Over sixty undergraduate students at IE University have combined their talent, analytical skills and commitment to society to create The Avant-Guard Media, a unique communication platform.
The platform is an innovative content project that moves away from the norm. It has been created by university students—studying different degrees and totaling over fifteen nationalities—with the aim of “awakening and inspiring the rebirth of deep thought among young people all over the world.” Its promoters recognize that the topics discussed are not ones that “fill the front pages of newspapers or lead the news on the mainstream media,” but instead are “issues from which valuable lessons can be drawn to understand the world in the first decades of the 21st century.”
Some of the content currently available includes mysteries such as the strange monoliths that appeared in various parts of the world—which turned out to be the work of a community of artists—and ancient oriental philosophies such as Taoism, “which can be applied in our day-to-day.” There are also various pieces on art, culture, and independent cinema, as well as contributions that offer different perspectives on the business world.
According to the project’s president, American student of the Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media, Sergei Ganz, the platform is “a window into a world of issues that few people know about and which, in our opinion, they should know.” The first issue is already available to anyone who visits the project’s website. Its highlights include a gallery of photographic “postcards” from Segovia, which take a different look at the city’s hidden corners. “Since our campus is in Segovia, it’s only right that we try to capture its stunning beauty for everyone to see. We’re very proud to be able to share our wonderful surroundings,” the team explains.
The students’ aim is to expand and export the project to other countries, and to continue exploring and adding different channels to further spread their message. “Our project is apolitical. It’s open to anyone who is passionate about what they love and anyone who wants to share their knowledge with others,” says Ganz. “Right now, we’re looking for designers and graphic artists who want to collaborate with us on illustrating the magazine,” he adds. The main drivers of the project include students Sergei Ganz, Sebastian Farje, Alexei Perley, Nicolas Besso, Rusudan Topuria, Sophia Struebing, Julia Adams and Max Rascher.
Among all the content featured on the platform, sustainability has its own section. Our students feel that they belong to a generation where a commitment to sustainability and caring for the environment are both essential. As such, the team behind The Avant-Guard Media has developed a waste collection initiative in Segovia that is true to that commitment, and also expresses their appreciation of the city that hosts them. IE University students went out into the city around the campus and, on just their first day of cleaning, collected around thirty bags of trash (about 750 liters). “There is a genuine interest in thanking the people of Segovia for their welcome, and we think trash collection can help us do just that,” explains student Julia Adams.
“During this activity,” added student Sebastian Farje, “the local people we met congratulated and applauded us for our work in the community, and that fills us with pride.” This initiative will take place on the last Saturday of each month until the end of the academic year. The Avant-Guard Media members aim to collect 4,000 liters of garbage by early 2022. These students’ initiative is in line with IE University’s commitment to sustainability. During 2021, the academic institution will promote social impact projects in everything it does, “with the aim of building a committed, cohesive and resilient community.” This year, the University will increase the number of working hours for students, teachers, and staff in labs, workshops and projects that make a positive impact on society by 25%, in line with the United Nations SDGs.
Isabela Alcázar, IE University’s Global Head of Sustainability, says that “the transformation of a society depends on a change in individual behavior: what I do is a reflection of who we are as a community. At IE University, we work to inspire our students, professors and staff, to raise community awareness, and to highlight the work of exemplary people who inspire us and prove that change is possible,” she adds.
The work done by The Avant-Guard Media can be seen on their Instagram account (@theavantguardmedia) and on their website. Here you will find information about forthcoming trash collection days, as well as plenty of content ranging from articles, podcasts and photo galleries.