The first virtual Eton and London Academy of Excellence (LAE) exchange took place last month, offering students from both schools the chance to meet and collaborate online. Press Officer Gabriel Daudy reports on the day, and reflects on what it meant to him.

This year’s exchange was hosted by Future Foundations, an organisation who provide online training for young people and who encouraged discussions on the topic of leadership. We had some brilliant discussions on what leaders should be, and decided that being open minded, just, adaptable, a good communicator, democratic and inspirational were crucial to success. We also agreed on leaders who have inspired us, including President Obama, who cares about people, Mahatma Gandhi, whose peaceful protest methods achieved incredible results for India and Elon Musk, whose innovation and vision particularly impressed the group.

We then worked together to see how we could tackle certain issues in the world. We picked a global issue, deforestation of the Amazon, and a local issue of homelessness, which has increased by 15% since 2018, to form the basis of our discussions. We agreed that with challenges of this magnitude, great leaders are needed to canvas support and direct action. There was also agreement that social media can have a huge impact in communicating a message, and why starting small can often achieve more in the long run.  

Collaborating with intelligent and passionate students from LAE was a fantastic experience, and helped build our relationship with our partner school. We created real friendships, and I look forward to meeting in person when our two schools are able to.