By Nelson Graves

News-Decoder has expanded its international footprint and established a new teaching partnership as we build a community of young people around the world who are keen to tackle the most important global issues.

Five academic institutions in three countries have joined our pilot program. And we are partnering with Global Online Academy to offer a mini-course on the international challenges the next U.S. president will face.

The newest pilot institution is Novosibirsk State University (NSU) — our first partner in Russia.

“News-Decoder will encourage NSU students to think and write about their neighborhood, country and the world,” said Sarah Lindemann-Komarova, who teaches at NSU. “It will also give them an opportunity to enrich people’s understanding of Russia.”

Indeed we’re delighted to have Russians in our community because it’s essential that different perspectives should be brought to the News-Decoder table.

Challenging the conventional wisdom

Two NSU students have already written articles for News-Decoder, including Alexey Shabaldin, who in a post last May challenged the widely-held Western view that Vladimir Putin is a pure product of Russia’s historical penchant for autocratic leaders.

“Putin is a product. And the Western world underestimates its own important contribution to the making of this product,” Shabaldin wrote.News-Decoder

Joining NSU as new participants in our pilot program are King’s College London, Menlo School (U.S.), Princeton Day School (U.S.) and Princeton International School of Mathematics and Science (U.S.).

They now rub elbows in News-Decoder’s community with academic institutions offering programs in eight countries:

  • American College of Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • American University (U.S.)
  • Aristotle University (Greece)
  • Bournemouth University (UK)
  • Cornell College (U.S.)
  • Greens Farms Academy (U.S.)
  • Indiana University (U.S.)
  • ISF Academy (Hong Kong)
  • King’s Academy (Jordan)
  • School Year Abroad (China, France, Italy, Spain)
  • Westover School (U.S.)

Making better global citizens

This week, Global Online Academy launched a four-week mini-course entitled “The U.S. Elections in the World.” News-Decoder is providing four experts to speak on each of the course’s topics: defense and security, the international economy, human rights and democracy, and the environment.

Nearly 400 students from GOA’s international network of top secondary schools have registered for the course.News-Decoder

Today, News-Decoder correspondent Alex Nicoll, who in the past has worked for the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Financial Times, will address defense and security issues. Next week, News-Decoder correspondent Alan Wheatley will touch on the international economy.

In subsequent weeks, Carroll Bogert, president of The Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that focuses on the U.S. criminal justice system, will speak about democracy and human rights, followed by Tom Burke, founding director of the E3G environmental think tank and environmental policy adviser to Rio Tinto.

News-Decoder aims to help young people around the world become better global citizens by bringing them together with experts to discuss and debate the most important issues — respectfully and with tolerance.

News-Decoder has an open website and is active on social media. The universities and secondary schools in the pilot program are part of a private community that fosters mutual understanding and the exchange of ideas through online seminars.

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