Swedish Climate Change Activist Tells Davos “Our House is on Fire”

Here Youth Time Magazine publishes three of the most interesting and informative youth related news items of the past week. Our weekly news roundup is published every Monday and Friday and contains […]

Here Youth Time Magazine publishes three of the most interesting and informative youth related news items of the past week. Our weekly news roundup is published every Monday and Friday and contains just some of the most important developments in the world of global youth. Follow, like and submit comments on Facebook and other Youth Time media.

Climate change activist at Davos

Inspired by young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, tens of thousands of teenagers and children have been marching through European capitals demanding urgent action on climate change.

The 16-year-old, who has been protesting outside the Swedish parliament for months, made global headlines last week with a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. She told the audience of wealthy politicians that it was the rich that caused the most emissions worldwide.

Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they’ve been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money,” she told the WEF, “and I think many of you today belong to that group of people.”

“Adults keep saying: “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.” But I don’t want your hope,” she continued, “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”

Her words have been taken to heart by young green activists across Europe. An estimated 35,000 young people marched across Brussels last Thursday, while thousands of schoolchildren refused to attend classes in Switzerland in protest against government inaction on global warming. Protests also took place in Germany, where 12,000 young people aged under 27 are members of the WWF.

Eastern promise for MBA students

Eastern Europe is an emerging new hub for business management.

When it was established in 1993, the Central and East European Management Development Association (Ceeman) had 13 business schools in its membership.

It now has 99 business schools in countries east of the former Iron Curtain and they are growing in quality as well as quantity – with six now included in the Financial Times’ European Business School rankings for 2018.

Danica Purg, the president of Ceeman and dean of the IEDC Bled School of Managament in Slovakia, told the Financial Times that teaching quality has made a major difference to the region’s academic reputation.

In the beginning we borrowed visiting professors from abroad. Now we’re developing our own,” she said. “We are much more interconnected with schools abroad but while we were once copying the west, now we are sharing knowledge with it.”

Ceeman schools also benefit from the involvement of global corporations in their business management training schemes. Both Amazon and JP Morgan have established development centres in the east and an estimated 60% of full-time MBA students have their degrees funded by their future employers.

One concern, however, is that while eastern schools may be thriving, the pool of talent from eastern European countries is declining. Populations are falling and the majority of MBA students from eastern Europe still prefer to study in the UK or US where the average starting salary is around $85,000, compared to $57,000 in eastern Europe and central Asia.

Chinese language scandal at US University

An American professor has been fired from her position as director of a graduate programme after an email she wrote to students urging them to speak English on campus went viral.

Megan Neely of Duke University in North Carolina sent the email to biostatistics students. She said that other faculty members had expressed annoyance at certain students loudly speaking Chinese to one another.

She decided to warn international students to speak English or risk alienating the staff members, who wanted the names of the Chinese students and said they would not want to work with them.

“To international students,” she wrote, “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep these unintended consequences in mind when you choose to speak in Chinese in the building.”

“I encourage you to commit to using English 100% of the time when you are in Hock [the faculty building] or any other professional setting”.

The email subsequently went viral on Chinese social media and on Twitter. On Weibo the story has been framed under the hashtag “Duke University bans speaking Chinese”.

A petition was then launched by a group of students which said that they were “gravely concerned” that “students of diverse national origin would be punished in academic and employment opportunities for speaking in their native language outside of classroom settings.”

Author: Matthew Elliott
Photo: Shutterstock

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