Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 7215

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Corporate Social Responsibility
Category: 3. Trade/International Economics

School: SCIS Hongqiao
    Shanghai, Shanghai, China

4 students, ages 14-15 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 6, 2012. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Classes and Teachers: Amy Brill, Marcello, Khoi, Edward, Jacob

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Marcello, Edward, Jacob and Khoi have all joined together to work on this project, Doors to Diplomacy for their English project. They currently all live in Shanghai and attend the Shanghai Community International School. The students in this group are all currently in 9th Grade.

Marcello is 15 years old. He has lived in China for 4 years already and is half American, half Polish. Edward is 14 years old. He grew up in Australia, but is originally from Singapore. He has lived in China for almost 1 and a half years. Khoi is 15 years old. He is French, originally from Vietnam. Khoi has lived in China for 10 years and has explored almost all of it. Jacob is 15 years old coming from the South part of Sweden. This is his 4th year in China and plans on moving the following year.

Three of them are in the same English class which made a whole lot things easier in terms of communication within the group. Also, because all 4 are good friends and are all in the swim team, they decided to be a group since they cooperate well together and they share common interest. They decided to pick the topic CSR because they realized how important CSR is to the world and all members of the group were interested in business.

In terms of cooperation, some group members tended to drift off and needed prodding from each other. Also, during the last few weeks before the due date, two team members fell sick which killed part some time. Despite that each group member shared work equally, trying to work on the project whenever they had spare time.

There were two main people that helped pull this whole project together. Firstly, of course Ms. Brill, their English teacher helped them focus and guide them towards completion of the website. Another helpful person was Mr. Hesslevik, a parent of one of the group members. They were troubled when they were researching the project until Mr. Hesslevik gave them a CSR PPT presentation. He also introduced this topic to them.

2. Summary of Our Project

The group decided to pick Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as their topic because all group members were interested in business. They narrowed it down to two specific areas, China & Africa. They chose these two countries because they're still developing countries and rules need to be incorporated in terms of CSR. This group created a website explaining why these countries should apply for CSR and some of the rules that have to be applied when being part of the CSR community. Also, they explained how Diplomacy takes action to help CSR develop in the two countries.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

As the government of China restricts people from accessing some websites such as Facebook, Youtube, and various other sites, it was difficult to find some resources on the internet. It was also hard for them to share links and their website through social websites as everything was blocked. When using search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, they also encountered problems. Sometimes when searching matters related specifically to China, they'd instantly block you. This happened to us countless times which frustrated most of us. Also, since the internet is fairly slow in general in China, they constantly got irritated and were easily in frustration. Despite that, since all group members had a Virtual Private Network (VPN), all members could bypass this firewall and access all restricted websites.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Most of the time, there was no problems during the project. However, the main issue was uploading and publishing the website. During the stages of editing the website, we had to constantly publish the website. Whenever we attempted to publish the website, it would work successfully 1/3 times. Some of these problems include, pictures not showing up, content not showing accordingly and videos were missing. Each member had all the information needed to be uploaded but there were issues with the uploading process.

When uploading photos, errors kept showing up and information put on the website would not save. Also, when publishing the website, things did not show up as expected. For an example the format was wrong once uploaded and everything shifted. Another issue was that some of them were editing at the time, causing things to be saved and things to be removed. So when they checked again later, photos and text was missing.

They later on fixed the problem by waiting a few hours and trying again. When they tried again. Everything went right. It was probably because the host website (Weebly) was having some issues at the moment when they put everything together.

In addition, uploading the banner was another problem they had to overcome. One of the group members created a banner which was a gif. file. The banner was supposedly animated however, weebly wasn't cooperating and rejected the file. According to the website, it clearly states it accepts gif. files however, the results clearly weren't showing when we attempted to upload the gif. file. They tried uploading the banner several times and investigated deeper into the problem. Eventually, they couldn't figure out the problem so they simply created a new banner and ensured it wasn't a gif. file. Later one of the members figured they were able to upload as a gif. file but not in the banner section. One of the team members found use of it as having it on the end of pages to help advertise our support.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This project has been a really good learning experience for all the members of the group. They have learned to work in a group cooperatively under any circumstance. It has taught them the importance of teamwork and has built there bond of friendship to another level.

6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our Doors to Diplomacy project addressed CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) under economics and business. The project was a large part of our English class and is being graded.

The group practice key concepts like teamwork and effort. Through the project each of us benefited from working on this, learning more about business and the world around us.

The role a simple student can play in the world is large, with lots of work they can accomplish anything. We hope to be able to spread the detail about our issue and find a way to solve it.

The internet has helped us in so many ways. Yes, we could go to the library and research there but the web is the world wide library full of information to be accessed. With something so quick and easy, it is very effective.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?

There were several tools we used throughout this project. 3 students in the group has a Macbook provided by the school. 1 student has a personal Macbook Pro bought from a retail Apple store. To connect to the internet we used routers either on campus or at each of their homes.

When doing this project, we used a wide range of programs. We used Firefox, Safari & Google Chrome to browse the web as well as Photoshop to make the banners and pictures for the website.

These tools were all extremely useful to the group. They helped us by being able to access information on the web, make the website, and create the banners. The program we used to make the website was found online by one of the group members. We used it because it was free and user friendly.

The majority of our content was researched and some basic content was from the groups basic knowledge.

For the most part, they were able to locate the tools and gadgets through research by using computers. They also asked friends and family for useful tools to complete the project. Ms. Brill recommended everyone to use to cite our resources we used.

There were several tools provided by the school. Most of the softwares the group used in school was provided by the school, such as, Photoshop CS4, Photo booth and iPhoto.

Although the group used many tools, some were less important in comparison to others. The Macbooks were the most valuable asset to the group in terms of cost and usage wise. The computer was definitely the most helpful because without it, they wouldn't be able to access their website and continuously edit it or even create the website.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line and in person.

The group has acted as ambassadors to get the world to understand the state of this issue and how it needs to be solved.

There were many kind people that used their time to help the group with part of their project. Firstly, the group got students from schools in SCIS to help look at the site for grammar errors, presentation and citations. One of the group members dad is a CEO of a company. He managed to spare us some time and he helped us correct any factual errors he found on the website and gave us feedback.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The project will make a difference and cause an impact on the community once it gets around. We feel companies that we have approached will help solve the issues in China and maybe Africa as well.

Teachers and employes of companies that have seen our website support us and we hope they will be able to spread word of what we are trying to fix and help us out.

We have received small feedback about ways to improve the site, and feedback saying great job!

We hope this website helped the viewers understand what CSR is and what issues need to be solved.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

There were several very kind and useful people that helped the team with their project. Firstly, Ms. Brill, is the English teacher of the team. She guided the team and prodded them to ensure the work was done on time and done at the best ability. Deadlines and certain tasks were set so we were able to accomplish them on time. Mr.Pyatt, who works at the school, also helped us with web design. He gave us some ideas about where to place information and how to make it appealing to viewer eyes. Also, he gave us useful tips when researching. In addition, Marcin, A CEO, helped us get a better understanding of business and how CSR works. Rikard, A GM, gave us an understand on how companies apply CSR.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We found out that we all work the best under a little bit of pressure. This could be because we all compete in swimming, which means we all are used to perform under pressure. We also learned how to use Weebly and how to design a website. The big surprise was how we all were able to contribute to this project even thou both Khoi and Jacob was sick the whole last week.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 7215)

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