The Center for Teaching International Relations/ World Affairs Challenge and the United Nations Association – USA/Denver Metro Chapter have signed a Memo of Understanding that provides a collaborative partnership to further global leadership opportunities for middle and high school students. The purpose of the partnership is to develop awareness and a deeper understanding of global issues. The aim is to ignite a passion in the students to make a difference in the world by taking action to overcome these global issues. The focus of study is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals SDGs – and the WAC has selected the following sequence of study for the next four years:

2019: Equality

  •   SDG 4 – Quality Education
  •   SDG 5 – Gender Equality
  •   SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities
  •   SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  •   SDG 17 – Partnership for the Goals

2020: Sustainability

  •   SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
  •   SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
  •   SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  •   SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
  •   SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

2021: Humanity

  •   SDG 1 – No Poverty
  •   SDG 2 – Zero Hunger
  •   SDG 3 – Good Health
  •   SDG 6 – Clean Water
  •   SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

2022: The Earth

  •   SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
  •   SDG 13 – Climate Action
  •   SDG 14 – Life Below Water
  •   SDG 15 – Life on Land
  •   SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

CTIR/WAC is extremely excited about the partnership and the opportunity to work with the UNA-USA organization in expanding the diversity, breadth and geographic reach across Colorado through the use of the UN SDGs. This will allow teachers, students and communities the opportunity to share resources. This will enhance student learning and action and make great strides toward the development of global leadership and improved global conditions. We welcome your participation as community partners, sponsors, team leaders, mentors and judges.

Melinda L. Cain, President, Board of Directors, CTIR, World Affairs Challenge

Eye on the Future: Digital Assistants

Hey Siri, what’s the future look like? Digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa are quickly becoming the brains behind our devices. They’re popping up everywhere: from our smartphones to our cars to our houses. It won’t be long before digital assistants dominate the way we understand the world around us and interact with it. Here’s a quick glimpse at how they’ll impact our lives going forward:

The Rise of Digital Assistants (And How They’re Gonna Change Everything)

 7 Predictions For The Future Of Digital Assistant Search

The Privacy Problem with Digital Assistants

Why I believe in the World Affairs Challenge

It’s an old “curse” you’ve probably heard a million times -- may you live in interesting times. This certainly rings true in 2017; these are most definitely interesting times. We live in a world where people are increasing looking inward, but a world that is, in reality, more connected than ever before. People across the globe are more focused on issues internal to themselves and their country than their relationships with other countries and solving global problems. So many feel that they are not getting their fair share, and in operating from that mindset, it is hard to think of others. It all seems to be a zero-sum game.

And this is exactly why I believe the World Affairs Challenge is so important, indeed critical, to the future of our world. I know it may sound trite, but by our children we shall be lead.

As the incoming Chairman for the Center for Teaching International Relations, the organization that sponsors the World Affairs Challenge, I believe we are at our heart teaching a new generation of students that we are one world, all interconnected, and all in this together. The young men and women who participate in our Challenge are truly awe-inspiring. This year, the theme of our Challenges is ‘Smart Planet’ and we are asking our teams to focus on the 16 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They will need to look at these goals and how they might be applied, either here at home or across the globe.

If you are feeling despair at the world’s current political environment, I invite you to do what I did a year ago and come be a judge, a mentor, or a resource for these amazing students. I think your spirit will be lifted by seeing just how these young people learn to look outward, bridge gaps, and make connections that will propel them to do great things. Above all, watch them learn that they can make a difference in the world and despite (or maybe because!) of their age, they can, indeed, act to make the world better.

Because in the end, isn’t that the calling for all of us?