The SLU Youth Institute (SLU YI) is starting up. SLU has been invited by the World Food Prize Foundation to establish a new institute within the Global Youth Institute. SLU YI aims to create interest among Swedish youth for global food security and to find solutions based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals to the global challenges .
Each year, the SLU YI is to convene high school students, teachers, and experts to explore and solve local, national and global hunger and food security issues. To apply to the institute, high school students research and write a paper on a global challenge related to hunger and food insecurity. Registration for the event is free. The authors of outstanding reports are selected to be delegates at the international Global Youth Institute, hosted each year each year in October in Iowa, USA.
The SLU YI is arranged under SLU Global with Karl Lundén, Researcher at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology as coordinator, Campus Uppsala. Kristina Karlsson Green, Researcher at the Department of Plant Protection Biology, Campus Alnarp, will also work as a coordinator within the SLU YI.
We asked Karl about his experiences and thoughts so far:
Why do you think it is important to host such an institute?
- The students that participate will have an opportunity to dig in to an issue of their choice during an extended time and then get expert feedback on their suggested solutions. This will hopefully broaden the perspectives of the students and create a life long interest for sustainable management of natural resources. As hosts we will show the students a part of the research that is done at SLU and create an emotional bond between our university and the plausible future university students.
What do you look forward to most?
- To hear the student presentations and the discussions with the experts. It will also be fun to see how and to what degree we at the institute manage to engage researchers to interact with the highschool students.
A pilot event will be held 24 September 2020 whereby high school students present their solutions to world food security and sustainable challenges.
The big launch for the SLU YI participants will take place 7 October 2020 where high school classes will be introduced to the SLU YI and the World Food Prize Foundation during a two hour kick off. The Youth Institute will then continue with events and exercises together with high school students across Sweden throughout the fall and spring. In spring 2021, the high school students will finally present their Global Challenge reports in the SLU YI finals 22 April in Uppsala and 6 May in Alnarp.