Welcome toMUN Spotlight, a special series dedicated to Model UNs and Model EUs from around the globe. The aim of this series is to introduce conferences and their organizers to our MUNPlanet audience and beyond. This Monday we are stationing in Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia, a city well known for its hospitality, great food, an unmatched social life, a home city of MUNPlanet, and a place where BEUM is to take place this November. Our host today is Đorđe Đorđević, BEUM Program Director & Vice President.
MUNPlanet: Djordje, could you please introduce BEUM to our community?
Djordje: Absolutely! I'll be brief. BEUM is more than just another student-organized simulation. BEUM is an idea, an idea of connecting the best and brightest young leaders from Europe and beyond, and by doing so, creating a long-lasting network of young professionals from various spheres that are capable of achieving great things together. BEUM is also a family, a very happy family that cherishes its members and is helping them grow and develop.
MUNPlanet: In one sentence, convince us why should we pick BEUM over other, upcoming EU simulations?
Djordje: The BEUM spirit – it is something that is hard to put into words, but over 700 of our previous participants from Australia to Canada have experienced it and agreed it is indeed something special and unique: professionalism, realistic simulations, friendship and great social activities!
MUNPlanet: With four very successful conferences behind, BEUM has established itself as one of the biggest European Union simulations. However, the conference has to grow bigger and stronger with every edition. What are some new things you are cooking this time for the attendees?
Djordje: For the first time, we are adding a new committee. It is something we never had before and we hope it will be a real treat for all the law and moot court lovers. We are introducing the European Court of Justice and adding three more roles to our already big list of roles: judges, advocates general and lawyers. Also, we will have a few extra surprises for our participants that we are currently preparing, but they are top secret!
MUNPlanet: Belgrade is a great sightseeing city, especially for the first-time visitors. Having said this, we understand the promotional potential of this kind of events and we were wondering whether you will have specific, social events dedicated to promotion of the host city and country?
Djordje: Absolutely. Like every year, our foreign participants will have a free tour of the city with the professional guides in cooperation with the City of Belgrade and we guarantee every one of them will go back home with a significantly larger knowledge of Belgrade and Serbia. Also, in the cooperation with the Tourist Organization of Serbia, we will organize the national evening event where all the participants will be able to learn more about the culture and cuisine of Serbia, and other countries’ as well.
MUNPlanet: Numerous renowned magazines have put Belgrade in their top-10 lists of party places. It is known by far and wide that an outstanding simulation requires an even more outstanding after party. So, where are you taking everyone?
Djordje: BEUM has been known for presenting Belgrade’s vibrant nightlife in its best light.We always put a lot of effort into organizing social events and we know our participants will certainly enjoy it this year as well! We love sharing the Serbian tradition with our guests, so one of the parties will be in a traditional Serbian kafana, with traditional Serbian music. Prepare your dancing shoes!
MUNPlanet: On your website, you are mentioning the potential business partnerships that are to be built during the conference. Can you tell us more about this entrepreneurial spirit of both the members of the organizing team and the people attending the conference?
Djordje: BEUM Association is cherishing entrepreneurial spirit and we are planning several other projects that will promote youth entrepreneurship. Participation at previous BEUM editions resulted in several interesting business projects for a number of former participants, and that made our conference a recognizable place where future young entrepreneurs can meet and create invaluable connections with their peers, while learning a great deal about the European Union and how it works.
MUNPlanet: What are, in your opinion, the most important skills acquired through simulations? How participating in an MEU or an MUN can help delegate’s personal and professional development?
Djordje: They are numerous and they can help a lot. Primarily, the skills of communication, negotiations and learning how to reach a compromise. Then, there is the important skill of learning how to work in a multicultural environment, which is one of the most wanted skills in today’s interconnected and multicultural world. Along with all these skills, participants still learn a lot about the bodies they are simulating and current topics.
MUNPlanet: What are your thoughts on Serbian simulation scene for both MEU and MUN? Are you satisfied with the Serbian students’ level of involvement in such a conferences?
Djordje: The simulation scene in Serbia was significantly enriched when BEUM was founded in 2011. Now we are one of the two major simulations existing in our country and we are cleverly separated by 6 months difference. Lately, we have seen a rising number of smaller-scale simulations and we are very happy to see that young people in Serbia are striving to connect in this way. We are specifically proud of the fact that many BEUM alumnae participants started their own simulations both in Serbia and abroad, inspired by our example.
MUNPlanet: When it comes to Serbian education, we often hear about international success of your students, especially in human sciences. What is the secret of such a success if we have in mind that other countries are allocating more resources into education?
Djordje: We believe that the informal education projects such as BEUM and other types of simulations where Serbian students are actively involved are responsible for that. Our country’s students are very eager to participate in all sorts of different extracurricular activities both in Serbia and abroad. This shows that the informal education is one of the key elements of education in general and should be promoted and supported more extensively.
MUNPlanet: In your opinion, how do new technologies, such as MUNPlanet, help with popularising of MUN and MEU conferences?
Djordje: Quite a lot and in our opinion, MUNPlanet especially. Internet is the key source of information for young people. In the world where we can see an explosion of different conferences worldwide and where all of it can become quite confusing, such a comprehensive platform is very useful for people to recognize and filter the high quality conferences that will indeed be useful for their personal development. We are strongly supporting this idea and we are willing to aid this cause in every possible way.
MUNPlanet: What is the one thought that you want your delegates to leave with once BEUM 2015 is over?
Djordje: Ideally, we would like our participants to go back home with the feeling that they learned a lot, established very important contacts for their future academic and business careers and that they loved Belgrade and Serbia and will take part at BEUM 2016!
MUNPlanet: You are always emphasizing how proud you are of your team that always receives the highest grades from former participants. Can you tell us what is the secret in having such a successful team?
Djordje: You are right. We are indeed very proud of our great team that constantly grows and develops. The secret is that we truly appreciate different capabilities, individuality and plurality of opinions. We are very proud of that. We are constantly creating a friendly atmosphere where everyone is free to express themselves in every way. Apart from that, as I mentioned before, we are a true family that organizes various teambuilding activities outside of work and has fun wherever we go!
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