Past Event

Calling All Young Leaders: SPEAK UP for Those Who Can't!

June 15, 2020 - June 30, 2020
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Columbia Global Centers | Beijing is calling for young people around the world to tap into critical thinking skills and youth leadership, to explore the path of supporting sustainability and the many living creatures who cannot speak for themselves and who need us to do so for them. SPEAK UP so others will listen! 



"Between the Mountain and the Sea, The Interconnection of Everything"

Focusing on the role of youth in protecting biodiversity and promoting the sustainable development of human society



Youth Leadership, Biodiversity, Sustainable Development


Who can apply?

Youth aged 18 to 26 with excellent English language skills who are interested in biodiversity issues, sustainable development, and youth leadership.


What will you acquire?

  • A worldwide stage to show your visions: The Speak Up experience provides a global stage to share your sharp insights for a future, take an active role in contributing to our planet, and explore your leadership potential.
  • A platform to spread your influence: Columbia Global Centers’ network in China will feature the best videos/essays to empower the local communities.
  • An opportunity to get guidance and recommendation from top intelligence: You will get exclusive opportunities to interact with world-class academics, industry leaders, and influencers to help you think about your aim and realize your future.


The world is undergoing unprecedented challenges. Recent global crises have made it more clear how interconnected we all are to one another. This is true not only across borders but also across species. All the world's creatures, large and small, are interdependent, and play an important role in our environment, helping to keep it healthy and balanced.

In response, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing jointly launches the "Speak Up" Initiative, a part of the 12th International Youth Summit on Energy and Climate Change (IYSECC-XII), with China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN) co-founded by Columbia SIPA alumni. We hope this project as one way for young people to share their voices and help them make a powerful difference to a greener living.


  • English resume (PDF format)
  • An English speech video OR a 200-300 words English essay


  • The theme of the 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Solutions are in Nature”, and the theme of 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference is "Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth." What do you think are the similarities and differences between the two themes?

Video Requirements:

  • Record you video in horizontal mode (resolution 1920*1080, aspect ratio 16:9);
  • Your personal image should be in the middle of the screen;
  • Video length: 3-5 minutes

*Please note that your video might be used for publicity. The IYSECC-XII committee will ask for your permission beforehand. Please make sure the video background is clear and tidy, and do not spend too much time in editing.

How to apply

  • Please send your English resume + English speech video OR English short essay to [email protected] with the subject line: Name + University/Organization + "Speak Up" Project

June 30, 24:00 Beijing Time

  • Application deadline


July 1

  • Send out offer letters to 30 delegates;
  • Open applications for five chief delegates. The chief delegates are responsible for leading other 25 delegates to prepare for a final presentation. In order to apply for this position, applicants must send their campaign videos, less than three minutes, to the designated mailbox within one week.


July 4

  • Ice breaking & Online training


July 6

  • Online lecture and discussion


July 8

  • Online lecture and discussion


July 9

  • All delegates select five chief delegates based on their campaign videos


July 11

  • Deadline for essay writing


July 21

  • “Speak Up” Cloud Summit