Thinking Globally

Like her peers, Leah Chung 14 ID knows that creative energy has the potential to radically transform the world for the better. And that energy shouldn’t be bottled up in the studios of RISD’s artists and designers.


Leah Chung 14 ID visiting the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The industrial designer is leading the RISD Global Initiative – a new organization that will further engage RISD students in discussions related to world issues. Chung is confident those interactions will eventually result in ripples of change felt across the planet. About 35 students attended the group’s first meeting in the Tap Room at the end of March.

As artists and designers, we’re curious about our environment,” notes Chung. “We’re inspired by what we touch and feel. That inspiration leads to activism.”


Chung has big plans for the student organization. Some of those plans include pairing students about to travel abroad with mentors from the RISD community. “There are so many pre-established culture clubs on campus that would be a great partner of this project,” she notes.

Additionally, she’d like to begin a series of informal social events where students can chat about their own cultures over dinner or coffee. “It would be a way for us to connect and discover in an organic way,” she says. “We want to know more about our surroundings to understand the part we play in the bigger picture.”

The next meeting date has yet to be announced. For more information, email Chung at

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