The CIGI Global Youth Forum is a combination of trans-media storytelling, classroom simulation, an art exhibit, and historical film analysis for groups of high school students. For more information, please email [email protected]  

Presented by CIGI and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, high school students are invited for a free, one day Global Youth Forum on global peace and security issues.


2014 Theme: Canada, Remembrance and The First World War 

Canada and the world will begin to observe the 100th anniversary of the First World War this year, also known as The Great War, 1914-1919. Tens of thousands Canadians died in that tragedy, far more than in any other conflict. 

Geoff Hayes, of the UW History Department, who regularly leads student tours of Vimy Ridge and other Canada-relevant WWI sites, will start off the day with “Canada, World War I and Remembrance”.

The morning continues with a multimedia presentation that takes students back “Into the Time Machine –1914” for a historical perspective on World War I. This session is presented by preeminent historians from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, James Blight and janet Lang. They will explore the question “What Caused World War I” and the colossal lack of empathy among the central players- Britain, Germany, Russia and France.

Following lunch, the “Time Machine” will move ahead to 2014. Students actively participate in smaller groups for a simulation role play on a fictitious but plausible security threat. Information, Misinformation & Decision-Making: Choose Your Own Adventure. In this simulation you’ll play the role of a decision maker tasked with deciding how to deal with a possible threat to your country’s security. The catch: you know you don’t have all the information you need to make a good decision, and you won’t be able to get it in time. What will you do? How will your decision affect you, your country’s security, and the fabric of your society?

Teachers are invited to participate concurrently in a breakout session on “Simulation of War Threatening Scenarios” led by Professor Veronica Kitchen of the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

“Adopt-a-Soldier”: Optional Pre-GYF Project for students!

CIG has partnered with the Kitchener Public Library (KPL) to incorporate their “Adopt-A-Soldier” program into our Global Youth Forum activities. Student researched bios on local WWI Soldier’s will be on display at the Global Youth Forum. This is an optional pre-GYF in-classroom, virtual project that will get the students involved in WWI before they arrive at the GYF that will help “put a face” on the soldiers and what they endured. Two selected bios will be featured on stage at the GYF. Please indicate your interest in this program when you register, and you will be contacted directly by a librarian from KPL!