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Fall Session:
What Makes a Utopia?

At a time when the world seems dystopian, this session will reorient our focus towards what makes a utopia. In the process, we will delve into history, ethics, and sociology to discover what human flourishing looks like and how best to promote it.Our Fall programming will utilize several important learning methodologies:


Seminars are held on a weekly basis and investigate issues relevant to our topics. These seminars will require readings in advance, and will include videos, interactive activities, and guest speakers. 


Workshops teaching research, rhetorical, and presentation skills will be facilitated by Rising Leaders instructors with experience in public speaking and conducting formal research throughout the sessions. 


Discussions led by participants will also occur weekly. These sessions will allow members of our community to reflect upon social challenges, brainstorm solutions, and engage directly with peers. They will also be a time for discussion leaders to exercise the skills they have acquired during workshops. 


Interactive Exercises give participants another opportunity to apply the leadership, problem-solving, and analytical skills they have learned in a fun, collaborative manner. In the past, participants have developed their confidence and persuasive techniques during structured debates. They have relied on diplomacy and alliances while role-playing as countries or individuals to accomplish a set agenda in simulations of governing bodies. They have also learned about the dedication and enthusiasm necessary to motivate strangers to support social causes while creating informative presentations. 


Guest Speakers share real-world experiences that relate to our discussion areas. Specifically, we will host discussions with NGOs, activists, and researchers leading the efforts to solve pressing issues locally and globally.


Community Engagement is an important component of this program. We will push beyond identifying problems facing our society and commit to also contributing to solutions. 


After the program, participants will have:

  • The ability to comprehend philosophical reasoning and scientific research and apply both to real-world scenarios.

  • Rhetoric and research skills that allow them to craft compelling arguments and present them convincingly

  • Greater confidence in their ability to evaluate issues, present solutions, and lead discussions. 

  • Connections with guest speakers who are experts in the issues discussed throughout the program.

  • A meaningful community of thoughtful and inquisitive students that can offer support and mentorship during a time of social-distancing 

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