Global Education Summit aimed at spurring coordinated actions

A day-long Global Education Summit, being held February 24 at Monona Terrace in Madison, aims to bring together advocates from Wisconsin’s business and education communities, as well as other stakeholders, to seek concrete ways to collectively advance international education across the state.

State Superintendent Tony Evers and Gilles Bousquet, UW-Madison’s dean of International Studies and vice provost for globalization, are hosting the event. Bousquet, who chairs the State Superintendent’s International Education Council, and Evers will give opening remarks to frame the day’s discussion.

“Many of us who have participated in discussions with the business and education communities have come to realize that the various stakeholders agree on the importance of global education—including many of the same desired outcomes—but, for the most part, have not come together to help create environments for advancing these goals,” says Bousquet.

Previous efforts to strengthen international education in Wisconsin have produced recommendations, most notably from the Wisconsin International Trade Council (1998) and the State Superintendent’s Statewide International Education Council (2005). The Global Education Summit aims to serve as a catalyst for putting at least some of these earlier recommendations into action.

The summit is open to educators and others interested in advancing international education. Program and registration information is available at

After the opening session, the summit program has three sets of breakouts:

  1. Showcasing K-16 programs that exemplify best practices in global and world languages education in Wisconsin’s schools;
  2. Assessing the fiscal, policy, and cultural environments for educating globally competent students;
  3. Articulating, during facilitated roundtable discussions, clear and real community commitment to ensure that all Wisconsin students have opportunities to graduate as globally competent citizens.

At lunchtime, the keynote speaker will be Tom Guerin, vice president of research and development for Kerry Ingredients & Flavours Americas Region, which has a major operation in Beloit. Guerin’s talk—And I thought it was all about the science —will focus on why his company highly values a globally diverse workforce.

The closing panel—moderated by Neil Heinen, editorial director of WISC-TV and Madison Magazine— aims to focus on action items for business, education and community leaders to collectively can do to ensure effective global and world languages education in all Wisconsin schools.

The Global Education Summit is sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin Educational Inservice Organization (SWEIO), the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of International Studies, the State Superintendent’s Statewide International Education Council, and Global Wisconsin, Inc. (formerly Wisconsin Friends of International Education).

— by Kerry G. Hill