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  • Writer's pictureIVECA Center

Sharing Insightful Actions for a Brighter Future

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

More than ever, the world is faced with finding solutions to global issues that affect everyone and that is not the exception of the students who participate in IVECA’s cultural exchanges. This week, students from Sri Lanka participated in their very first IVECA Live Class! Meeting virtually with their partners from South Korea, the Sri Lankan students participated in presenting their solutions to creating a better future for us all.

Students shared their thoughts on the future after visualizing themselves in the year 2040 based on research data. Although Korean students admitted that it could be hard to save the world, they proceeded to offer potential solutions to some of them, especially focusing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 3: ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages. Their predictions ranged from a future similar to today with improved environmental conditions thanks to the widespread use of passive housing, which reduces the energy needed to heat and cool a home, to an unfortunate dystopia filled with more “indiscriminate development, materialism, competition and selfishness causing social problems”. A rather fascinating thought they expressed was: “We know all of them [the issues] but we don’t think about changing ourselves.”

Sri Lankan students also imagined what their country might be like in the next twenty years, and they had surprisingly similar hopes and worries. Nevertheless, they shared their perspective on the problems and ways we can build a brighter future. One student made the prediction that in the future, most agriculture is likely to be lab grown. He said this would result in a loss of farming culture and traditional foods, pointing out that while there would be more food supply, there would also be a great loss of human history. Another student wisely proclaimed that it is our positive and negative habits of the present that can change the future. “Seeking a brighter future requires energy, knowledge and commitment,” he said, “It is not the stuff of wishes and hopes.”

Both groups of students addressed major problems the world is facing, and although both believe that technology has become an important aspect of our lives and that there are many benefits to it, they also are aware of the downside of technology. One such negative effect students discussed is that of declining mental health. As one student from Korea put it, the best course of action to combat this issue is to invest in psychiatric medicine and focus on mental wellness.

While the students from South Korea and Sri Lanka come from different backgrounds, locations and perspectives, they easily came together to share not only their solutions for the future but also wonderful cultural performances. South Korean students shared a powerful martial arts Tae Kwon Do demonstration with a traditional white uniform and black belt. In addition, Sri Lanka shared a fantastic vocal and musical performance. Dressed in red garb, one student boldly sang while three others accompanied on a guitar, Kirtan harmonium and a Dholak drum. These performances were well received by students and teachers, as big rounds of applause followed each act.

As the day’s festivities came to a close, students, teachers, and principals from each school expressed their gratitude for having had the opportunity to learn from each other and hoped to meet again someday. “Even after the IVECA exchange today,” one Korean student’s farewell letter read, “I hope we don’t forget each other and continue to communicate with [one another] and support the future, even if we are on the other side of the earth.”



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