"We are not just citizens of our own countries; we are citizens of the world." - Kurt Hahn, Founder of Round Square
Day 1: Embracing the Theme of Dream, Believe & Achieve
A group of six delegates from SAI International embarked on an exciting journey to Varanasi for the Round Square Conference 2023, hosted by Sunbeam School, Lahartara from August 17-21, 2023. With over 250 schools in attendance, this conference was set to embody the theme of the year: Dream, Believe & Achieve. The warm welcome from the teachers at Sunbeam School's Lahartara campus introduced our SAIoneers to exceptional faculty and their fellow participants. Following this, a satisfying meal awaited them in the dining area. Grateful for the warm hospitality, they concluded their day by checking into their hotel rooms, reflecting on the exhilarating and enjoyable experiences to come. Such conferences hold great significance in fostering ideals of leadership, global understanding, and collaboration among students.
Day 2: A Day Packed with Inspiration and Learning
Day 2 of the Round Square Conference 2023 kicked off with a grand welcome ceremony featuring theatrical performances emphasizing leadership attributes within children. The junior segment ingeniously conveyed essential 'Round Square Discoveries' as mascots. The Round Square Schools Support Director of South Asia and Gulf Region, Ms. Rajbir Sandhu, officially declared the conference open. A workshop on "Leadership Through the Reflective Prism" conducted by Mr. Pratish Nair, the Managing Director & Co-Founder of the Prahlad Kakkar School of Branding & Entrepreneurship, followed. Afternoon sessions included discussions on music's connection to leadership by Mr. Vinay Mahajan and SIG sessions focusing on filmmaking, art, and theatre, enhancing creative skills. The day ended with ecological leadership contemplation and a captivating play.
Day 3: Exploring the Rich Heritage of Varanasi
On Day 3, the SAI International students embarked on a journey to the sacred city of Sarnath, linked to Buddha. They marvelled at its ancient structures and historical significance while gaining insights from the tour guide about its role in Buddha's teachings. A visit to the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies included a discussion with activist Tenzin Tsundue. Keynotes concluded, leading to library visits. Back at Sunbeam School, Barazas and a lecture on city exploration took place. SIG sessions continued to spark interest in film, art, and theatre, with Dibyendu Tarafder's enthralling Kathakali performance on "Leadership through Role Play Rubrics" capping the day.
Day 4: Leadership Insights and Artistic Expression
SAIoneers continued their dynamic engagement on Day 4 with a seminar by Dr. Kannan Gireesh on "Leadership Science Behind Inspiring Minds." Refreshing insights into leadership's impact on youth were shared. Following a Baraza session, Dr. Gireesh discussed the “Seven Habits of Highly Successful Teens”. The afternoon sessions comprised engaging Special Interest Group Contemplations, allowing participants to explore diverse pursuits such as "Film Your Emotions" (Film Making), "Map Your Image" (Art), and "Theatre Role Play," fostering ingenuity and self-expression. "Varanasi Haat" showcased local culture, and inclusive leadership took center stage with Ishara Puppet Theatre's "Image of Truth." A vibrant Social Night capped the day, fostering networking and camaraderie, leaving participants enriched by leadership wisdom and artistic expression.
Day 5: Culmination of Learning and Friendship
The day began with promises galore as the delegates headed to the RCS event at Sunbeam School, Lahartara. A highlight of the day was the Artistic Function Ideation, showcasing captivating presentations by various schools. SAI International School paid homage to Lord Jagannath through a fitting tribute and rendition of 'Bande Utkal Janani', an anthem extolling Utkala's heritage and its people. Following a brief interlude for refreshments, the proceedings transitioned to the culminating event, the final baraza, where the conference statement was unveiled. The conference's fruitful deliberations drew to a close, marking the conclusion of the eventful day. With minds enriched by the diverse activities and insightful presentations, participants bid adieu, carrying forth the imprints of knowledge, cultural appreciation, and the realization of their true potential as leaders. The day served as a reminder of the power of collaboration, freedom of artistic expression, and the creation of meaningful bonds, leaving a lasting impact on all those who were part of this enriching extravaganza at Sunbeam School, Lahartara. As they journeyed homeward aboard a flight bound for Bhubaneswar, their contented smiles were unmistakable indicators of the satisfaction they felt.
In the heart of Varanasi, the Round Square Conference 2023 had not only deepened the delegates' understanding of leadership but also forged lasting connections and memories to cherish. It was a transformative experience that reinforced the belief that dreams can be realized, and achievements are within reach through the power of leadership, collaboration, and unwavering determination.