In early August, Rhodes House hosted 100 exceptional young changemakers for the second week of the 2023 Rise Residential Summit.
Rise - an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust - finds promising young people and provides opportunity for life as they work to serve others. Each year, Rise invites 15-17 year olds from around the world to showcase their potential through an untraditional application process of videos, projects, and group interviews.
The Rise Residential Summit is a fully-funded residential summit for Rise Global Winners (RGWs) as a complete cohort that takes place in a rotating location globally. This year, the 15-day summit was held in London (24 - 31 July) and in Oxford (1 - 8 August).
Rhodes House’s new conference centre and garden spaces coupled with its prime location in central Oxford provided an ideal hub for a stimulating itinerary that left participants inspired and energised.
EXPLORING NEW DISIPLINES
Activities, workshops and lectures encompassed Schmidt Futures’ 6 strategic areas - AI, Astrophysics, Education, Engineering Biology, Entrepreneurship, and Climate & Sustainability - as well as Arts & Activism. At Rhodes House, RGWs heard from industry experts including trailblazing astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Emmy-nominated filmmaker Matt Maude and many more!
SPACES TO SHINE
RGWs were given space to showcase their knowledge, talent and brilliance through many activities. Lighting talks held at Rhodes House allowed RGWs five minutes to talk about a topic of their choosing spanning from innovative methods to solve homelessness, to solving a physics equation without knowing physics, to the importance of LGBTQI+ existence. The Open Mic night allowed RGW to celebrate their talents through singing, dancing, poetry, skits, and more.
“It’s inspiring to see how we are all willing to make a difference, yet this difference looks different for all of us. The RRS [Rise Residential Summit] was a “WOW” moment for me.” – 2022 Rise Global Winner
Learning about new disciplines and ideas, alongside interactions with peers from around the world broadened the perspectives of RGWs regarding their futures. Many conversations sparked realisations and prompted thoughts on changing direction.
STRENGTH IN COMMUNITY
The power of community resonated from the opening ceremony and maintained a strong presence throughout the rest of the program. Over the 15 days, the community of this cohort of RGWs began to take shape with the forging of new friendships and collaborations. Participants came to understand that no matter where they are, they are integral to a larger community.
“The best part of the Rise Residential Summit was the privilege of befriending and belonging with this eclectic, insightful, well-spoken, talented, compassionate, and strangely relatable group of people.” – 2022 Rise Global Winner
POWER OF NETWORK
The palpable impact of the Schmidt Futures & Rhodes Trust network was evident as participants from around the world convened to contribute to and support the RGWs. Across the Summit, more than eighty expert guests generously shared their wisdom including Rhodes Scholars Summia Tora and Shantel Marekera as well as former Rhodes Trust warden Charles Conn. Additionally, professionals engaged in networking mixers held in both London and at Rhodes House, offering a platform for these young individuals to connect and learn from established individuals.
As the Rise Global Winners return home the knowledge gained, community established, and inspiration ignited will stay with them. We eagerly await the stories of impact, innovation, and empowerment that will undoubtedly emerge from this extraordinary group of young minds.
Learn more about Rise here.
All photos taken by Stu Millage