The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia aims to bring timely, thoughtful, and engaging programs that tackle some of the world's most pressing issues to high school students throughout the Philadelphia region. The Council offers a suite of programs, including our signature role-playing programs such as the Global Economic Forum, and Model Senate, as well as our virtual iThrive SimulationsCitizen Diplomat Academy, and access to the Council's Speaker Programs Each program is designed to directly engage students with some of the most challenging issues in our world and push students to collaborate and debate innovative policies to remedy these issues. Each summer the Council also hosts its Summer Global Leadership Seminara weeklong intensive summer seminar for advanced high school students.

Questions? Please reach out to Geoffrey Quinn, Director of Education High School Programs, at gquinn@wacphila.org or at 215-561-4700 ext. 207

Upcoming Programs

December 6, 7, and 15, 2022

With an ever increasing focus on the Unite States' legislative branch, the World Affairs Council is excited to host its Model Senate program for high school members. Participating students will be assigned to roles as Senators, Expert Witnesses and journalists, and will meet to discuss critical legislation confronting Congress and the American people. Visit the program webpage for more information on registration, committee topics, and program resources.

March 28 and 29, 2023

The Global Economic Forum will simulate a competition for funding, with students presenting innovative solutions to a variety of global issues.  Students will be assigned to one of three subtopic committees, and will be asked to develop policy priorities, and a strong presentation to advocate for their preferred solutions. A panel of judges will hear arguments from each team, and ultimately determine a winning proposal.

Past Programs

October 12, 2022 | 4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. | Zoom

Teachers and adminsistrators are invited to join the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia's High School Programs Information Session to learn all about our program offerings, program dates, and High School Membership registration information.

Monday, July 11 - Friday, July 15, 2022

The 2022 Summer Global Leadership Seminar, entitled Global Development and International Aid, is a week-long summer institute open to all rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. This year’s seminar seeks to advance students’ understanding of global development and the importance of international aid as a tool of diplomacy and coalition building. The Seminar concludes with a culminating project in which student groups develop proposals for increasing global development in the midst of a global pandemic. 

iThrive Sim Programming

The Council, in partnership with iThrive Games Foundation, will offer iThrive Sim Programming: a series of innovative, virtual simulations that are facilitated through a web-based, device agnostic platform. The information in these programs changes quickly and forces students to advocate their positions, negotiate, and compromise to take care of both their constituents and the country.

The Council is now offering three iThrive Sim programs for member high schools:
(1) "Lives in Balance" - Students serve as U.S. government officials who must decide when and how to re-open the economies of four Southwestern United States during a global pandemic 
(2) "Leading Through Crisis" - Students play as members of the Crisis Management Team, a group of cabinet-level executives tasked with responding to domestic and international incidents during a time of presidential transition.
(3) "Follow the Facts" - A media literacy simulation forcing students to parse competing information while informing the public of an ongoing crisis. 

iThrive Sim opportunities are scheduled directly with Council Education staff according to member schools' availability and interest. 

March 2 and 3, 2022

The 2022 Global Economic Forum (GEF) will explore the developing gap between people on either end of the digital divide. Students will learn about issues related to equitable access of technology, and how inequitable access can severely hinder specific populations.

The program will simulate an international competition for funding, with students presenting innovative solutions to limit the digital divide. Students will be assigned to one of three subtopic committees, and will be asked to develop policy priorities and a strong presentation to advocate for their preferred solutions. A panel of judges will hear arguments from each team, and ultimately determine a winning proposal.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Borrowing off both the success of the Council’s 2020-2021 Student Debate Series, and the Council’s Great Debates legacy podium speaker series, we will be once again be offering our Student Debate Series for member high schools. 

In response to a timely debate prompt, students will be divided and assigned to one of two groups (affirmative or opposed) and hone their research, writing, strategic thinking, and public speaking skills in the form of a structured, formal debate with their peers. The Council will provide accompanying topic and group-specific resources for students to review prior to the virtual debate. A panel of judges will utilize a detailed rubric to choose a winning side and students will have the opportunity to earn individual awards based on their debate participation and performance.

December 7 and 8, 2021

With an ever increasing focus on the United States' legislative branch, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is excited to host a Model Senate program for member high schools. Participating students will be assigned to roles as Senators, Expert Witnesses and Journalists, and will meet to discuss critical legislation confronting Congress and the American people. Visit the program webpage for more information on registration, committee topics, and program resources.