5th International Students Conference of the Young Economists' Convention
On March 1, 2012, the Angelo King Institute (AKI) of De La Salle University, Philippines, headed by Dr. Tereso Tullao, opened its 3-day economic convention series with the 5th International Conference. The chosen theme for the conference was "Exposed: Threats and Opportunities in a Greener Environment for a Global Economy" which, according to the International Conference Heads, was formulated to raise awareness of Economics students on pertinent issues and theories relating to a greener economy.
Composed of three main parts (i.e. talks by distinguished speakers, public speaking contest and the focus group discussion), the 5th International Conference was attended by an estimate of 150 students (14 of them came from South-East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar) wherein more than 8 schools participated.
Talks by Distinguished Speakers
There were three (3) distinguished speakers during the 5th International Conference namely, Mr. Edwin Valencia (Deputy CEO of Deutsche Knowledge Services), Atty. Donna Gasgonia (Consultant of United Nations Development Programme) and Dr. Peter Koppinger (Country Director of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung).
The first speaker was Mr. Valencia who spoke about the importance of sustainability and environment preservation. He emphasized that business organizations should put enough priority in committing to a greener environment. Mr. Valencia ended his talk stating that global warming is a shared predicament of all nations, whether developed or not.
Following Valencia, Atty. Donna Gasgonia discussed and explored the other side of mining. Claiming that mining is unnecessarily environmentally damaging, she warned the students not to succumb to the Appeal-to-Pity Paradigm, but rather believe on facts and truths presented. Furthermore, she also shared knowledge on what steps to be done in order to contribute in the mitigation of environmental damages and related them with the programs implemented by the United Nations.
The final speaker for the 5th International Conference was Dr. Peter Koppinger who agrees that it is everybody's duty to save Mother Earth. This is why he focused his talk more on the importance of the youth in this global predicament. He urged every student in the conference to actively participate in decision-making process and strive to give contributions to the society by standing up as leaders.
Public Speaking Contest
The 5th International Conference also had its public speaking contest aimed to enhance the communication skill, persuasion ability and critical thinking of young economists.
There were six students (6) who participated in this contest (see the photos on the right). The topic which was "Personal Opportunities and Threats in a Greener Environment" was given only 10 minutes before the participants would actually speak in front of the students and the panel. However, even if the participants were given only a limited to outline and formulate their speeches, they were able to impress the students as well as the panel.
Focus Group Discussion
In order to engage all the attendees of the conference, the 5th International Conference committee allotted 30 minutes for a Focus Group Discussion (FGD).
The 150 students were broken into 5 sub-groups to tackle about the societal and developmental issues faced by the Philippines. Then, they were tasked to come up with feasible solutions and policy recommendations that would address or mitigate the issues raised. After this, representatives from each sub group were called to share their group's insights and discussions among all the attendees.
Closing of the Conference
After all these three activities, the 5th International Conference, which lapsed for almost 8 hours, was closed by Mr. Christopher Cabuay, Adviser of the Young Economists' Convention. This marked the end of the first day of the the 3-day convention series, wherein the two remaining days were allotted for the 11th Young Economists' Main Convention.
Meeting the Team!
The photo on the right shows some of the great people behind this conference. The author of this article, who was part of the conference as the Publicity Head, is the one on the left .
Note: Credits to Angela Marie Uy, Paolo Aquino and the Author for the photos used in this article.