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Our story

Young people all over the world are telling stories, thousands of them every day. And the digital tools they use are more powerful than ever before.

And yet they’re not connected.

The first GSS production day at Stanford University in January 2015. Photo by Simon Greenhill/GSS staff.

Founder and executive director Beatrice Motamedi launched Global Student Square in 2015 to solve that problem.

During a 2014-15 John S. Knight Fellowship in journalism at Stanford, Motamedi studied design thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship and the history of Iran and Islam. An award-winning journalist and credentialed high school teacher, she developed the idea for an international student journalism network and put students at the core of her team from the very beginning.

Then and now, it’s their leadership, critical thinking and judgment that make Global Student Square unique among other youth media.

GSS editors are among the finest young college journalists in the field, and our high school writers, photographers, videographers and graphic designers work hard with their editors to become foreign correspondents for their peers.

Students Yerim Mo (left) and Haeji Kim report on a protest in Seoul in November 2016. GSS screenshot.

In other words, to show the world their world.

Our mission

We believe that student journalists are professionals by definition — there’s simply no other way to practice journalism other than accurately and responsibly, so we follow the same industry standards that apply to mainstream media.

While we primarily serve a youth audience online and through social media, our stories have been republished by Voice of America, Global Voices and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Importantly, we strive to make teen voices heard, and not only as holders of opinions but as finders of fact.

Whether it’s war, climate change, the growth of cities or the global refugee crisis, we believe that youth are disproportionately affected by the world’s problems. Yet governments, organizations and those with the power to make decisions that change lives often don’t hear directly from young people at the heart of what’s happening.

Student Tailor Liedtke (right) interviews Sudanese refugees on the Avenue de Flandre in Paris. Photo by Sloane Valen/GSS.

GSS seeks to change that.

By connecting students all over the world, encouraging them to collaborate online using emerging platforms, and developing curricula and toolkits for digital storytelling, GSS editors and contributors produce high-quality journalism in a virtual newsroom where young journalists create stories on common themes, often with uncommon perspectives.

Our goal is to make youth voice part of the news ecosystem and to bring millennial insight to mainstream media.

Interested in joining our network or republishing our stories? Contact Beatrice Motamedi, executive director, at beatrice@globalstudentsquare.org.

A 19th century drawing of Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan by the French architect Xavier Pascal Coste.

A 19th century drawing of Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan by the French architect Xavier Pascal Coste.

Why the Square?

Click on the video below to learn more about public squares around the world where young people stand up and speak out in ways that move their societies toward change — and how a Global Student Square makes those voices heard.

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