Education Speaker Series

Introducing the Education Speaker Series (NEW for 2020-21)

The Council is excited to announce a new Education Speaker Series tailored directly to high school student audiences. This Series, scheduled for the last Wednesday of every month, will bring academics, policymakers and policy practitioners directly to your students through an immersive, virtual speaker platform. Students will have an opportunity to hear directly from influential thinkers, and will have the opportunity to engage directly in a Q&A session with those speakers. Access to these speakers is complimentary with a High School Membership. 

In addition to the newly announced Speaker Series, and as one of the top public policy forums in the nation, the Council will continue to offer access to its influential podium programs. 

* Platforms Required: Zoom;
* Duration: 1 to 2 hours;
* Program Offering: One Speaker Series event each month, typically the last Wednesday of every month;
* Preparation level: Light - Students are not required to do any preparation in advance, but are encouraged to read the speaker’s bio and come with 1 or 2 questions

Past Programs

March Speaker Series - Wednesday, March 24, 2021

On January 20, 2021 Kamala Harris made history as she was sworn in as the first woman, first Black person, and first Asian-American to hold the office of Vice President of the United States. While many fields in politics, academia, and business continue to be male-dominated, both the United States and the world have seen a recent surge of many “first females”, like Vice President Harris. In the past decade, women have increasingly held leadership positions in politics, business, healthcare, law, military, universities, sports, arts, activism, and in their communities.


This program featured a notable local woman in leadership, Pennsylvania State Representative Elizabeth Fiedler (184th Legislative District). During this celebration of Women's History Month, Representative Fiedler addressed questions such as: What unique barriers do women face in attaining leadership positions? Why is it important for women to be leaders in their fields? What are the strategic benefits of women in leadership positions? Why is the issue of gender inequality an issue for all genders, not just women? 


Watch our recording of the March Speaker Series on our YouTube channel here

January Speaker Series - Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Despite limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing polarization, and instances of violent disruptions, peacebuilding, nonviolent movements, and reconciliation still continue to take place around the world today. From Afghanistan, to Armenia and Azerbaijan, from the United States, to Belarus, to Thailand, active peace talks and peaceful protest movements continue to facilitate change. While some movements continue to utilize mass gatherings and demonstrations (with the addition of COVID-friendly precautions such as facemasks), others have taken more socially-distanced approaches, such as Facebook Live protests and digital rallies, workers strikes, crowdsourcing emergency relief funds and supplies, and widespread information sharing, as a means of advocating for their cause. However, maintaining peaceful actions and peace talks between opposing parties requires continuous efforts to avoid a turn towards violence, and oftentimes the process is not a smooth one. This fourth installment of the Council’s new Education Speaker Series explored the peacebuilding and reconciliation process, both within and among countries, and took a detailed look at some of the most prominent nonviolent social and political movements taking place around the world today. 

Watch the recording of our January Speaker Series on our YouTube channel here!

Learn more about the program topic with our list of suggested follow-up resources!

November Speaker Series (Wednesday, November 18, 2020)

New travel limitations and restrictions, coupled with the onset of a worldwide economic crisis, have severely impeded students’ ability to participate in international education programs. In the near term, students can no longer travel to foreign nations, and immerse themselves in the rich histories, traditions and peoples of other countries. However, significant opportunities still exist for students to learn and explore cultures throughout the world. The questions surrounding the future of international education are plentiful, complex, and provide opportunities for creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. At this event, a panel of speakers discussed the present challenges and future opportunities of these important programs, and addressed some of the most prominent questions in international education systems today. 

Watch the recording of our November Speaker Series on our YouTube channel here

October Speaker Series (Wednesday, October 28, 2020)

The next U.S. president will undoubtedly face a broad range of foreign policy challenges and concerns including economic policy, international trade, defense, peace relations, climate issues, and migration - to name a few.  In addition, in the backdrop of a global pandemic, increasing natural disasters, and polarization on a variety of domestic issues, both America’s economy and our role in the world has increasingly been on the mind of concerned voters.  However, experts agree that some of the plans and approaches offered by Donald Trump and Joe Biden are on opposite ends of the foreign policy spectrum. So just how do they view the world and what are the similarities and differences to their approaches? What would be their top foreign policy priorities? Which countries, alliances, and world leaders would likely rank highest as a friend or foe? And what does this mean for the future of U.S. foreign policy? 

Watch the recording of the October Speaker Series program on our YouTube channel here!

September Speaker Series (Wednesday, September 30, 2020)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.  In 2018, an estimated 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure, equating to over 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children. In addition, 1 in 5 people in the Philadelphia area face hunger, making it a crisis in our community. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis, as evidenced by decreased household incomes, increased demand at local food banks, and increased food prices as a result to COVID related complications on both the supply and demand. Students heard from an expert who had extensive knowledge and understanding of food security issues, and was on the front lines in responding to crisis with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the recording of the September Speaker Series program on our YouTube channel here!