The biennial summit is a week-long conference that personalizes the global collaboration of participating 21st Century International Schoolhouse high schools. Student representatives from each of the schools meet face-to-face to form a multinational legislative body. They research, debate, and craft solutions to selected issues based on a common theme chosen by the schools.
The organization's original pod of six schools participated in the inaugural International Youth Environmental Summit on September 6-15, 1997 in Salem, Oregon. At the summit, students from Australia, Brazil, Japan, Israel, South Africa and the United States worked in multinational teams to discuss environmental topics specific to each country and community. The student representatives tackled immense issues - from energy resources to toxic waste - and came away with solid solutions, including a Declaration of Environmental Rights and Responsibilities they promoted in their individual countries.
Subsequent summits were held in Perth, Australia in 1999 and Toyama, Japan in 2001. At these rotating biennial summits, young leaders explored new ideas based on their increased knowledge of the natural world and combined them with the modern technological tools that facilitate a sustainable future. The next international youth summit is tentatively scheduled for 2003 in the Middle East.
The 21st Century International Schoolhouse biennial summit is a key component of an educational program that promotes balance. There is no political agenda. Students research, debate and develop solutions to issues based on a balance of viewpoints. The focus is on sustainability, which encompasses the social, economic and ecological aspects of the environment.