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Peace Symposium, an uplifting experience


Albert Einstein said, “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” For ten Sancta Maria College students, this quote was put into action with a community of young people from around New Zealand coming together for the 2019 Secondary School, Peace Symposium.

The annual event was held at the Auckland University of Technology with this year’s theme being about how we can use technology to spread peace around the world.

Students got to immerse themselves in a variety of activities and talks throughout the day. Talks covered topics such as computer science, artificial intelligence, poverty and issues happening around the world as well as spreading peace through digital storytelling and making videos.

In groups, students participated in facilitated discussions of what peace means to them and worked together to answer questions about how technology can be used safely. An interesting discussion was one about robots and the future of the world. As technology becomes more advanced, robots may be used in the workplace, in schools and even in homes. Students talked about ethical decisions and just how reliable robots can be while addressing the question of if robots will actually promote peace or harm peace.

Some of the highlights of the day included the digital storytelling workshop where students interviewed each other and learnt the basics of filmmaking and editing on their phones, as well

as the different tours of the AUT Campus, where some students got to go behind the scenes of a news broadcast in AUT’s TV studio.

The Peace Symposium, which is a precursor to the Youth Peace Week in August, was an uplifting and eye-opening experience. Students got the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people to tackle some of the world’s biggest questions around peace and living in the digital age.

It challenged students to change the way they live and made them realize how much responsibility we have right now to spread peace and continue the legacy of those before us. Not just for a day at the Symposium, or seven days during Peace Week, but forever.

Shontelle Matano