Past Webinars

2022-23 School Webinars

Improving Healthcare Access: students from the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and The Hewitt School in the United States delve into the world of healthcare access in their respective countries, exploring subtopics such as period poverty, abortion rights and rural/urban inequalities.

Multimedia stories that were published from the webinar:

2021-22 School Webinars

Covid-19’s Impact on Small Businesses: students from the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and Miss Porter’s School in the United States examine how the pandemic has affected local businesses in those two countries.

Covid and Vaccines: In countries with vaccine mandates, how have authorities imposed their will, and how have citizens reacted? Students from La Jolla Country Day School in the United States and Realgymnasium Rämibühl Zürich in Switzerland examine the boundaries between an individual’s right to choose and a society’s responsibility to protect the health of its citizens.

Human Rights in the Americas: students at Chadwick School in the United States and Gimnasio Los Caobos in Colombia examine challenges to human rights in those two countries.

Are There Limits to Free Speech?: students from The Hewitt School in the United States and Transylvania College in Romania discuss complicated issues surrounding free speech in those two countries.

International Perspectives on Civil Liberties during Covid-19: Students from the School Year Abroad program share on-the-ground reporting  conducted in three European democracies – France, Italy and Spain. How does each country struggle to balance public health concerns with civil liberties during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Local Impacts on Climate Change: students from the European School Brussels II in Belgium and The Thacher School in the United States share their research and reporting on the local impact that climate change is already having in their communities. 

2020-21 School Webinars

Students from The European School, Brussels II in Brussels, Belgium, and La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego, California, discuss the intersection between climate change and human rights. The one-hour webinar focuses on climate education, water scarcity, how each of us can help reduce carbon emissions — and how individuals and national governments share the responsibility to save our planet.

Students from China, Jordan, South Korea and the United States discuss how their countries have responded to COVID-19 and to share their own stories and experiences from the pandemic. Featuring students from King’s Academy and Westover School, this webinar offers a comparative take on vaccination practices, government restrictions and public health policy responses across four countries in three continents.

Students from Africa and the United States share insights from their research and reporting on the ways COVID-19 is impacting the healthcare systems in their communities — and the people who rely on it. Listen to students from the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg and The Hewitt School in New York engage in an enriching and lively conversation.

Students from Avicenne Private Business School in Tunisia and Indiana University in the United States discuss the state of human rights worldwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Students from the two continents address different facets of the global fight for human rights. 

Teams from Gimnasio Los Caobos in Bogotá, Colombia, Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Connecticut, and Herlufsholm School in Næstved, Denmark, held a one-hour conversation focusing on innovators who are making our world more sustainable. Students from the three continents tackled some of the big questions in their global webinar on whether the future will be green.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted — and heightened — disparities among citizens around the world. Students from Friends Seminary, in New York, Miss Porter’s School, in Farmington, Connecticut, and Chadwick International, in Incheon, South Korea, joined up for a one-hour webinar to discuss the disparities that the coronavirus pandemic has aggravated.

In our first student-led global webinar of 2021, students from The Thacher School, in Ojai, California, and Transylvania College, in Cluj, Romania, discuss how nationalist politics have affected energy independence, Indigenous communities, the environment issues and tensions between citizens and the political class..

In our first webinar of 2021, more than 120 members of News Decoder’s global community tuned into the hour-long session as students from News Decoder’s academic partners participated in a discussion with White House experts Gene Gibbons and Mark Weinberg.

2019-20 School Webinars

Is social media a democratizing force? Can social media divide communities? In this webinar on the theme “Walls and Bridges,” students at King’s Academy in Jordan and Miss Porter’s School in the United States tackle tough questions on the influence of social media in society.

In our first webinar of 2020, students at African Leadership Academy in South Africa and Friends Seminary in the United States discussed the role of individuals and society in eliminating sexual harassment and fighting climate change.

Students at Chadwick International School in South Korea and Indiana University in the United States discussed research and reporting that they conducted into their theme “Environment”, looking at environmental issues affecting their communities.

In News-Decoder’s second webinar of 2019-20, students at Greens Farms Academy and School Year Abroad Italy examined the theme “Crime & Punishment.”

