Seven students sponsored by our e-club participated in the recent World Affairs Seminar that introduced them to high school students from around the world in the context of the theme "Hunger in a world of plenty".

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Seven Rotary eClub of District 5010 World Affairs Seminar delegates plan for their eClub presentation.


International Goodwill and Peace through a Better Understanding of Global Issues 

Rotary Supports Future World Leaders 


Seven high school students who have shown leadership in their community, exceptional work in their school studies and dedication in helping their communities participated in the World Affairs Seminar 2020.  They were selected and sponsored by the Rotary eClub of District 5010 International Alaska USA with Rotary Club of Fredericksburg, Texas and Rotary Club of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Their delegates were David Cowx from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Benjamin Croft, Alexa Valadez and Bianey Calixto-Dominguez from the Milwaukee area, Wisconsin, Sam (Samantha) Rodriguez, Interact President from Fredericksburg, Texas and Keyvany Perez Rivera from Dorado, Puerto Rico and Nairis Pimentel Rios from San Juan, Puerto Rico.


The World Affairs Seminar (WAS) is a unique interactive educational leadership program for high school students, sponsored by Rotary International District 6270. The week-long experience provides an opportunity for international students from a variety of backgrounds to discuss issues in a non-threatening environment.  Since WAS first accepted students in 1977, over 30,000 future world leaders have participated.  Many have stayed in touch with the friends they made at WAS, even forming business relationships, political contacts and family friendships. 


WAS’ vision is to bring better understanding of world problems to young people from around the globe, using current issues as a learning platform.  In the course of this study, the WAS provides opportunities for participants to discuss issues with other young people from around the world. Emphasis is on promoting better understanding of the causes of international conflict.  The idea is if the causes are understood and solutions developed in a cooperative environment, problems are more likely to be solved peacefully.


Participants experienced new and different ideas and viewpoints brought forward both by their colleagues and by world renowned experts.  In small and large groups students discussed information and ideas and put their new knowledge to use.  Through public policy simulations they worked through the complex interactions of different countries, corporations and organizations to develop their own policy initiative.  Throughout the week students also participated for social activities.  


The seminars brings greater awareness and understanding of the world they will inherit.  Critical thinking, negotiation skills and the process of learning about new friends from around the world are all part of this incredible experience.


“Hunger in a World of Plenty,” the 44th World Affairs Seminar 2020 theme, explored hunger issues and challenges in a world of plenty.  Delegates explored the relationship between food, natural resources, climate change, and conflict at the global level.  The keynote speakers included Dr. Kelly Ottman, Professor, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rader School of Business (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Neal Patel, Principal Product Manager, Amazon Headquarters (Seattle, Washington), Sherri Tussler, Executive Director, Hunger Task Force (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Eilish Zembilci, Program Coordinator & Research Assistant for the Global Food Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C.) and Jon Rubin, Graduate Director and Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, School of Art (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).  A sample of the discussion leaders included Paul Charter, Agribusiness Leader (Churcham, Gloucestershire, England), Sara Davis, Synergy Farms (Nashville, Tenn.), Tom & Joan Oberhaus, Cozy Nook Farm (Waukesha, Wis.), Tatiana Maida, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers (Milwaukee, Wis.).


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s seminar was offered via virtual teleconference.  The 150 delegates participated from around the world, including such places as Nepal, England, Canada and USA.  Each delegate had her or his own story and perspective.  By the time the Seminar concluded, delegates not only heard the stories of others and shared their own but gained skills to help them shape the world they will inherit with their new friends.

  • They explored the relationship between food, natural resources, climate change, and conflict at the global level

  • Learned about where food comes from, how it is prepared and eaten, and how it has evolved over time

  • Gained insights into production, distribution systems and related economics

  • Heard speakers whose experience ranges from large agricultural corporations to urban farms, fresh food outlets international non-government agencies

  • Took virtual field trips to relevant sites where food is grown, distributed, managed, and where Hunger is alleviated and studied.

  • Collaborated with delegates from around the world to explore hunger issues and challenges in an atmosphere of respect, trust and open communication

  • Discovered what you can do to shape the world and make it a better place where hunger is eliminated or at least abated, and the earth is managed to the benefit of all.