Ross School Founder and Students Present at Vatican City Conference

Courtney Sale Ross named Honorary President of a workshop at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Nov 19, 2015, 09:22 ET from Ross Institute from ,Ross School

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ross Institute and Ross School Founder Courtney Sale Ross was named Honorary President of a workshop held at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican this weekend titled "Children and Sustainable Development: A Challenge for Education." International and domestic students from Ross School also traveled to Rome to present at a session designed to contribute the voices of youth to discussions about sustainability and climate change. They were joined by peers from Italy, France, and Germany—collectively representing over 12 countries—as they presented in front of, and alongside, some of the most notable minds in education, sustainability thinking, and research.

Mrs. Ross remarked, "I have long advocated that sustainability should be a foundational principle in the way that we teach our children, and in fact it is our ethical and moral obligation to make sure they receive this education. Pope Francis has become a champion of this very important issue, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to contribute. Ensuring our children are prepared to face this new environment is essential, and we must instill in them the desire to create solutions to contribute to this global crisis."

The students' participation in the conference aligns with Ross School's long-held commitment to activism and global citizenship. "We're honored to represent Ross students and to add our voice to this critical dialogue," said Malik Basnight, a senior at Ross School. "There must be a shift in behavior if we hope to save the planet."

Mrs. Ross and Ross School faculty have driven the development of a sustainability curriculum at Ross for the past three years, ensuring the preparation of Ross students, both academically and emotionally, to deal with the stark environmental realities the planet faces.

The Vatican workshop was a follow-up to a previous conference titled "Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility," held in May 2014. Mrs. Ross was invited as an official observer to that event, which took place one year prior to, and informed, the Pope's Encyclical on Climate Change, a groundbreaking declaration on the part of the Catholic Church.

Upon completion of that conference in 2014, Mrs. Ross worked with academicians to propose a follow-up meeting that focused on children and education. This latest workshop was the result of that proposal, which was accepted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, bringing together some of the brightest minds in education, science, and ethics with Ross School students and their counterparts from around the globe.

"This crisis demands that we actively engage and do better than our individual best. A collective response is necessary," said Ross School student Kwazi Nkomo, who also presented at the workshop.

ROSS INSTITUTE Established in 1996 by Courtney Sale Ross, Ross Institute is a not-for-profit education organization with offices in New York and Stockholm. The Ross Institute operates Ross School, which serves as a lab school for the Ross Model, and offers educators worldwide professional development and consulting based on the Ross Model. Ross Institute mentors other schools interested in adopting the Ross Model and promotes understanding of the implications of globalization for precollegiate education. For more information, visit

Founded by Courtney and Steven J. Ross in 1991, Ross School is a private school serving over 500 students in grades pre-nursery through 12, as well as a growing number of domestic and international boarding students, on two campuses in Bridgehampton and East Hampton, New York. Ross School is operated by the Ross Institute for Advanced Study and Innovation in Education. For more information, visit


Kristen Hyland  
Ross School/Ross Institute

Alex Brown
HL Strategic Solutions
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SOURCE Ross Institute; Ross School