Stu Saunders, chair of the Global Student Leadership Summit, announces the three-day event will come to the London Convention Centre in April 2018. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News)

Student Summit To Be Downtown’s Largest Ever Conference

Hotels will be at capacity and restaurants will be packed when the largest convention ever held in downtown London brings 3,000 young people and educators from 20 countries together for a global summit this spring.

The Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) will be held at the London Convention Centre April 9 to 11. The three-day event will feature over 60 inspirational speakers, interactive workshops, and peer collaboration.

“It’s geared towards Grade 7 to Grade 12 students and educators who teach in that area. They’re going to have fun, they’re going to have a lot of energy. It’s going to be very motivational and inspiring,” said GSLS Chair Stu Saunders at a news conference at the London Convention Centre on Wednesday. “But working with the United Nations sustainable goals and world’s largest lesson and other organizations, we want to give students not just the inspiration, we want to give them tools. We want to give them tangible ideas and tactics that they can bring to the table back to their schools, back to their communities, back to their countries.”

Speakers already booked for the summit include Canadian Olympic hurdler Sarah Wells, author and motivational speaker Dr. James Rouse, Canadian singer-songwriter Peter Katz, and PostSecret creator Frank Warren.

London beat out Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, and Kitchener to host this first of its kind conference.

“We wanted to do it in Ontario, we knew that. We looked at Toronto but the costs are ridiculous,” said Saunders. “London is where I am from so in the process I suggested London. It has a beautiful convention centre. I’ve been there and so we came down and it met all of our requirements. Every box was checked off. The hotels, the Hilton, the Delta, everyone just got on board . Everything is available here for us. We can really pull it off here.”

Mayor Matt Brown noted the summit will benefit all Londoners by pouring money into the local economy.

“I understand that every hotel in the downtown core has been booked, many of the hotels in the outskirts of our community, also in south London, have been booked,” said Brown. “This will have an impact on every single restaurant in the downtown. Imagine feeding 3,000 people for three days straight. It’s going to have a significant impact from an economic perspective but also it really allows us to highlight the fact that we are an education city.”

Young people from as far away as Australia and New Zealand have already signed up to attend the summit. With the summit being hosted in their own backyard, Saunders is hopeful a large contingent of London area students will also register to attend the event.

“The London area will never experience this many amazing speakers for youth maybe ever again so it is a cool opportunity,” said Saunders.

For more information or to register for the summit visit globalstudentleadership.com.