Lauren Turner at the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland
Master of Public Policy, Munk School

MPP graduate student selected as “Leader of Tomorrow” for the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium

It isn’t every day that a student gets recognized as a “Leader of Tomorrow.” But that's exactly the case for Lauren Turner, a graduating Master of Public Policy (MPP) student, who was selected to participate in the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland in May.

The theme of this year’s Symposium was “A New Generational Contract.” The aim was to explore the core responsibilities that bind generations, our duties to future ones and how we can advance long-term transformations while effectively responding to immediate crises. Turner was invited to the symposium to network and host a workshop on her essay after placing in the top 25 of the Global Essay Competition (GEC). Her essay was one out of approximately 1,000 submissions by graduate and post-graduate students from around the world.

“Participating in the symposium opened my mind to so many different possibilities. I met a lot of attendees who were already doing really incredible things – one even started their own NGO,” says Turner. “I met someone who works in social justice and campaigns internationally. So, it just made me think about the diverse options that might be available as my career in policy progresses.”

Inspired by extensive in-class discussions at the Munk School, Turner’s essay, titled “Reforming the Legacy of the Washington Consensus Through Accountability-Focused Corporate Social Responsibility,” looks at the Washington Consensus and how it recommended liberalization policies to address the Latin American debt crisis, though it led to negative global consequences including exploitation, poverty, and human rights violations.

The symposium is the culmination of Turner’s graduate experience at U of T, where she first studied diaspora and transnational studies, English, and anthropology as an undergraduate student. In the MPP program, Turner did a collaborative specialization in environmental studies and now hopes to work in conservation, sustainability, or renewable energy within the realm of environmental policy.

Motivated by her desire to be at the forefront of societal change in Canada, Turner says the past two years at the Munk School have been incredibly rewarding and foundational, allowing her to graduate from the MPP program with a solid knowledge of policy creation and a heightened awareness of Canada’s political landscape.

Bolstered by a dedication to making a positive impact in the world, this leader of tomorrow looks back fondly on engaging with other students from around the world and expanding her knowledge through speaker talks and workshops – the perfect note to end an academic career on.