Perspectives Spotlight: Reflections on the Symposium

JennyRBy Jenny Ross ’15

I always find the topics, work and conclusions of the World Perspectives Symposium to be mind-blowing and this year was no exception.  Setting the tone for this day Mr. Jones discussed how geography could influence one’s global perspective.  Personally, the difference between the comfort and proximity of one’s “place”, and the undiscovered and daunting “space” of the rest of the world is what fuels my desire to discover the unknown.  Today, the audience was able to immerse itself within “space”, and gain a new perspective on the world. It is this balance of the familiar and unfamiliar that gives us a perspective on the social, economic, political, and environmental issues our world faces today.  Beginning the day with Rashad Nimr’s presentation on the oppression endured by Palestinian homosexuals, he highlighted their struggle to gain acceptance in their own land.  They are dismissed by their own society and rejected in Israel due to their heritage forcing many to leave their countries.

Shifting from a social crisis to an environmental issue, Margot Bruder analyzed the issue of Oceanic Pollution.  The ecosystems of our oceans have been harmed by the threats of micro plastic and macro plastic.   While larger pieces of plastic, macro plastic, create the potential problem of animal entanglement, miniscule pieces of plastic, micro plastic, can easily be ingested by animals, or also create a type of film on the ocean’s surface.

Society must realize the dangers of contaminating our waters with plastic, as it can limit our food and water supply. Caroline Vanacore presented the benefits of aquaponics, a method of providing mineral enriched water to the soil of crops.  This system would allow developing countries, such as Haiti, to increase their agricultural productivity, although it is important to note that aquaponics cannot completely solve all agricultural crises.

Lastly, Allie Anderson researched the harmful impacts that can be caused from the burning of biomass fuel inside the home in cooking stoves.  She focused her research in India, a country with some of the world’s worst air pollution.  However, Allie took her research into the domestic sphere of rural regions of the country, where it mostly impacts women and children.  She then engaged the audience by asking us to brainstorm efficient oven designs that could reduce indoor pollution.

This day is a unique opportunity that allows the student body to immerse itself into the unknown, expand their horizons, and tackle some of the most pressing global issues.

Perspectives Spotlight: Reflections on the Symposium

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