Lebone II College hosted their annual Leadership Festival with the theme of Greed versus Sustainability. Lucy Stipinovich and Hannah Codrington participated in the festival and had to prepare research reports, which were used as points of discussion. They also had to identify a problem in our school or community and work on finding solutions before arriving at the festival. The theme created an opportunity for the participants to explore and grapple with the following ideas: capitalism, people living below the breadline, the effect of greed on the environment, ethics and morality, greed and the corporate world and the origins of greed.
Hannah Codrington had the following to say about her experience, “Growing up, I always believed that I lived in a diverse community. At the Lebone II College Leadership Festival, it was made clear to me that my St Mary’s community is a bubble. The festival hosted young leaders from around the country and the world, from a range of economic and social backgrounds. I was given the opportunity to connect with people with whom I had absolutely nothing in common.”
Lucy Stipinovich eloquently shared her experience in the following manner: “My experience at the Lebone II College Leadership Festival 2017 is one I hope never to forget. Not only was it an excellent platform for the young leaders of today, all passionate about bettering the future of humanity, to interact and form bonds, but it was also an experience that challenged the way I viewed myself and my role in society. I have come to view, more critically, the natural human tendency to be greedy, to understand the importance of approaching a topic with an open mind, and I have developed my ability not only to hear but to listen to others. The opportunity to interact with a Harvard professor over a Skype call was a privilege. The professor, Michael I Norton, has done extensive research into the psychology of greed. Our discussion was based around an experiment where Norton had tested the notion that people are more likely to pass on greed rather than generosity. There is one aspect I should like to pass on to the St Mary’s pupils. This is the realisation that we, as a body of young people with a high educational advantage, possess the power for change in our society. A quotation to which we were exposed is: ‘Young people are not the leaders of tomorrow. They are the leaders of today and tomorrow.’”
The week-long leadership festival gave Hannah and Lucy the opportunity to use the skills they have acquired in a meaningful manner. I am extremely proud of the way in which they engaged with the subject matter and with their ability to draw on their knowledge and skills from a wide array of subjects.