Tips for Preparing

International Student Summit on Information and Democracy

Tips for Preparing:

Delegates at the 2020 International Student Summit on Information and Democracy will simulate a meeting of the Paris Peace Forum, an annual event that mobilizes stakeholders with the aim to place global governance at the top of the international agenda.  This meeting will take place under the collective pretense that a rising global crisis of trust in democracies, coupled with misinformation and disinformation in the digital age and a growing influence of anti-democratic regimes, is posing a major threat to integrity and security of the journalism field, global freedom, civil harmony, and world peace.  

Student leaders and delegates will need a comprehensive understanding of the threats and challenges confronting the field of journalism and the effects that a free press has on democracy, civil rights, and global freedom. Participants will need to consider a number of variables as they meet to find a collective strategy and potential response, including how to protect journalists, cull disinformation and promote fact-based dialogues.

Throughout the day, delegates will work within groups to discuss policies that will address the topics most immediate needs – as well as to respond to various international development proposals that will unfold during the Summit. Delegates should be prepared, if necessary, to strike a compromise, one that will achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people, yet also be fair and feasible to the people they represent most directly.

In order to ensure the best experience for all involved, we expect that students come fully prepared, having completed background research on their country and committee group’s perspective. Each student should expect to spend several hours preparing for the Summit - the amount of time needed is dependent on the student. The following step-by-step instructions should help students navigate the research/preparation process.  Remember the more time a student invests in preparing for their role, the more engaged they will be on the day of the Summit.

Step 1 - Research

In order to develop a collective strategy and a series of policy proposals that will grow the continent in an egalitarian manner, students will first have to do research. To begin, students should familiarize themselves with the topic generally speaking and then with their country's perspective. Then, students should research their assigned committee group, focusing on policies that can directly benefit people in their assigned country/region, as well as the continent as a whole.

On the Council's website, you will find a number of key resources. Start with two important background readings: (1) Background Briefing Paper and (2) the Committee Group Briefing of your assigned committee. Additionally, please focus on the research resources that we have gathered and organized on our website.  After reviewing our resources, please take a look at the Questions to Consider at the end of the Background Briefing, and the set of questions at the end of the Committee Group Briefing. Both of these sets of questions, combined with our general and country-specific research resources will provide students with a solid foundation for being able to confidently and competently participate in the 2019 International Student Summit.

Step 2 - Your Ticket to the Conference

On the day of the Summit, we expect all students to bring two pre-prepared documents into the breakout sessions: (1) a set of responses to the Questions to Consider at the end of the Background Briefing Paper and (2) a set of responses to the questions at the end of their assigned Committee Group Briefing.