Global Week


Each January, Castilleja School hosts Global Week to provide students with a unique opportunity to examine a globally relevant topic through workshops, projects, and in-depth engagement with speakers

Global Week 2020 Logo


Seats at the Table: Women, Peace and Security
recognizes the power of women as storytellers, activists, and strategists and honors the continued commitments to this work on the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council's landmark resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

We believe that understanding others’ perspectives is at the heart of meaningful engagement with conflict resolution and a key competency to global leadership. Understanding that the personal is political, Global Week 2020 will explore women's experiences, voices, and activism in the context of peace and security:

Women as storytellers. Balancing Narratives — Who has the power and access to construct narratives, particularly in armed conflicts? How have women been part of or pushed back from building these narratives? How have new communication tools changed how we understand and engage with conflict?

Women as activists. Building Belonging — How can we change the way we relate to conflict? How do we talk to people with differing perspectives and experiences? How do we create communities that hold space for competing narratives and perspectives?

Women as strategists. Gendered Experiences — What are the consequences of our deeply gendered experiences of the world? How does an intersectional lens change the way we experience conflict and peacemaking?

“Almost 20 years since the adoption of resolution 1325, we don’t just need to be at the peace table. It’s time to redesign the table.” ~Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Chair of the Board of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict

Global Week 2020 will be a 4-day experience from Monday, January 6—Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Past Global Weeks

2019: The Promises and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence

The GW 2019 Agenda

Monday, January 7 — Thursday, January 10

During the week our all-school activities will take the shape of listening to keynote speakers and panels and participating in dynamic group workshops on the following topics:

Deep Learning to Solve Challenging Problems
Jeff Dean, Google Senior Fellow and SVP at Google Research and Machine Intelligence
A Design Challenge with Machine Learning
Carissa Carter, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Stanford

Ethics and Inclusion in AI
Tess Posner, CEO at AI4ALL
AI Ethics and Accountability: Exploring the Responsibility of Governments, Companies and the Public
Matt Cagle, Technology & Civil Liberties Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California
Margot Gerritsen, Professor at Stanford University
Purin Phanichphant, Artist at Minnesota Street Project
Natasha Singer, Reporter at The New York Times
Anastasia Victor, Resident at Gray Area / Mozilla XR Studio
AI, News, Ethics and the Future of Work
Vaughan Smith, Executive at Facebook

The Coded Gaze: Unmasking Algorithmic Bias
Joy Buolamwini, Founder of Algorithmic Justice League
Coming Back to Talk About the Future: An Alumn(AI) Panel
Ayesha Bajwa ’14, Victoria Dean ’13, Kathleen Kenealy ’15, and Shivani Nishar ’16

What makes a Technology Radical and Revolutionary
DJ Patil, Former U.S. Chief Data Scientist
Rap Guide to Consciousness (Human and Machine)
Baba Brinkman, Rapper and Science Communicator

The Art in Artificial Intelligence

In conjunction with Global Week 2019, The Art in Artificial Intelligence featuring interactive art pieces by Yotam Mann, Purin Phanichphant, and Anastasia Victor will be on exhibition. While remaining neutral on the debate between optimists and pessimists, the exhibit aims to examine other tangible forms of AI as perceived by artists and creatives working with technology. Part educational and part thought-provoking, the show aims to attract and spark dialogue among thought-leaders in the field, as well as aspiring next-generation technologists.

Opening Reception with Artists: Tues Jan 8, 5:00-7:00pm

Exhibition on view: Anita Seipp Gallery, Mon Jan 7, 2019 - Fri Jan 18, 2019

Download the booklet

Includes workshop descriptions, speaker bios, and schedules for each grade level.

Global Week 2019

This year’s Global Week The Promises and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence investigated how might we push the boundaries and understand the limits of artificial intelligence today and in the future.

  • AI in our Daily Lives — how does AI support us in tasks and challenges in our daily lives?

  • Big Data — how might AI help us solve intractable problems and identify solutions more effectively?

  • Algorithmic Accountability – how might AI manage risk?

  • Equity and Bias – how might AI respond to and shape social and cultural bias?

  • Inspired Creativity — how might AI help us understand the power of collaboration and inspire us to be more creative?

