Approximately 40 Brown student delegates were among the over 200 attendees who gathered at Yale this weekend for the 10th annual Ivy Leadership Summit.
Organized by the Ivy Council, a nonprofit organization composed of students from each of the eight Ivy League schools, the summit's purpose is to "promote the exchange of ideas of the Ivy League and today's leaders," according to the organization's Web site.
Over two days, students met for a series of speeches, panels and discussions with speakers and panelists including Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, George Rupp, president of the International Rescue Committee and Christopher Hitchens, a contributing writer to Vanity Fair.
The theme of the summit, "Fearless Leadership," was chosen because of the recent global economic crisis, as leaders will need to be "fearless" to face the challenges of new economic and political conditions, Yale student Ran Tao, event organizer and vice president for external affairs for Ivy Council, said.
"We need to raise a new generation of fearless leaders," said David Chan, event organizer and co-head of the Yale Ivy Council delegation. "We need to overcome our fears if we want to be leaders as well."
The conference included panels on several topics including foreign policy, business, finance and global health. In a panel on social entrepreneurship, panelists split into groups for 30 minutes to tackle a social challenge of their own choosing.
One of the groups came up with an idea for an organization and a Facebook group, called "Sleep in Their Shoes," dedicated to "raising money and awareness for homelessness around each of the Ivy League campuses," Tao said. Participants would shadow the homeless and document their experiences.
Organizers had to deal with a snowstorm that prevented delegates from a few schools, as well as some panelists and speakers, from attending the conference. Two panelists were able to use Skype in order to hold question and answer sessions, said Harris Li '11, president of Ivy Council.
"It was a prime example in fearless leadership for us," Tao said.
Attendees and organizers praised the summit for bringing students from different schools together and for inspiring them with the successes of others.
"The most important part is interacting with other students. It gives you a completely different idea of how things work," Li said. "They bring a lot to the table."
"All of us left with a sense we could do so much more with this education we've been so privileged with," Chan said.
Next year's summit is expected to be held at Princeton, according to Derrick Tsang '12, head delegate of the Brown Ivy Council delegation. Potential keynote speakers include Michael Bloomberg, Ben Bernanke and Hillary Clinton.
Due to an editing error, a prior version of this article gave an incorrect title for Harris Li '11. In fact, Li is the president of the Ivy Council.