International diplomacy learned through academic simulation at H-F High School


On Thursday, Nov. 16, approximately 20 students in Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School’s International Relations class will be welcoming Ian Solomon, founder of Washington, D.C.-based SolomonGlobal LLC., who will facilitate an international negotiation simulation. Solomon, who was appointed to the U.S. Treasury Department by President Obama and later served as the executive director for the World Bank, has created a simulation in which students will role play the negotiation of a water-rights treaty between two fictional countries.  

The simulation — set to begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in the school’s North Building — is based on Solomon’s lengthy experience as a diplomat and his real-life experiences at conflict resolution. Students will be engaging in a diplomatic negotiation simulation that will demonstrate the importance and challenge of critical thinking, problem solving and diplomacy at the international level, says Scott Aronson, their teacher.  

“Students will be guided by someone who has devoted his life to these values and skills at the highest levels within the international system,” says Aronson. “The world — especially at this particular moment — is in desperate need of individuals who possess skills that will be demonstrated through this activity. We hope this activity will contribute to the building of students’ inherent interests in foreign policy and international relations.”

This will be Solomon’s second visit to Homewood-Flossmoor; he first visited as an advisor for a student-led debate on U.S. foreign aid in early 2016. A former resident of Flossmoor who now resides in the Washington, D.C. area, he remains engaged with the community and is eager to work with students who aspire to careers in international relations. Following the simulation, he will share his experiences in international diplomacy and policy-making institutions with the students.