Students from La Jolla Country Day School, looked at Guantánamo Bay detention camp, a U.S. military prison established by President George Bush in 2002. Addressing the webinar was Lakhdar Boumediene, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina who was held at the camp.

Pop-up Webinars

News Decoder occasionally hosts pop-up webinars to give students a chance to discuss topical issues in a private online forum. Check out our previous pop-up webinars below. If you have an idea for a pop-up webinar, send us an email at

Expert Webinars

News Decoder’s network of experts love to share their knowledge and time with young people. Check out previous webinars featuring our experts below.

David Schlesinger was Reuters Global Editor-in-Chief and is the Founder of Tripod Advisors
Gene Gibbons covered U.S. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton during a 40-year career with Reuters and UPI
Gene Gibbons covered U.S. Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton during a 40-year career with Reuters and UPI

All Past Webinars

Below is a comprehensive list of all of our previous webinars. If you’re resesarching a topic that has been covered in one of these webinars, take the time to hear what other students had to say. You’ll come away inspired!


Spotlight on Africa
Students at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and Westover School in the United States, joined by Nolwazi Mjwara of UNESCO, discuss women’s rights and politics in Africa, and the continent’s relations with the foreign powers including China and the United States.

China and the West

South China Sea: Where a Rising China Meets the Rest of the World
Students at School Year Abroad China in Beijing and at Chadwick International School in Incheon, South Korea, joined by guest expert David Schlesinger, discuss the strategic importance of the South China Sea and competing claims for its control.

A Rising China
Students at Greens Farms Academy in the United States and School Year Abroad China discuss China’s history, development and foreign policy in a News-Decoder webinar that was sponsored by a generous anonymous donor in honor of Fuqing Chen.

Friends, Foes, Frenemies or Friends with benefits?
Students at Chadwick International School and at ISF Academy, joined by David Schlesinger, examine China’s dominance on the global stage and consider its economic, financial, industrial and diplomatic power.

Jane Macartney on China
One of Jane Macartney’s ancestors was the first British envoy to China. She has split her life between Asia and the West, and worked as a foreign correspondent in China. Here she discusses the rise of China, its relations with North Korea and Japan and the West’s attitudes towards Beijing.

Climate Change

Climate Change: What’s happening on the ground?
Students at Friends Seminary School in New York, King’s Academy in Jordan and Thacher School in California discuss local initiatives to combat climate change.

Climate Change: What’s going on?
Students intested in climate change posted questions on our discussion board and Indiana University students, News-Decoder correspondent Susan Landau and a student intern at the Ouest France newspaper address youth’s climate concerns in this News-Decoder webinar.

Defense and Security

Alexander Nicoll on Defense & Security
Alexander Nicoll, writer on defense and European issues and former staff at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, discusses the defense and security with students at Greenhill School in Texas.


The Future of Democracy
Students at Indiana University and Greens Farms Academy in the United States discuss the state of democracy around the world, summarizing their research into gerrymandering, voter turnout, the role of the Supreme Court in the United States, animal cruelty laws, power politics at the World Trade Organization, social media and civic discourse and the rise of populist parties in Europe.

European Union

Whither the EU?
Will the European Union thrive or shrivel by 2030? That is a question that students at European campuses will tackle in this webinar.

Catalonia & Corsica: Separatist movements and their impact on Nation-states, Europe and the World
School Year Abroad students in France and Spain discuss separatist movements that even today threaten the integrity of those two major European countries and the cohesion of the European Union.

Fake News

The Truth About Fake News, with Peter Bale
Peter Bale is a media industry leader and has served as Chief Executive of the investigative news non-profit, the Center for Public Integrity. Bale answers students’ questions on fake news.

The Truth About Fake News, with Elaine Monaghan
Elaine Monaghan, News-Decoder correspondent and professor at Indiana University, discusses the truth about fake news.

Fake News: How can we create the web we want?
Experts and students come together to discuss fake news and the ways in which youth can create the web that they want.

Human Rights

Criminal Justice: Where are we headed?
Students at La Jolla Country Day School, Miss Porter’s School and St. Luke’s School in the United States discuss different aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system in this News-Decoder webinar.

The Catalyst Conference – Sean Maguire
Sean Maguire, Director of Global Influence and Partnerships at Plan International, discusses his work to promote children’s rights around the world and his previous work as a foreign correspondent. Students from Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, South Carolina, who are participating in the Global Online Academy’s Catalyst Conference, ask Mr. Maguire about his work in developing countries and how individuals can make a difference.

