The annual Dulwich student leadership conference

annual student leadership conference 2018 in Shanghai

How do I build a community where everyone thrives?

The Head Girls and Boys from all Dulwich College International schools and the School Captains from our founding school Dulwich College were invited to Shanghai for the second annual Student Leadership Conference in January.

The Student Leadership Conference was first created by a Dulwich College International alumnus who, after several years of working experience, developed a programme that equipped students with practical working life and leadership skills that he had learned on the job. Our Head Boy and Head Girl, Dennis and Emili, were the two representatives from Dulwich College Suzhou. Please read along as Emili shares her insights and experience on the three-day Student Leadership Conference in Shanghai.


By Emili L.

Dennis and I, as Head Boy and Head Girl, were very lucky to recently have had the opportunity to attend the Second Annual International Student Leadership Conference 2018 in Shanghai, meeting with all the other Head Boys and Head Girls from Dulwich College Beijing, London, Seoul, Shanghai, as well as from Dulwich High school Suzhou and Zhuhai. Before we attended the conference, we were asked to prepare a presentation, which would be presented on our last day of the conference, answering the question: “How do I build a community where everyone thrives?”. 

Our first remarkable guest speaker was Peter Rogers. He is a corporate trainer, a motivational speaker, a leadership coach, and a body language expert. He taught us a significant amount about external presentation skills. Not only was he engaging and funny, he also made our experience very meaningful by helping us all individually to build on our difficulties when presenting in front of an audience. He also conveyed useful tips that I’ll definitely consider using in the future. For example, if more than one person is presenting a presentation, it is best to stand in height order from left to right as the human eyes find it more comfortable to view and likewise it’s the way we read books – shocking right? 

We were also introduced to other incredible guest speakers like Clas Neumann, the Senior Vice President and Head of Global SAP Labs Network, who gave us an exciting insight to leadership in action. Other impressive guest speakers were Olivia Bugden, Cynthia Maclean, Lavinia Tong and Edgar Zillmann. They were all so great at teaching us valuable skills such as project management, and internal team communications. In addition, we were very lucky to have had a workshop led by the very prominent John Todd and Kate Beith, the Director and Deputy Director of Dulwich schools. They also helped in providing us with advice and core improvements to our Thrive Project.

Overall, I was very pleased with the experience and absolutely very thankful for the opportunity. Through this conference, I have developed my personal skills as a young and growing leader, made lots of new friends and learned a lot from my Dulwich peers. Dennis and I are in full actions of bringing these ideas from our Thrive Project into our community to help enrich our respective community.