We need to hear from you!

International Geography Youth Summit – 2018 (IGYS-2018) will be 20-22 July 2018, at the beautiful campus of Vidyanjali Academy for Learning, Bengaluru.

This year’s theme is The Geographies of our Daily Needs. Yes, plural!

If you are in class 8 or above (or equivalent home schooler) and have a curious mind, IGYS-2018 is for you. We need to hear from you about research you do in your own neighborhoods.

Daily needs

Where does our rice come from? Our milk? Our fruits, vegetables, and flowers? The meat and eggs? Our coffee and tea? It’s not just the place of their origin, it’s also what else is involved.

How geography integrates all disciplines. (Adapted from various sources.) Click on the image to see a larger version.

Consider then clean air, clean water, basic human rights, nurturing human relationships, peace, security, and a myriad other physical and non-physical needs of our daily lives.

Their geographies are many.

If we took time to consider thse, we would find a very intricate web of connections, and our place and role in it.

Yediyur lake, south Bengaluru.  (Source: GoogleEarth)

What are our daily needs? Remember: want and need are two different things! In your list, be sure to consider the many non-physical things. These are as important as the many physical needs.

Geographical research

Identify a particular issue related to any of your daily needs.

Then, begin with exploring the four questions of geography:

  1. Where is it?
  2. Why is it there?
  3. What are the consequences of it being there? (So what?)
  4. What if something were to be different?

When you ask these questions in relation to your topic, you’ll be able to discern quite a lot of the geography involved. Dig some more, and you will see how far geography goes beyond memorizing factoids in a textbook for an exam.

(L – R) Fiza Banu, Saira Sheikh, and Misbah Khannum. Students of Class 9, Citizens’ English School, Bengaluru, with their poster presentation on “The Taboo Geographies of Menstruation” at International Geography Youth Summit – 2017.

Your project will involve a combination of two kinds of research: Primary and secondary.

Primary research is what you conduct yourself, and find the information you need. Examples: interviewing people, taking measurements, taking photographs, making maps, making visual observations. For IGYS-2018, your research must be mainly of this type.

Secondary research is finding the information you want from other sources. Examples: online sources, research reports, newspaper or magazine articles, government documents such as census, gazette, etc. For IGYS-2018, this should be only to support your primary research.


Example 1: We need a clean environment to live in. But our neighborhood is polluted in many ways. How can we fulfill this need?

  1. Where is it?
    • At street corners, in heaps.
  2. Why is it there?
    • People do not care.
    • There are no proper rubbish collection bins.
  3. What is the consequence of it being there? (“So what?”)
    • It stinks.
    • Clogs up the foot path.
    •  Attracts disease carrying animals (mosquitoes, flies, dogs, etc.)
    • Pollutes the environment in various ways.
  4. What if something were to change? (“What if?”)
    • If bins are provided at that spot, it will be easier to keep the rubbish in the bins and take it from there.
    • People can be persuaded to not put rubbish outside the bin.
    • If rubbish can be collected door to door every day and taken away, then people may not throw the rubbish at the corner.
    • The various kinds of pollution would be reduced.
  5. What did we learn about this issue from doing this project?
    1. Small changes in our immediate environment are important before big changes can happen outside.
    2. People can make a difference.
  6. What geography did we learn from this project?
    • Our interaction with our environment must improve.
    • Keeping the environment is a way of making a place more livable.
    • The love we feel for the place we live in can motivate us to take good care of it.
    • The care we feel for our human and non-human co-habitants is one of the reasons for maintaining a clean environment.
  7. What did we do about this issue?
    • We organized a neighborhood clean-up.
    • We also helped to set up ways for maintaining the cleanliness of the environment.
    • We have formed a working group to help with the long-term care for our environment.

Example 2: Many of us need faith and spirituality in our daily lives. We also need to live harmoniously with people of differing faiths in our neighborhood. Doing so would make our place more pleasant and improve our human relationships. How do we fulfill this need? Start with the religious diversity in the area.

  •  Where is it?
    • In our neighborhood.
  • Why is it there?
    • Over the years, people from different places have migrated and settled here.
    • Since they practise different faiths, we see a lot of variety here.
  • What is the consequence of it being there? (“So what?”)
    • The differences have a potential for conflict.
    • Feeling the potential for conflict makes the area uncomfortable to live in.
  • What if something were to change? (“What if?”)
    • If we build good relationships among people of different faiths, then not only do we learn more about life, but also we will be able enjoy life together.
    • Our area would be more pleasant to live in.
  • What did we learn about this issue from doing this project?
    • When we are able to connect with the good in each other, we can build better relationships.
    • We need not fear diversity, we should find ways of embracing it and enjoying it.
  • What geography did we learn from this project?
    • We have the power to make a place that we need.
    • Diversity in a place is actually a strength for everyone.
    • Geography is not just about the longitude and latitude of a place; it is also about human relationships.
  • What did we do about this issue?
    • We organized interactions where people from different faiths spoke about their beliefs.
    • In these meetings, we encouraged people to share what is common among their faiths (compassion, love, worries for the well-being of children and the elderly, etc.)
    • We have decided to celebrate different festivals together as much as possible.

Another important note: In your research, don’t answer these questions as you would in an exam. Just make sure you address them as part of your presentation.

A version of this article appears in the Deccan Herald Student Edition, 28 February 2018.

Featured image: How geography integrates all disciplines. (Adapted from various sources)

We can offer an informational workshop for your school either in person or live online, via Zoom™ (you can install Zoom™ from here).

For further information: Please contact us

IGYS-2018 hashtags:

#IGYS2018  |  #GeographiesOfOurDailyNeeds

Plus, follow IGYS-2018 information and developments on these social media sites:

twitter-logo and facebook-logo

Map of the venue


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