THE NEXT GENERATION OF   CITIZEN DIPLOMATS 

In 2018 Track Two launched the Whom Do We Trust initiative/conference series born from a growing sense of responsibility to and inspiration from the young people encountered through our work. The series answers an increasingly urgent call to incorporate the next generation of citizen diplomats into the existing Track Two networks.

 

At Whom Do We Trust, Russian and American students from 33 colleges, universities, and graduate programs across Russia and the United States came together for a multiday intensive workshop that fosters connection between and amongst student peers, invited subject matter experts, and the many accomplished participants in our networks.

ALISA TOPCHIY

St. Petersburg State University

During the three days of the conference I’ve watched Russian and American students communicating with each other with pleasure. I saw trust in their eyes. I saw the genuine interest of the Americans in our country. And I did not see a single drop of hostility.

Action can be personal, social, societal, civilizational. The Russians and Americans gathered in St. Petersburg for the Whom Do We Trust 2019 conference experienced each and, it seems to me, in the end, all of it together. We are after all humans, and the world we inhabit is undeniably of our own making.

ANNA SHABANOVA

St. Petersburg State University

I met wonderful people from both Russia and America, I spoke on stage in front of those people and, as much as I was afraid of it, I loved it, and, most importantly, I got to play a part – however small it may be – in building the future of our countries.

EVELYN MESSINGER

Track Two Advisor & CitizensChannel

Student feedback has shown that the success of this series lies in the interdisciplinary/multisensory, holistic approach taken. The workshops featured:

  • Panels wherein experts and students discussed some of the most pressing issues facing the younger generation and our shared global future

  • Small group breakaway projects that encouraged a solution-oriented approach

  • Cultural enrichment through live performance

  • Relationship-building during visits to local areas of historical and cultural importance

  • Follow-up projects with students supported by the Track Two team and network participants

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