"Inspire Change"——Celebration of UWC Day
"Inspire Change"——Celebration of UWC Day

The 21st of September is the annual UWC day. This year, 17 UWCs in the world together celebrated this special day with the theme “Inspire Change”. Here in UWC Changshu China, all students and faculties, together with guests from the local community, attended the Formal Opening of the School this year, enjoyed the performances celebrating our annual theme of “Integration” and UWC Day theme “Inspire Change”, and participated in various workshops and presentations in the afternoon.




The grand opening ceremony is composed of two parts: speeches and performances. The Principal, Mr. Pelham Lindfield Roberts, asked us three thought provoking questions in his speech: “What kind of change are we talking about? How can you make the change you want to make? How do you know you are right about what you want to change?” He said:" In being able to inspire change you need to be able to change yourself."

  • 佩勒姆校长致辞


Three students, Sophia from China, Marian from Guatemala, and Bastian from Germany shared their own experiences and their understanding about “Integration” and “Change”.

  • Sophia from China
  • Marian from Guatemala
  • Shirla from Hong Kong, China
  • Bastian from Germany
  • Emma from Canada


Biology teacher from Canada, Emma, gave us a speech on the current situation of sustainability development in the world and the initiatives taken by individuals at our School and encouraged us to be game changers; Shirla, from Hong Kong, an alum of UWC Pearson College and the Director of Yushan Academy (Design and Innovation Centre) shared her own UWC story and her interpretations of UWC spirits and values.  She emphasized that "UWC students are all the reason for us to have the Design and Innovation Centre. The Centre has been inspired by the students and created for all."  

  • Mark Wang, Founder and Chair of the Board of UWC Changshu China


Mark Wang, an alum of UWC Red Cross Nordic and founder of UWC Changshu China, said in his speech that "no one of us can change the world on our own. And we certainly don’t want big gestures for the sake of it. But we can all make a difference – even the smallest changes are important, and it is through such small steps that UWC can make a collective impact." 


The performance part itself is also an embodiment of the integration of Chinese traditional culture and other diverse cultures in the world. The combination of lion dance, Chinese orchestra and Chinese dance that contained profound culture deposits with hip-hop dance and mixed band which derived from all parts of the world as well as the string quartet of Chinese music "Xin Chun Le (Happy New Year)" fully demonstrated UWC’s diversity.


In the afternoon, workshops were launched in every corner of the campus. Many students, teachers and guests walked into the newly opened Yushan Academy to join a variety of activities. Grace Yu, professor from Fudan University, brought us a presentation about “Social Innovation in China”. She introduced many cases of how social entrepreneurs are actively working on a variety of social problems globally and solving them innovatively, which enlightened many listeners. Mo Ping, the designer and architect of  the campus of UWC Changshu China, also returned to the campus and shared his design idea with us. 

  • Up left:Prof. Yu of Fudan Univ. giving a presentation Up right: "The game of life" workshop Below: Chinese culture workshop


The crystallization of Chinese culture—traditional paper umbrella, lantern painting, and paper cutting, and the representation of latest technology—robotics and 3D painting, all attracted many audiences at Yushan Academy. At the same time, presentations and seminars on the theme of “Inspire Change” and the UWC value sustainability were also carried out, enabling every UWCer to experience the UWC spirit from different workshops.


UWC day is a grand event. When over 500 UWCers are dressed in their national costumes, this is the clashes of cultures. But when you find that although they come from over 100 countries and regions, they share a lot in common, this is the integration of cultures—and one of the things they share is the determination to become a change maker. No matter be the impressive stories on the opening ceremony or the foremost models of social innovation we learnt from the workshop, they all remind us again and again that UWCers are to be the change. We are the game changers. Just like what Sophia said at the end of her speech: We must learn that with our strength we can make every “what if” a “can”. We must learn that we are here for a reason - for something for us to do, for us to change, for one world, one message, one goal. 


Author: Selina Xia, DP1, Media Group

Photo: Some contributed by students