In 2005, two Northwestern undergraduates, Nathaniel Whittemore and Jonathan Marino, wanted to provide a collaborative space for student changemakers and develop a stronger global connection for Northwestern students.  

The first Summit, called the International Youth Volunteerism Conference, “provided students with the knowledge and tools necessary to create effective and lasting changes.” This first conference hosted 75 delegates from 20 different countries.

Since then, the International Youth Volunteerism Conference has evolved into the Global Engagement Summit.  In the 13 Summits held, over 500 delegates from 45 countries around the world have attended.  GES has expanded to a staff of 60 Northwestern undergraduate students who spend the year planning the summit, managing everything from recruiting delegates to marketing the conference to building the curriculum and inviting the facilitators

When we’re not working towards our summit in the spring, we bring globally-minded programming to campus, engaging Northwestern students in nuanced conversations.