INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR GENERAL
- What has it been like leading a conference that is online for the first time in MUNESCO history?
It is definitely not an easy process, but I think I managed it pretty well. With a strong Organizing Team always supporting and helping the TOP 4, we organized everything well. As the Director General I did a lot of work to do. Being Director General means that you are a combination of every position in the Organizing Team; so I was an approval panel member and a press member during the conference. I tried to communicate with everyone, since my social skills are extremely developed, I didn’t have an issue. Online conference, as much as it may seem boring, none of the delegates told us that they were bored and everything ran smoothly.
- Do you have any advice for the next director general?
If you are not willing to give 150% of yourself and your time that means that you are not adequate; because being a Director General has to come from one’s own will and passion. I was and still am passionate about MUN and organizing was just something that I always knew I loved, so it was a perfect combination for me :))
INTERVIEW WITH ORGANIZING TEAM MEMBERS
Marcos (Head of Finance and Logistics Manager)
- What are your opinions on face to face conferences and online conferences, what are differences, similarities, challenges and benefits?
Even though I find face-to-face conferences to work better, online conferences may be very beneficial too. With the world moving towards technology and interconnectedness, learning to manage and engage through an online setting is very important for the people of tomorrow. Face-to-face conferences had a stronger aspect of socialization, whilst online conferences allow for a stronger work ethic. Both demonstrate the importance of communication and engagement.
- What have your experiences been with both and which would you prefer?
I have already participated in a few online conferences and I found the debates and lobbying to be just as dynamic. I prefer face-to-face conferences because I enjoy talking to people in person but I understand the importance of an online conference now.
- Under the pandemic circumstances do you think these conferences are beneficial?
Given the inevitable shift from conventional practices to technological ways of living, I think having an online conference will be very beneficial for everybody who participates in it. For example, more and more seminars will become online-based, giving more people access and being safer. Thi will probably be the future, so it’s best to learn how to adapt.
- What do you think about the level of engagement in online conferences?
Delegates and Chairs seem to be rather engaged. It is not as easy as it would have been, if the conference were face-to-face, but I think it is still very dynamic and impactful. From the resolutions I have read and inspected, the discussions in all committees seem to be fruitful and important. I have also heard spectacular things from the chairs and co-chairs.
- What would you advise chairs who are participating in an online conference for the first time?
As someone who has been a chair, I think the most important thing is to relax and try to be as approachable as possible. Delegates often look up to you and will follow your lead in procedures, debates, and voting sessions. Enjoy the experience, and try to engage with your delegates. You might even end up in the gossip box!
- What would you advise delegates who are participating in an online conference for the first time?
My first time being a delegate was a blast! It was so intense and fun. I think that’s the key for any delegate; HAVE FUN. You are here to learn and open new dialogues, but you should also enjoy yourself. Discuss with fellow delegates and try to learn things from each other. Don’t shy away from talking to your crush or playing fun games (even if it’s online)!
Furkan, Ada and Hasan (Head and Deputies of Information and Technologies)
- What has it been like working with the conditions of the pandemic?
Working with the conditions of the pandemic put more weight on the IT team than it used to. Although the IT team had a much harder job to do than previous years, still facing the difficulties of the online conference due to the Covid-19 pandemic was not very challenging.
- Has it been difficult working on IT online?
We’re no strangers to staring at computer screens for hours! A core part of the IT team’s job in regular MUN was computer-oriented, barring other small tasks where we have had to run around the building to look closely at any issue that might have cropped up. The projectors were infamous for this – it seemed as though problems with the school’s projectors, normally heavily utilized throughout the conference, were surprisingly common. Holding the whole thing online replaces the physical classroom with a virtual one, thus removing most of the hardware issue of the conference. None of the chairs or delegates have had any notable problems with the Zoom meeting set-up. The software is a different story, though. The unfamiliar aspect of this year’s conference required some tweaks to the website to accommodate for its nature. The website, while mostly intuitive, did bring up the occasional new issue with the password-access system. We saw to those issues quickly, though, and ensured that the conference was smooth-sailing.
