Sciences Po students win the GPPN Conference as Best Project
- Students video presentation
Five students from the School of Public Affairs tied for Best Project at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Global Public Policy Network virtually held from the University of Tokyo. The School of Public Affairs is very proud and happy to share an interview of the students, looking back at this fabulous journey.
Students: Heewoon BAE, Matthew CHEUK, Amyrrha ESTOLLOSO, Sidharth SANTHOSH, Ilayda TAKIL.
You just won the 2021 GPPN Conference as Best Project. Could you reflect a bit on the experience?
Looking back, a few words spring to mind: challenging, meaningful, and unexpected as a journey in our final semesters at Sciences Po. We started off stuck in four corners of the world, and through the magic of Zoom, found our common cause and a vision to work towards. We embarked on this journey together and five months later, found ourselves in Tokyo – in a virtual space of learning, growth and camaraderie with one another. We also gained valuable insights from the Deans and Speakers who spoke on topics in relation to the theme: The Crisis of Globalization as We Know It.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude and fulfilment in reflecting on our journey. It has been a memorable part of our experiences in our respective MPP programs (Social Policy and Social Innovation and Economics and Public Policy). Now, we look forward to applying what we have learned throughout the process and hopefully, being given the opportunity to implement our project in real life.
You decided to work on the topic of education. How did you choose the project you were going to present?
We actually met in a Sciences Po course, Measuring Education Progress, and that prompted the idea to create a policy solution around it. Within this, we were particularly interested in Global Citizenship Education, and its role in bridging cultural gaps and combating xenophobic and populist tendencies. Making Worlds Meet was thus in many regards a natural product of our shared interests, and our belief in the transformative power of education.
What were the main challenges in this competition? What were your assets as students of the School of Public Affairs?
Time was a key issue. Most of us had to juggle the responsibilities of ongoing theses and/or internships. This leads onto a second point: the importance of adaptability. We had to continuously adapt and evolve our project before and during the competition to reflect the growth in our perspectives, our ongoing research and the critical feedback we received along the way. We had to keep in close and regular contact in order to do so. This was not always easy given our other commitments and the need to work across three different time zones.
In terms of our lessons as EAP students, we would say that the importance of building innovative solutions anchored on evidence and thoroughly reasoned ideas and grounded in the realities of field implementation was key to our success.
What have you learned through this process and from the other international teams of students who participated?
We became more aware of the range and specificities of the issues surrounding globalization and also the COVID-19 crisis; and gained valuable insights from all the other projects as well as the discussions held throughout the conference.
What would be your advice to students wanting to join the GPPN Conference?
It is important to work on a topic that you all share a passion or interest in, have conviction in your collective vision for the project, and be each other’s support system and critical lens throughout the complex journey to winning the GPPN Conference. You should also value the advice and guidance given to your team in the process for your improvement.
Heewoon BAE, Matthew CHEUK, Amyrrha ESTOLLOSO, Sidharth SANTHOSH, Ilayda TAKIL