Consul General, Members of the Ministry of Culture and Education, Leipzig Mayors, Saxon Department of Education, Heads of Educational Institutions of Leipzig, Heads of School, Past and Present Stiftung Members, Past Heads of LIS, Parents, Alumni, Staff and Friends of Leipzig International School…
…It is my honour to welcome you all to Leipzig International School’s 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner.
We have invited you here today because you have all made an impact on the Leipzig International School, and it is our privilege to look back, together, at what has been achieved, where we are today and where the future may take us.
The history of LIS and indeed of Leipzig itself is a testament to what can be achieved when a few people have a vision and take a courageous step. 30 years ago, our founders could see the need – then and in the future – for a school that would enrich the landscape of education in the Region and would make the city more attractive to business and investment. Their vision – their bold risk-taking and collaboration with the city brought us to be what we are today – a flourishing school in a thriving Leipzig.
We as the Stiftung have been tasked with projecting that vision into the future. Where do we see our school, our city, our world in another thirty years? What future are we preparing our students for? What further opportunities can we offer young people to equip them for the unknown?
The experts and analysts tell us the future will be marked with continuous changes, our children will have to be constantly adapting to volatile conditions and the struggles they face in the future labour market will be primarily psychological. What will the continued introduction of A.I. into our lives mean for humanity? 65 % of the jobs that the actual students´ generation will have one day do not exist yet.
What we can be sure of is that there will be a massive skill set shift, a mindset shift, that is already happening . To be adaptable to the challenges of the future, we will have to move away from hierarchies, control and focus onto networks, empowerment and experimentation and switch from a traditional organisations approach to talent platforms – where we bring together the best talents ad hoc for individual projects.
Mental agility, emotional intelligence and resilience will be the tools our students need. Communication, collaboration and critical thinking the skills. Most of all, our young people need to know themselves and our role in education will be to give them opportunities to discover themselves and how they learn – their strengths, their talents, the roles and fields where they can shine so they can go out and make those positive impacts on the world around them.
When I hear these predictions of the years and changes to come, I am inspired in the knowledge that this is precisely the education Leipzig International School enables now. This is what our programmes and the structures we provide already do. Inquiry – developing and maintaining a child’s innate curiosity and supporting them to follow where this takes them – is what our school does brilliantly. We are a community of lifelong learners – in the classroom and outside of it. And we can see with the upward trend in our admissions that our approach resonates with families. Local parents are looking for innovation in education and finding it with us.
Leipzig International School gives students the opportunity to apply their skills so they can feel satisfied with their knowledge. We are giving our students the tools to be creative, to break through hierarchies and be the disruptive thinkers that the world does and will need. We will be hearing from two such brilliant young minds later this evening.
But it is not just our students and Alumni – the talented learning leaders we have assembled to carry our school into the future is an inspiring group with the expertise and courage to move LIS into the next stage of its development.
Another pivotal skill, regardless the role covered now or in the future, is the ability to work in effective teams, helping and completing each other skills´ set and competencies: together we are and will always be stronger!
It is a privilege and pleasure to express our gratitude to the institutions and people that helped found the school and continue to support it in a multitude of ways. We offer our particular thanks to our partners in the City of Leipzig and the Saxon state.
And to the families who entrust us daily with their children, we thank you for your faith, your support and your investment in our community.
We from the Stiftung International Education Leipzig must – like those before us, position our institution for the future, remain forward thinkers, engage further with our community, regional and city structures, businesses and places of innovation to remain relevant. Only in this way can we prepare future generations of thinkers and citizens for the needs of our city, our region and everywhere else. We look forward to partnering further with all of you to deepen our connection with this beautiful area of Germany and offer inclusive, globally-minded educational excellence to all those who seek it.