Cracked EarthToday saw the finals of the Global Issues Competition 2013 take place at International College Hong Kong. In its third year, the competition featured 60 competitors from 6 Pearl River Delta schools (GNIS, Harrow HK, ICHK, LPCUWC, RCHK and STC). With passionate presentations on issues ranging from the health of our oceans to gay rights, students showed a great level of maturity and knowledge of the world around them. A new feature this year was the use of a backchannel, allowing students to discuss presentations online as they unfolded, which they duly did. After the presentations, students worked together under the leadership of Sophia and Lukas to plan action on two of the issues discussed earlier. The day ended with a very moving, amusing and inspirational talk from Crossroads spokesperson David Begbie. Students and staff alike left inspired and ready to make meaningful change.

Thanks must go to our wonderful judges (Kevin Coniam, Pam Ryan, Vincent Chan and Roy White), to David Begbie for his wonderful talk, to ICHK for hosting and funding the event and to all the teachers who organised for their students to come along. Extra thanks to Mike Cline of GNIS for his support throughout the day.

Congratulations to all students for reaching the finals, and for having the courage to stand up and defend their ideas. Listed below are prize winners from the day, all of whom put in excellent performances.

Award Winner
Best Overall Junior Team RCHK “Rise Of The Corporations”
Sarika Mahbubani
Natalie Law
Hayley Wu
Audrey Foo
Best Overall Senior Team RCHK “Gay Rights”
Phipson Lee
Melvin Kan
Rachel Tsao
Cherry Wu
Most Eloquent Senior Student Cherry Wu, RCHK
Most Eloquent Junior Student Sarika Mahbubani, RCHK
Most Passionate Overall Student Gabrielle Armstrong-Scott, LPCUWC
Best Use of Backchannel Chance Thompson, ICHK
Leadership Award Sophia Jamal & Lukas Haugeberg, LPCUWC
Risk Taker Award Max Copley, Harrow Hong Kong
Anonymous Commenter Award Unknown

The following feedback was provided by the judges, and may be useful for those hoping to compete again next year:

  • Make connections obvious, don’t rely on your audience and the judges seeing things the same way as you do, and coming to the same conclusions.
  • Be aware of the judging criteria, and work to them.
  • Use media effectively (show graphs for longer, really explain them).
  • Be aware of the audience, and use materials that they will appreciate.
  • Questions asked and answered to count to the judging, so:
    • When asking questions, make sure you are polite. Avoid being flippant, trying to trip people up, etc.
    • When fielding questions, make your point as clearly and professionally as you can.