Western International School of Shanghai

I’m honoured to be a Patron of the Western International School of Shanghai. Giving back is important, to see kids learn and develop and be part of this is special, but when they are from so many different countries and nationalities in one school, all learning together, playing and being happy, surely this model of learning together is something that we all should learn from?

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There is nothing more innocent than a child, and being able to teach then and encourage them, setting up opportunities for them is a great thing.  Tom Kline the Director of the school is from my native Belfast, Tom and I met through Northern Irish Connections and chat weekly across the time zones about food and communities.  It’s not that the school needs advice on food, they have a great canteen for that, my role is to consider food policy and show that when we eat we are all the same.

In my recent work, I produced a food strategy for Northern Ireland called ‘Beyond the Plate‘ it talks about food and tourism for NI and how to capitalise on it. In this paper I talk about how food unites us and how food is a cultural sense of self, how the story of our lives and our people is shown on the plate.  However, if we look beyond this we can see that food, even more so than music or sport unites us all.  And this is what I work on at the school.

Tom Kline the Schools Director is a visionary, he sees how all of this works and when running a mini United Nations of future world leaders, CEO’s and industry captains he knows how important food is.  It’s the story of us and what a privilege it is to share.

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