  • Personal Responsibility — how should we engage with and shape algorithmically-driven processes and decisions?

castilleja school global week artificial intelligence

 The overarching goals for Global Week 2019 are to empower students to:

  1. develop a foundational understanding of the role of data and algorithms in artificial intelligence;

  2. explore how artificial intelligence complements our daily lives;

  3. understand in what areas does artificial intelligence thrive and what are the limits; and

  4. develop the capacity to examine artificial intelligence from different perspectives and consider the circumstances under which it might make sense to deviate from an algorithms’ decision.

2018: Equity in Education

Everything we do in life, from tying your shoes to performing brain surgery, is learned. So education is as key to survival as food. Just as there should be equity and fairness in everybody having enough food to survive, there should be equity and fairness in education.

Download the booklet which includes workshop descriptions, speaker bios, and schedules for each grade level.

What will we think about both during the year and during Global Week?

Community Learning Opportunities and Conversations
Equity is a complicated topic because it includes questions of access and resource distribution that are driven by both social and cultural norms and economic factors. These norms and factors look different around the globe, and there are many competing points of view about rights and best practices in the field of education. Our theme is designed to help us understand what questions to ask when we are trying to understand what makes an educational experience equitable in a specific context.

Grade-Level Learning Opportunities and Conversations
Depending upon each classes’ grade-level theme and classroom projects and discussions, students will have different opportunities to learn more about both the terminology (i.e. access, resource distribution, social factors, cultural factors, economic factors) and the concepts we’ll be talking about during Global Week.

What will the keynote topics be during Global Week?
During the week our all-school activities will take the shape of listening to keynote speakers and panels and participating in dynamic group workshops on the following topics:

Is Education a Human Right?

Jonathan Jansen, author of  Leading for Change: Race, Intimacy and Leadership on Divided University Campuses, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State in South Africa, and recipient of the inaugural Alumni Excellence in Education Award, Stanford University.

The Challenges and Power of EdTech:  Equity and Access to Skills and Competency Acquisition

Explore tools and hear stories from leading voices in the EdTech space.  These innovators are striving to re-imagine how technology can enhance learning without undermining our capacity to think critically, develop a depth of knowledge on a subject, and engage face-to-face with one another.


Equity in Education: The Global Learning Landscape** Panel: Hear from activists and educators who are shaping the learning landscape in communities across the globe.  Special guests include activist and community leader Thulani Madondo, Executive Director of Kliptown Youth Program in South Africa, 2012 CNN Hero, 2013 200 Young South Africans Making A Difference awardee

Equity in Education for Girls: “Righting History”** Rosie Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States of America


C-Education: Student Voice and Choice to Hear from Local Educators and Equity Leaders

Equity in Education: Closing the Opportunity Gap in the United States** Prudence Carter, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at U.C. Berkeley and author of Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. & South African Schools (2012) and Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance (2013), co-edited with Dr. Kevin Welner

EVENING EVENT: Education Transforming Lives, Daily Challenges in a Broader Context. Joel SamoffJonathan Jansen, and Thulani Madondo


Equity in Education: Local Challenges and Local Solutions Panel Discussion

2017: Migration - Living in a World on the Move

Our guiding questions exemplify the complexity of the topic and the nuanced arguments for and against specific international, national, and personal positions.

Human Migration Patterns Across Time

  • Why do people migrate?

  • How do we trace the migrations of humans over time?

Nations, Borders, and the Construction of Citizenship

  • How do people organize themselves?

  • How do core beliefs turn into governing structures and laws?

  • How does maintaining a national border affect the quality of life within a region?

  • How do people protect themselves and their interests?

  • Is citizenship exclusionary? What does "inclusive citizenship look like?

  • Why are there laws around migration?

Migration Beyond the Law

  • Why do people migrate off the grid? Why do people migrate beyond traditional structures of borders, nationality, or citizenship? What risks do they face?

  • What types of status do off the grid migrants have in their new communities?

  • How does the extent to which migrant groups assimilate (culturally, socially, and politically) play a role in their status?

Imagining the Future  

  • What are the essential human rights that should be afforded all people?

