Game of Thrones Star Joins Global Goals World Cup at NIST

Thailand may remain tropical, but at least for a few hours in late September, the cool touch of winter arrived. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, widely recognized as Jamie Lannister on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, served as a referee for the Global Goals World Cup (GGWCup) here at NIST, home to Chelsea FC International Development Centre Bangkok.

A collaboration between Eir Soccer and the UN Development Program (UNDP), the GGWCup aims to create a new kind of sport tournament for women, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a catalyst to merge football, advocacy and culture. By choosing and championing one of the goals, each team of women helps build awareness and contribute toward the achievement of the goals.

As a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and avid football enthusiast, Coster-Waldau has supported the GGWCup from the beginning, first in New York and Nairobi, and now in Bangkok, where the tournament was sponsored by PANDORA. While his efforts as an official ambassador focus on gender equality and climate change, he sees his role as shining a light on the work that others do to work toward all of the goals. This aligns to the philosophy of the GGWCup.

Co-founder Majken Gilmartin believes that “sport has a unique power to unite all kinds of people around the common goal of making the world better. This work with Chelsea, NIST and UNDP is a perfect example of the kinds of innovative alliances that are needed in order to accelerate progress towards sustainable development”.

In a world that increasingly sees nations and communities becoming more diverse, defined more often by their many differences than their commonalities, it’s rare to find a shared vision and values that tie people together. The prevalence of this diversity makes the SDGs all the more remarkable. Building on basic aims such as the eradication of poverty, reduction of inequality and creation of clean energy, the goals provide a framework for the future that nearly all can agree upon and work toward.

This is particularly important in Thailand, where the UNDP’s work faces numerous challenges common across Asia, including a rapidly growing population, high consumption of resources and high levels of inequality. Bridging diverse communities to build shared support for the SDGs is crucial to their success.

At NIST we welcome families who represent nearly 60 nationalities and come from a wide range of backgrounds, languages and cultures. Bridging this rich diversity are our community’s core values, closely linked to those of the UN, and a shared commitment to the SDGs. The strong commitment to achieving the goals is firmly entrenched our mission and programmes.

By fusing education, community engagement and service, NIST has created a unique learning model that has been recognized globally, including through the contributions of alumni such as Praya Lundberg, a UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador. During his time at the school, both in an earlier visit and during the event, Coster-Waldau acknowledged the success of NIST’s approach: “I have to say, this is probably the most impressive school I have ever seen…very inspiring”.

Looking to the future, collaborations such as this will be essential to identifying sustainable solutions that will move us all toward the accomplishment of the SDGs. Organizations such as the UNDP, Eir Soccer, NIST, Chelsea FC and PANDORA have served as pioneers, striving to make a positive impact in their communities and empower others. And the GGWCup? It will return to Bangkok, and will continue to expand to cities on every continent as it unites people to work toward a shared vision of a better world.


During the GGWCup, Coster-Waldau sat down with the Falcons News team to talk about Game of Thrones, his role as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and his experiences in Thailand.

Empowering Youth through Model United Nations

“IASAS Model United Nations’ mission is to bring people of various backgrounds together in order to help come up with diplomatic solutions, promote peace and develop a strong understanding of what it means to work with those who have different perspectives.”

– Co-Secretaries General of IASAS MUN 2016

On Tuesday, 8 November, NIST students embarked on a trip to attend the prestigious IASAS Model United Nations (MUN) Conference, hosted by Taipei American School (TAS). The NIST MUN delegation, comprised of 10 exceptionally experienced students from Years 12 and 13, represented a wide range of countries such as Malaysia and the Republic of Macedonia during the three-day conference.

With the conference theme of “Empowering the Youth”, the first day of debate started with Dr. Sharon Hennessy, the TAS Head of School, calling all students to “step up and solve the complex issues that are going to be debated at this year’s conference”. Followed by a powerful and enlightening cultural performance by one of Taiwan’s indigenous youth dance groups, the event began with a vibrant and energetic atmosphere among the students, representing 19 distinguished schools from all around Asia,

The conference held several nuances that made the event distinctive, the most notable of these being the involvement of Taiwanese culture in our delegates’ debate. Throughout the conference, the ingenious dance group from Taiwanese tribal group, Amese, held Q&A sessions with our international school students, where our delegates were introduced to the perspectives of the unique culture of the Amese people and the struggles they face in a globalizing world. The real-world connections derived from these sessions added a depth to our discourse, and further enriched the level and relevance of debate.

The NIST MUN team also played key leadership roles throughout the conference, with three of our very own facilitating and driving committee rooms towards fruitful debate. Mihir Patel, Class of 2017, took on an integral management position as the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), presiding over a room of 12 advocates and judges throughout the course of the conference. Furthermore, two students from the Class of 2018, Alessandro Prugel and Varun Subramaniam, also respectively spearheaded the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) and the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) as Deputy Chairs of Committee.

Overall, IASAS 2016 was arguably one of the most successful conferences that NIST has recently attended. Our delegates passionately debated every issue that came their way, and their efforts culminated in the recognition of excellence by the conference leadership team. At this high-level conference, two of our delegates, Claire Gerrand (Special Political Committee- SPECPOL) and Kengo Shigeta (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative – APEC), received the distinguished Best Delegate award, an honor only achieved by nine of the 222 student attendees at this year’s IASAS MUN. A special thank you to our wonderful advisors, Mrs. Robin Wilensky and Mr. Paul Pickering, for their support and guidance in making this trip a successful and memorable one. The students of the NIST delegation came to a consensus that, without a doubt, this conference has been an extraordinary and impactful experience to us all.

– Kengo Shigeta (Class of 2017)

Journalist Seyi Rhodes Returns to NIST

SeyiStudents from Years 6-13 will be very lucky to have Seyi Rhodes return to NIST, October 27-30. As during his previous two visits, Seyi will visit a variety of classes, meet service groups and deliver a keynote presentation to year 10 and 11 students in the theatre at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, 28 October. Seyi’s authentic experiences with many global issues makes him a special addition to student learning. (more…)