The International School of Diplomacy
Through online communication, Interns in the School of Diplomacy are hired to seek out and locate high school students in other parts of the world to serve as CoreFire Diplomats in their countries. These foreign Diplomats are paid to form teams of High School Students in their own country. The teams in the other countries are scheduled at specific times to partner with American teams though live video feeds in the Escape Rooms to solve problems and puzzles. For “Reconciliation” themed missions, Interns will seek out youth to create teams of different cultures. For example, a team will be made of two groups of students from Northern Ireland with a group of Protestant students and another who are Catholic. Or two groups from Iraq, one is Shiites, and one is Sunnis, or from West Bank with one group of Israelites and one of Palestinians. The CoreFire Reconciliation System has been tested with thousands of students from different races, religions and economic status.
Bonded by the Crucible of Competition
When the experience begins, these participants initially notice the cultural differences. Typically, the students expect a forced discussion among the group to speak about these differences. This does not happen because the social pressure a typical youth brings to this event is to not engage. The event begins and the participants are thrust into their mission which is themed after the CoreFire Commando Comic Book Rescue Team. They have to begin thinking critically to solve problems. They have to begin communicating with each other to overcome obstacles. The social and cultural barriers preventing candid discourse at the event’s beginning collapse beneath the pressures of high-energy gamification. The students begin acting as a unit. A key difference between the CoreFire Rescue Mission approach to reconciliation and that of similar organizations is that ours relies on organic cooperation rather than contrived discussion. We ask participants targeted questions designed to spark meaningful discourse, but not until the students have developed a bond that has been made strong by the crucible of competition.
Set Aside Differences
We place participants in situations where they must set aside their differences to overcome a challenge. This approach, we have found, produces in participants a more natural bond akin to that developed between members of a real-life search-and-rescue-team. This reconciliation process uses elaborate story lines in simulated rescue missions in a themed facility. This makes it possible to recruit youth to participate in an entertaining experience as opposed to inviting them to a classroom where they can “talk it out.” This example of collaboration can impact more than just those participants. With streaming the competitions it can extend to other members of their communities who are viewing the broadcast.