Young Leaders Institute 2019 Alumna Helps Launch Summit for Global Sustainability

Connie Lin

Connie Lin presents as part of her team's group presentation on the final day of the Young Leaders Institute: Energy and Security session at Asia Society.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
by Connie Lin (Bellaire High School, Class of 2020)

During this summer’s Young Leaders Institute session on Energy and Security at Asia Society, I was exposed to a variety of perspectives from local professionals on the future of the energy industry through the lenses of geopolitics, economics, and environmental sustainability. The Young Leaders Institute encouraged me to critically analyze a multitude of different factors surrounding energy security. I was given opportunities to generate nuanced viewpoints that led me to consider how to reconcile conflicts between development goals such as environmental conservation and economic development. The insightful lessons and global perspectives I gained from the Young Leaders Institute inspired me to create experiences to expose other students to nuanced discussions regarding global sustainability issues. I reflected on my prior involvement with international affairs awareness with the Student World Affairs Council and Model United Nations conferences. Along with some like-minded friends, I launched the idea of the Sustainable Solutions Summit.

We are collaborating with students at the Rice Baker Institute Student Forum, the World Affairs Council of Houston, and local high schools on a free 1-day seminar event on Saturday, October 5, 2019, to help high school students explore the interplay between human development and environmental sustainability with a focus on the future of energy. We chose that particular theme because we recognized a lack of active dialogue about the future of sustainability through the lens of both economics and environmental conservation among young people. Although there are conversations about climate change or economic and human development, I noticed that many people see them as unrelated goals. However, I think that helping students see the intersections between these increasingly relevant 21st century issues will be more beneficial. We mean for this event to be highly interdisciplinary — drawing connections between environmental science, energy policy, economics, and ethics.

What’s more? While climate action has become an increasingly relevant and controversial centerpiece of global discussion, we want to get local youth involved — especially since our own state of Texas is a national leader in the discussion on the future of energy. The Sustainable Solutions Summit is the perfect opportunity for young people to explore local manifestations of global issues regarding sustainability. Our goal is to inform and engage student participants to think and discuss deeply on these issues on both a local and global level.

Our summit will bring together experts across sectors, from industry to academia to government, for individual speaker seminars that culminate into a panel bringing together perspectives on all sides. In addition to diversity of perspective, we strive to promote an interdisciplinary outlook on energy and urban sustainability with a focus on the dynamics of the tension between balancing economic and human development and environmental conservation. We believe that cross-sector, cross-discipline dialogue on global issues is necessary for progress in the future of sustainability. In the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to actively engage in discussion and debate over international sustainability issues in Model United Nations-style policy simulations.


Sustainable Solutions Summit

Saturday, October 5, 2019 | 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The Village High School
3051 Whittington Dr, Houston, TX 77077

Admission: FREE
Learn more and register your team »


About the Young Leaders Institute

In a world more globally connected than ever before, leaders need to be well prepared with the right knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors to be successful. Asia Society’s Young Leaders Institute (YLI) is a week-long summer program for local high school students aimed at promoting global competence along with their leadership skills. Throughout the week, students learn about the global policy issues of the day from local experts to expand their knowledge and perspectives, then work in teams researching, debating, and presenting solutions for the challenges facing the world. In addition, students learn and practice leadership and presentation skills from experienced coaches, to develop their capacity to be leaders among their peers.

Previous Young Leaders Institute Programming

Young Leaders Institute Broadens Scope, Fosters Collaborative Leadership in Fourth Year
In YLI's Third Year, Students Design Policy Solutions in China, India, and the Middle East
High School Students Discover China and India through Summer Institute
Students Dive Deep Into U.S.-China Relations During Young Leaders Institute


About Asia Society Texas Center

With 14 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the rest of the world. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.


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