The Catalyst Conference – Rob Mahoney
In this discussion with Rob Mahoney, Deputy Executive Director of the Committe to Protect Journalists, students ask what great advocacy looks like.

Steve Crawshaw: How much can we really change the world?
Human rights expert Steve Crawshaw discusses the role of civil disobedience in bringing about lasting change in the world during a webinar with students and faculty from various institutions.

Women’s Rights: A Global Reckoning
Students at Miss Porter’s School and Westover School in the U.S. state of Connecticut discuss the state of women’s rights in five countries and regions around the world, and offer a tour d’horizon of the #MeToo movement.

Human Trafficking
Students from St. Luke’s School and the Princeton Day School in the United States join Kieran Guilbert of the Thomson Reuters Foundation to discuss human trafficking — what forms it can take, the scope of the problem and what we can do about it.

Carroll Bogert on Human Rights
Guest expert Carroll Bogert, President of The Marshall Project, and students at Columbus Academy discuss the landscape that the next U.S. president will face in the areas of human rights and democracy.

International Economy

Students from Herlufsholm and Middlesex discuss globalization
Students at Herlufsholm School in Denmark and Middlesex School in the United States discuss globalization, and particularly China’s role in the international economy, in this News-Decoder webinar.

Alan Wheatley on the International Economy 
News-Decoder correspondent discusses the international economy with students at the American Foundation School of Monterrey in Mexico.

Middle East and Islam

The State of the Arab World
Scholar and author Rami Khouri discusses the roots of the Arab Spring and the outlook for the Middle East.

Covering Islam Today: An Introduction with Lina Sergie Attar and Abeer Seikaly
“Covering Islam Today: An Introduction” is a News-Decoder webinar, led by Dr. Jonathan Lyons, designed to introduce participants to the biggest challenge facing journalists and other media professionals since the end of the Cold War — understanding, analyzing and writing on Islam and the Muslim world.

News-Decoder round table on Syria
Three News-Decoder correspondents discuss “Syria’s Civil War: Causes and Consequences” in this round table for students, faculty and administrators.


The Ethics and Politics of the Migration Crisis – American and Jordanian Perspectives
Students at Friends Seminary School and an expert from the United Nations Population Fund in New York City and students at King’s Academy in Jordan look at the migration crisis and the impact it has on various aspects of society — the economy, culture, security and politics. 

Immigration and the Challenge of Identity
Students at Indiana University and King’s College London discuss immigration, integration and identity following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. Each of the four panelists reflects on their experiences living in a country where they or their parents were not born.

Panel discussion on refugees
A News-Decoder panel discussion on Europe’s refugee crisis with Søren Jessen-Petersen, a professor and former senior UNHCR official, and Adrian Edwards, UNHCR spokesman.

The Refugee Crisis
Four high schools students — from Jordan, Greece, France and the United States — discuss the effects of the Syrian refugee crisis on their regions as part of a world affairs symposium hosted by Greens Farms Academy in the United States.

Panama Papers

Panama Papers
This News-Decoder webinar on the Panama Papers features Peter Bale, whose investigative unit oversaw the Panama Papers coverage, and Nicholas Nehamas, who led the Miami Herald‘s team that reported on the leaked documents.

Populism and Nationalism

Nationalism in Europe: Is It a Threat?
Students at School Year Abroad’s campuses in France, Italy and Spain discuss nationalism in those countries and its impact on contemporary politics and culture.

The Challenges of Integration in Populist Times
Students at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Connecticut present three papers on different aspects of integration and are critiqued by students at the American Foundation School of Monterrey in Mexico and King’s Academy in Jordan.

Rising Populism in the United States and Europe
University students in News-Decoder’s network discuss the rise of populist political movements in the United States and Europe. Students from American University in Washington D.C., King’s College London and the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece explain the reasons for the resurgence of populism, which has seen candidates and parties which in the past were on the political fringes take center stage.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israeli-Palestinian Relations
Students at King’s College London and at Greens Farms Academy, together with News-Decoder correspondent Harvey Morris,  discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a webinar in honor of the late Alfred Friendly.

Past Webinars
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