- What are some challenges you faced during this conference?
This conference was heavily technology-focused as it was completely online this year, this means a lot of work for the IT team. This meant a lot more little problems that constantly cropped up. This would be because a wide-spread base of members of the conference all were using technology at the same time, this meant constant margin for error in every second of the conference. This meant challenges like log-in errors, zoom key mixups and website problems.
- What made you think you were fit for this position?
Past experience with computers
Interest in computer engineering
Wanting to learn more about computers
- What have you gained from this conference?
Many things. My first experience with handling IT during a Model United Nations conference was at last year’s JMUNESCO, with BLIS as the host school. That previous conference was not held online, of course, as it happened before COVID-19 shut the world down. While that conference allowed me to gain an idea of how it would go, this conference allowed me to refine myself and my IT skills. Advancements in that are only a portion of what you gain from being in the Organizing Team of something like MUNESCO, though. As I always do, I got to meet new people and get closer to the people I already know. It’s hard to describe how important opportunities like this are within our uncertain future, concerning the pandemics and lockdowns. I sincerely hope that the rest of the OT, and everybody else who is a part of this conference has gained similar things.
- What advice would you give to the years to come?
If you like to learn more about website designing and like to spend time around computers learning new stuff you should try to be a part of the IT team.
Selin (Head of External Relations and Delegations Coordinator)
- Why did you want to be in the organising team? What made you want to apply for the position of external relations and delegations coordinator?
I wanted to be on the organizing team for a long time. I loved the conferences that the organizing team put together and really wanted to be a part of that. The team works together through the whole process and counts on each other and that feeling of teamwork and the feeling of belonging in a team is very fulfilling. I applied for the position of external relations and delegations coordinator because I felt that I had the organizing and social skills that it requires. Having to communicate with delegates of other schools to help organize their committees and making sure that they would have the most comfortable and fun experience in the conference seemed like an amazing opportunity which I loved.
- Was there any part which you found challenging, especially since the conference is online this year?
There weren’t many challenges I had to face, but since the conference is online this year I couldn’t really socialize with delegates and committees as much as I would have during a normal conference. I also feel like if we had the conference in person the organizing team’s job would be a bit easier since we could talk to each other more frequently and not have to rely on technology but Covid had other plans 🙂
- What do you think is the best part about your position in the organizing team?
The best part about my position in the organizing team is definitely the results. I loved going through committees and seeing that the delegates were all participating and having fun.
- What would you like to achieve throughout this year’s conference?
Through this conference, What I want to achieve most is seeing all the students have the most fun, educational and comfortable Munesco experience that they can during an online conference.
- How do you think you have benefitted from your previous MUNESCO experiences?
All my previous MUNESCO experiences taught me the procedures and format that a Munesco conference should have. From allocating delegates to overseeing stoff and even filling in for delegations that could not make it, I have learned all these skills and more from my past experiences.
- Do you have any advice for participants wishing to apply to the position of external relations and delegations coordinator in the future?
My advice for participants that wish to apply for external relations and delegations coordinators in the future would be to be social and not rush the process. Of course, there is a certain deadline for everything, but I feel like the organization of participants is a very delicate job that needs to be handled with care because if messed up it could cause problems with the administration of delegates and delegations.
Aries – Releasing and letting go are going to be important themes for you under the influence of this full moon. However, letting go is seldom a one-time process. Think of what’s taking place right now as a culmination of the shadow work you have committed yourself to over the past year. What the cards want you to focus on: freeing yourself from the past burden and seeing the humour in each situation. Consider setting some time aside for that one thing that brings you unadulterated joy.
Taurus – You didn’t come here to swim in an ocean of inhibitions. You came here to live life fully and experience the joy in each moment. What the cards want you to remember: there’s a lot you will lose on your journey to personal freedom—job, friends and romantic relationships included—and that’s okay. Trust that what you will gain is much larger than any of this.
