More than 240 teens enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) are scheduled to descend on Segovia July 1, in advance of the opening of the first-ever IB World Student Conference. One of two IB conferences to be held this July, the Segovia event, located on the IE University campus, provides a venue for extracurricular learning in a collaborative environment amidst like-minded youth eager to dive into a rich intercultural experience with their peers.

The teens will participate in five days of chaperoned activities that support examination of global engagement through social entrepreneurship, and which enable them to advance their personal Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) projects, a prerequisite to earning the IB Diploma. All registrants, aged 15-17, are enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme; conference participants hail from dozens of countries, from Spain and as far away as Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom.. The IB World Student Conference at IE University runs from July 2-6.

During their week on the IE campus, a magnificent convent from the XV Century, conference-goers will devise innovative action plans to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. They will work in Global Action Teams to advance grass-roots social entrepreneurship projects that focus on Culture, Ecology, Social Justice, and Sports.

“Diploma Programme students are characteristically inquisitive, thoughtful, open-minded, caring, reflective, and pro-active,” says Jeffrey Beard, IB Director General. “These particular DP students are exemplary in that they also exhibit courage, a strong global-community spirit, and uncommon initiative in taking big steps towards personal growth, strengthened leadership, and independence. Their work during this conference,” Beard adds, “is sure to reap tremendous rewards for them, individually and collectively. Many of them expect their Segovia connections to last long-term and their learning experience to lay a foundation for future global entrepreneurial endeavors.”

The IB Organization awarded 21 scholarships to students attending both World Student Conferences; nine scholarship recipients will attend the conference in Segovia and 12 will attend the conference taking place in Vancouver, July 23–27. Common themes and purposes emerged in essays students submitted about why they were eager to participate. These themes match up with the IB’s purpose in convening the five-day-long learning laboratories for students:

  • To learn to adjust to new surroundings and working with new people.
  • To develop new methods of problem-solving and to think ‘outside the box’, i.e. outside the parameters of what is common in their own country of origin
  • To gain new cultural insights through peers studying the IB in other countries, who speak different languages, practice different religions, eat different foods, and come from various socio-politico-economic circumstances.
  • To become inspired by their peers and to enrich one another with ideas to implement in their home communities.
  • To learn from potential future leaders and to forge global ties.


“It’s a pleasure for IE University to host the first IB World Student Conference,” said IE University President Santiago Iñiguez. “We share strong educational values, and care deeply about cross cultural engagement and entrepreneurship–key factors in shaping tomorrow’s global citizens.”

Plenary speakers in Segovia are web developer Luis Ivan Cuende, a ‘lover of free software,’ who promotes social change through technology; and activist/social entrepreneur Jobo Scarpelini, now 23, who began his career at 13 in Santos, an impoverished areas of Brazil. Scarpellini encourages leadership in improving underserved communities. Other inspirational speakers include Alec Loorz, co-founder of iMatter, a nonprofit organization that provides youth leadership training and empowerment and that focuses on climate change; and Rocco Falconer, the founder of Planting Promise, also a winner of the Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition.

The first conference opens on July 2 at 9:30 am with welcoming remarks from IE University President Santiago Iñiguez and IB Director General Jeffrey Beard. The complete conference agenda appears online:

Students who received scholarships will blog throughout the conferences, starting July 2: