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YMF Humanities Conference 2016

‘Conflict and Consequence’

This year’s YMF Humanities Conference tackled pressing political and humanitarian issues in the context of global conflict and interconnectedness. Over 80 students from across South East Queensland engaged in a unique collaborative environment that emphasised the need for our young minds to not only engage with some of the world’s most important issues in the classroom, but to become agents of change, reshaping our world as global citizens in a global community.

Topics of Presentation

Nuclear Security and Disarmament: The Final Weapon

There are over 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and each has the capacity to kill thousands of people. For decades, nuclear weapons have been seen as the ultimate deterrent – why go to war with a country that has such destructive power? Luke Metherell unpacked the nuclear proliferation debate, and explored whether nuclear security is even possible in our contemporary world.

Great Power Politics: A Leviathan of Our Time

Many of us are familiar with the intrigue and drama of the Great Houses in Game of Thrones, but far less with the great powers in our own world, and the strategic manoeuvres quietly happening in the background. Ellyse Anderson examined how the US, Russia, and China are talking and behaving towards each other, and how they’re shaping the globe for decades to come.

Fighting for the Apocalypse from Tel Aviv to The West Bank

Few conflicts have become as complex and polarising as the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. With the multitude of groups, aims, and global stakeholders, the region represents many challenges facing the world and its future. Dr Tristan Dunning uncovered exactly what is at stake, the different perspectives on the conflict, and the impact of potential solutions on our world.

Consequences of the Caliphate: The Legacy of the Islamic State

The Islamic State has swept across the Middle East with devastating and widespread consequences. Tactical excellence, pervasive propaganda and economic strength are all key factors to its success, and the major challenges facing the global response. James Morris discussed exactly what the Islamic State is, ways of challenging it, and the consequences for the future.

Collaborative Circles

During Collaborative Circles, students engaged with each of the four presenters as they begin to unravel each topic in collaborative, 40 minute workshops. In each workshop, students identified key issues and challenges related to the topic and began to generate pathways for positive change within local and global communities from a youth perspective, challenging them to bring their unique ideas to the centre of discussion.

Ultimately, this process fostered students’ leadership capabilities, by developing critical thinking and community engagement skills, to address some of the humanitarian and political challenges that will shape our future.

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