of 24 speakers from over 10 countries (some as far away as Brazil, Botswana and Pakistan) to engage in topics including: why is gender equality is still an issue, the immigration and refugee crisis and whether diversity has a role in the workplace of the future. Lead student organiser Camilia R, Grade 12, reflects how her “trip to OFD taught me not being intimidated of creating a personal network, that there are great people on this planet and that our generation must be take action to change our world for the better!”

Among those presenting and participating in talks and panel discussions will be the Director-General of Interpeace, an independent, international peacebuilding organisation and a strategic partner of the United Nations, Mr Scott Weber; Head of Swiss Public Affairs and Sustainability at World Economic Forum, Mrs Michele Mischler; and the Mayor of Zug, Mr Dolfi Mueller.

A True Learning Experience for Students

A core group of ISZL teachers and staff are supporting the students as they communicate with speakers, select panel topics, assign panelists, design art and promotional materials for the event, and become trained on how to moderate panel discussions. Teachers have collaborated to incorporate panel topics into classroom lessons and discussions. “As educators, we hear a lot about the role authenticity should play in the learning experiences that we create and the Youth Forum represents a genuinely authentic opportunity for all involved. The event is about so much more than just one day - There is a whole curriculum and global education component that has been present all school year.” says Tim Tattle, English Teacher and Head of Department.


Get Connected with YFS!

Get the latest news on the Youth Forum Switzerland by following on Twitter or Instagram, or search using #yfs2018 


Made possible by...

An event of this magnitude and encompassing so many facets of school life has only been made possible from the philanthropic support of parents and other community members to the Fund for Excellence. We thank you for your generous donations and for the extraordinary experience that will be afforded our students. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Fund for Excellence and how you can make a gift to transform student experience at ISZL through the Fund, please contact or +41 (0)41 768 29 41

Ashley Ringger, Fundraising and Alumni Coordinator, ISZL Development Office

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