Gemini – Here’s the thing, Gemini: we’re always trying to please somebody other than ourselves. We’re always adjusting our behaviour so we don’t disappoint other people. But, what about *you*? Have you ever considered that your actions could be a form of self-betrayal? Today, the cards are urging you to be honest about who you are and who you are not. Coming into a space of clarity will help you take the next step.
Cancer – Transformations are seldom easy. They require you to let go of the old, and your attachment to ‘the story’. Be present to what’s coming through from your subconscious without putting a label on it. Yes, this includes the sadness and the grief too. Repeating the mantra ‘this too shall pass’ will help you get through it all, Cancer. Remember, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Give yourself the permission to seek guidance from a healer, counsellor or therapist.
Leo – Your journey towards personal freedom begins the minute you start questioning everything you have grown up with, and that’s the truth of life in the earthly realm. So, pay attention to how conditioning is playing out in your story and the ways in which it is preventing you from being yourself fully. The time to spread your wings has come, and the time to spread your wings is now. Remember who you are, beautiful.
Virgo – Words of wisdom courtesy Robin Sharma: “You need to fail to win. And the faster you fail, the more quickly you’ll learn precisely what you need to do to win. So fail fast. Outfail the competition. Outfail the person you once were.” You are at an important juncture. A place where you are able to look back at the past through the lens of wisdom and be grateful for the lessons. You’re ready to integrate all of these learnings and take that first step into the unknown. Yes, the path you’re about to walk on entails many, many risks. Trust the voice inside your head that says it’s all going to be worth it.
Libra – Nothing in our lives remains static. The winter makes space for summer and the night seamlessly merges into day. In a similar fashion, your relationships are undergoing a major shift, which in turn could be causing unrest within you at this moment. Remember, you are not the same person you were yesterday. It would be unfair to expect the other person to be too. So, let go of the baggage and accept things as they are today. As you do, accept the fact that tomorrow, things could change yet again.
Scorpio – Here’s the thing, Scorpio: nobody’s going to know how you feel unless you tell them about it. Everybody is too wrapped up in their heads to notice what’s going on around them. The cards are urging you to start by being honest with yourself, and then, hold space for an open conversation with the other person. This may not be easy as it sounds, but it’s what you’ve got to do at this moment. Word for the wise: follow your inner guidance.
Sagittarius – Our conditioning plays an important role in determining who we are and how we respond to the world around us. Pay attention to these responses, Sagittarius. Notice whether or not they’re coming from a space of love. Could it be that fear is triggering a response that’s not-so-positive? Looking within will help you understand the root of this trauma and how your childhood experiences are influencing you in subtle ways. Trust that the energy of the full moon is enabling you to release the old and strengthen your connection with your divine self.
Capricorn – Here’s the thing, Capricorn: change is the only constant. As a result, nothing in our lives is ever static. The energy of the full moon is bringing to light people and relationships that have transformed in the recent past. It’s true that change of any kind is seldom easy to process. Sit with the discomfort nonetheless, without letting judgements interfere with the process. It’s important to remember that you’ve undergone many rebirths in your lifetime. To expect the other to remain just the same would be a tad bit unrealistic.
Aquarius – We could continue to do the same thing we have for many years and everything would remain just the same. If everything would remain just the same, transformation would not take place. Sounds like a dull, boring, and uninspiring place to be! An antithesis to the life story you’re writing for yourself. So take a step in the direction of the unknown, beloved. Take a step despite your inhibitions. What the cards want you to know: you are being supported to ascend to the next level.
Pisces – Nothing in our lives is random. The challenges, too, serve a special purpose. Today, you’re being asked to offer a prayer of gratitude for all that is testing your inner resolve. It’s not only strengthening your character, but also motivating you to level up. There is so much untapped potential within you, Pisces—potential that you’re about to come face to face with.