Amy Clark( AC, England, 2011-2013)
Attending Atlantic College can sometimes feel like living in a bubble. It’s a bubble full of activities and services to do, as well as extremely interesting people to meet and countless other opportunities with which to fill your time. However, all the business within the bubble can sometimes mean that it’s hard to get out and remember that there is an outside world, and that part of the reason we came to a UWC is to engage in the world and impact the world as much as possible.
It is perhaps for this reason that the Shared Planet conference, attended by around 60 students, was such a good experience for all of us. Held in Oxford, the Shared Planet conference is an annual gathering of students across the UK who meet to talk about world poverty, human rights and the environment. It was an event that hosted an amazing array of speakers – there was Hannah Elsisi, who was present at the Egyptian revolution; Crystal Lameman from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation speaking about the effects of Tar Sands on indigenous people in Canada; and there was Peter Tatchell, a UK activist who works mainly in the LGTB field.
The speakers talked about such a wide range of subjects – ranging from women’s rights in Africa to the anti-cut student protests in the UK that it proved to be an extremely diverse and interesting weekend that certainly made me think about issues that before I’d had nearly no knowledge about. As well as listening and questioning speakers, we participated in a few workshops which, again, were extremely different. Personally, I learnt about the annual ‘Go Green Week’ that is held in schools, test-tasted fair trade tea and coffee as well as attending a talk about policing in Britain and the possible problems surrounding it.
Shared Planet took me back to why I’d come to Atlantic College in the first place. The first term at college was one of the craziest three months of my life and it was a really useful experience to step back from usual life at the college, explore world issues with a number of inspirational people and get ideas to take back to AC!
-United Words team-