Students’ Thoughts on the Diplomacy Festival 2021: “Ready for the unexpected?”

by Darina Arteeva

For many politicians, diplomats, professors and students, the Diplomacy Festival is the most important event of the year, because in a few days they can not only enjoy the speeches of representatives of countries and heads of large companies, but also take part in discussions about the most important issues of the modern world. The rich program and the most relevant topics of performances allow to attract a lot of participants to the event. Last year, the magnet for visitors was not only the theme of the past peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the consideration of the ongoing changes in the world as a whole, as well as possible solutions to the global problems of our time.

Every year, students of Global Governance of Tor Vergata University in Rome have the opportunity to attend festival events as part of their program. In anticipation of the Diplomacy Festival 2022, third-year students shared their impressions and memories of last year’s events.

Third year students of Global Governance from 4 different countries (Japan, the Philippines, Italy and Rwanda) shared their thoughts on the value of the Diplomacy Festival.

Do you think joining the festival helped you in your professional development?

Shinichi: Yes, I do. My professional dream is to work in UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), especially in the field of climate change and environmental governance. This event gave me the opportunity to listen to diplomats and experts who are active at the forefront, so that I could deepen knowledge on specific fields such as data security and demographic changes. Moreover, this event broadened my perspectives both on global issues and future careers also because I got some ideas of future paths I would like to purse from it.

Marianna: In my professional future I would like to deal with environment and climate change, ideally I would like to work in the field of Natural Disasters Management. The diplomacy festival helped me in understanding how multifaceted is the environmental problem, and how the international cooperation is actually fundamental to bring significantly changes for the future. This event gave me the opportunity to know more about other’s countries situation in the field of sustainability thanks to the ambassadors’ speeches. It was enlightening see how politics and environment are strictly connected and how we should focus on global policies

Melani Joyce: Yes, as it has given me a larger overview of different issues faced by the third world and first world countries today. And it was very useful for achieving my professional future, in which I see myself as a business lady and the founder of a non-profit organisation supporting women and children.

Gisa Roick: Definitely, my professional dream is working in diplomacy and international affairs. And this event gave me the opportunity to explore the world of diplomacy, International cooperation, Current global challenges and how different country’s policies are commonly contributing to the current Global system.

What is your takeaway from the Diplomacy Festival 2021? Do you feel you got new information?

Marianna: The diplomacy festival was for me a place were I learned a lot, from cybersecurity to international politics. However my takeaway is for sure my colleagues’ participation. It was enriching see young people interested in learning and capable to bring up to the table interesting point of discussion. We are the generation that can make the difference, and the festival it’s a great opportunity to start with.

Gisa Roick: Diplomacy Festival Week was one of my key enlightening moment during my studies in global governance. With its diverse agenda delivered by expertise in different fields, world leader’s and professionals Vis-a-Vis, I learned a lot as a student but also as global citizen.

What do you remember the most about Diplomacy Festival 2021?

Shinichi: I particularly remember the session about “The Great Demographic Reversal” the most. Especially the presentation delivered by Professor Maria Rita Testa from Luiss University. She talked about Italian Demography. It was very interesting because what was discussed could be applied to where I am from, Japan where there is a phenomenon of super-aging society. Her presentation broadened my perspective on demographic changes. I also had the chance to ask a question related to labour shortage caused by the phenomenon of aging society. The answers to the question from speakers were clear and speakers kindly answered all questions from the students, so I really appreciated that. It was precious opportunity for me.

Marianna: What I do remember the most about the diplomacy festival were the intervention of the ambassadors, all charismatic and inspiring personalities ( especially Switzerland Ambassador). Also, I will never forget how the Diplomacy festival gave me the charge to continue my studies with even more commitment. When you see that you are part of the system, you are more interested to learn about it.

Gisa Roick: Most of all, I remember the atmosphere of this event, which was expressed in free and comfortable environment to express opinions, remarkable guests. As well as connections, smartness and time management.

What would you like to see at this year festival / at future events?

Marianna: For this year festival I would like to see even more events focused on climate change, since in my opinion it is one of the most important point we should try to discuss and intervene on in this really near future. despite of that, I’m sure it will be a unique experience for the students as it was for me.

Melani Joyce: For this year’s event and even in the future events of the diplomacy festival, I’d like to see how polarisation is being dealt both in third world, and first world countries.

Shinichi: I would like to listen to speakers’ perspective on several current global issues such as climate changes and post-covid. I hope participants can enjoy this year’s festival as I did last year. I would like to say to students that use the most of this festival and ask questions as much as possible. If it is possible, hosting in a more expanded room that allows all participants to be in one place would be a good change. I would like to see the creation Side Events (B2B), between students and their modelling professionals.

Gisa Roick: If it is possible, hosting in a more expanded room that allows all participants to be in one place would be a good change. I would like to see the creation Side Events (B2B), between students and their modelling professionals.