  • What are the tensions between concepts of nationalism and citizenship and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

  • How are the current social, political, intellectual, cultural, and economic forces affecting the traditional concepts of citizenship?

This year the week concludes by honoring migration stories of our nation’s past and imagining a more inclusive future for all of us with a concert by At the Table with Dr. King. The celebration will highlight the events of the Civil Rights Movement and hopefully inspire our students to assume responsibility for their own role as strong leaders in the world beyond our circle.

Download the booklet which includes workshop descriptions, speaker bios, and schedules for each grade level.  

2016: Climate Change

Download the booklet which includes workshop descriptions, speaker bios, and schedules for each grade level. 

2015: The City - Fortification to Imagination

GW 2015 explores the history and future of cities. How do historians, anthropologists, urban planners, futurists, and bureaucrats think about cities? Begin your thinking about cities with our guiding questions and key concepts, and join us for a keynote arc moving from past to future.

Guiding questions: What has the role of the city been throughout history? How are decisions made in a city? How is community built and maintained in a city? What is the future of “the city”?

Key Concepts Cities Must Have: 
Sense of Identity tied to Place 

Keynote Arc: 
What is Urban? 
What is a City? 
The History of Cities 
The Future of Cities
The Megacity: Challenges and Opportunities  

Download the booklet which includes workshop descriptions, speaker bios, and schedules for each grade level.  

2014: Artists with a Cause

Thank you to everyone who engaged in Global Week 2014: Artists with a Cause. We were so pleased so share the week engaging with students, employees, and community members. All ages were seen getting down with New Style Motherlode, exploring the role of plastic in the world with One Beach Plastic, learning the beauty of graffiti art with Mural, Music and Arts Project, and much, much more. Here is a brief recap of some of the amazing projects the students were working on during the entirety of the week.

Middle School 
The 6th Grade worked with Daniel Barash, creating shadow puppet movies around a global issue of the students' choice. 7th Graders were inspired by speakers, movies and workshops focused on food justice, as well as a visit to the San Francisco Ferry Building. The 8th Grade interviewed elders from the Stevenson House and then wrote up their stories. The week culminated in an art project given to the elders to represent their life story.

Upper School 
The 9th Grade worked with presentation guru Michael Moon on their year-long interdisciplinary project. The 10th Grade students worked with entrepreneur Jess Munro to create and develop their own innovative solution to a global issue. We missed the 11th Grade on campus; however, they were off engaging with the global community on their Investigator trip in either China, India, Guatemala or France. The 12th Grade worked on three separate projects: a photographic essay, led by Amanda Jones, documentary films with MTV World's Raeshem Nijhon, and a school graffiti mural.

Elective Workshops 
All students had the opportunity to connect with local and global artists, as well as do hands-on work during their elective selections. Some beautified our campus in a student-led "graffiti moss" elective, others learned the art of plating with local social entrepreneur Kathleen Hughes of Ada's Café, while others learned about the art of merchandising when they designed a teen pendant for the American market to support the organization Made by Survivors.

Download the booklet which includes workshop descriptions, speaker bios, and schedules for each grade level.  

2013: Standing Up and Speaking Out

Youth Speaks officially kicked off Global Week 2013, "Social Change: Standing Up and Speaking Out"Youth Speaks is a non-profit, which empowers the next generation of leaders, self-defined artists, and visionary activists through written and oral literacies. They challenge youth to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of social change. 

During the week, students engaged in a variety of experiences. Week-long workshops focused on Grassroots Movements, Social Media and the Protestor, the Political Process, and Partnership in Action.

Download the booklet which includes workshop descriptions, speaker bios, and schedules for each grade level.  

Meet the Team

Stacey Kertsman

Titles: Dean of Equity Education and Social Impact, Director of ACE Center

Emily Clark

Titles: Leadership and Community Partners Programming Manager, Bourn Lab / Tinkering Nook Instructor

Anjelika Deogirikar Grossman

Titles: Assistant Director, ACE Center

Julie Nelson

Titles: ACE Center Operations Coordinator

Brenda Villa

Titles: Equity Education Coordinator, Head Coach, Varsity and VA Water Polo, Assistant Coach, Varsity Swimming