The top 5 things you can expect as a Global Voices delegate
In September 2016 I received some very exciting news – I was selected as a Global Voices delegate to the World Bank and IMF Annual Forums in Washington, D.C. in October.
For those unfamiliar with Global Voices, the program provides (in partnership with universities, including CQUni) fully funded research fellowships, allowing young people to participate in the world’s most prestigious summits and engage with international policy at home and abroad.
I was chosen to represent another university (where I’m studying my Masters), but as a CQUni staff member I want to offer a sneak peek into what the experience was like, because I cannot recommend it highly enough!
So, here are my top 5 exciting things you can expect as a Global Voices delegate – and all of these are definitely reasons to apply for the next round of delegations.
1. Access to opportunities literally nobody else will get
It’s not uncommon for the Global Voices team to be the youngest people in the room at the meetings and summits you attend. For that reason alone, it’s easy to make connections and get access to presenters and high-level officials – you stand out because you’re a young person. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to listen to what young people (in the right places) have to say about international policy.
2. Incredible travel experiences
An all-expenses paid trip to another country, who’s going to say no to that? We stayed in beautiful Washington D.C. (and I traveled via New York as well), and had the opportunity to live like locals for a week… including tackling the D.C. rush hour! While the program was intense, there was ample time for sightseeing and enjoying what the United States had to offer, including soul food in Georgetown, Shake Shack burgers, pizza from food trucks outside the Washington Monument, and much more… (I clearly ate my way through America!).
3. Expanding your horizons
The world is so much bigger than your town, your state or even your country, and there’s no better way to realise that than travelling. Actually, there’s one better way: engaging with the international community on issues that will move our world into the future. I can’t say that I was even a little bit of an expert on international economic policy before heading to D.C., but now I certainly understand a lot more about how the world works, and how people out there are taking practical, sustainable actions to end poverty and inequality in our world. Exciting stuff (and I never thought I’d say that about economics or policy!).
4. A way to stand out as an ‘expert’ in your field
As part of the research fellowship, delegates are required to write a research paper. Now I won’t lie, this part is hard work – but it really forces you to dive deep into your chosen topic. The pay-off here is when you’re actually at the event you can hold conversations with senior individuals regarding a topic that you’re passionate about. It also means that as a team each person has specific knowledge across the board of themes relating to that conference and so your teammates become really important guides for unpacking nuanced ideas and arguments.
5. The alumni network and connection opportunities
Global Voices isn’t just a great experience – once your delegation is over, you’re added to the community of alumni who have been to other Global Voices events! This is a fantastic place to be exposed to jobs, further research opportunities and a professional network of extremely accomplished peers.
Applications are now open for the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris, France from 29 May – 1 June. Visit globalvoices.org.au to check your eligibility and apply today. Applications close on Monday, 9 April at 5pm AEST. Stay tuned to your student email for more Global Voices updates!