From Our Global Grant Scholar
Peace and Conflict Resolution, Rotary and the Northern Lights

by Sean Minton


I participated in the two-day King's College London (KCL) Crisis Simulation event which brought together students from universities all over the U.K., and countries all over the world. During the event, I was a delegate representing Canada, playing the role of General Jonathan Vance, Chief of Defense Staff. During the simulation, students were required to explore the politics of the Artic involving multilateral cooperation and military buildup revolving around numerous geopolitical interests. Represented were a large variety of critical actors, inlcuding the USA, Canada, Russia, China, UK, France, Iceland, the Scandinavian countries, and the media. This was an opportunity fto develop skills in debate and diplomacy in an attempt at peace, but usually moves toward conflict at the end of the timed simulation.

At Kings College London, I led a monitoring group project titled "Conflict and Migration: Happening Now." The team delved into the implications of conflict and how vulnerable people are forced to flee from conflict-ridden countries for their own safety. Policy recommendations for refugees and asylum-seekers were made in order to move forward and cope with the rapidly increasing global problem.


I was the guest speaker at not just one, but two clubs within District 1130 this month - the Rotary Club of Barnet and the Redbridge Rotary Club, where Amy and I had the opportunity to meet an extremely diverse group of Rotarians. I was able to share my journey to becoming a Rotary Global Grant scholar and my Army career path. I also passed on information about GRSP in an effort to inspire them to take advantage of this opportunity.

I continue to lead a team of devoted students and 20-somethings as the president of the newly forming Rotaract Club, which is approaching the 15 members needed to start a new charter and beginning to generate ideas of how to support local organizations, fundraise, and bring in new members. I attended the District's Quarterly Meeting on behalf of the club, and made new connections with other Rotary and Rotaract clubs in the district.

Another honor was being invited to the House of Lords to celebrate the accomplishments of the Rotary Club of London's immediate past president. Amy and I and other Rotarians were given an insider's tour of the House of Commons and House of Lords in Parliament. Seeing the Palace of Westminster by night was spectacular. The formal dinner, accompanied by a classical violinist, was held in the Lords' dining area that overlooks the Thames. A big thanks to Lord David Hunt of Wirral (a member of Parliament and RCL Rotarian) for sponsoring the event!


In the midst of all this, Amy and I flew up to Tromsø, Norway to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. TAt the end of our stay, we saw the Northern Lights in Northern Finland where the skies were the clearest. The trip was filled with ice sculptures, spotting the trolls hidden in the city, trying new foods (such as reindeer soup, reindeer hotdogs, and salted cod), and attempting to stay upright on the icy sidewalks and roads of the city.

Posted by Kathy Brandt
March 4, 2020


This Year’s Posts: