Organizing INMUN is a massive undertaking, primarily because it involves a large number of tasks to be undertaken, a lot of which are so entwined with each other that they would be meaningless if not done in unison. We are the only conference that delivers 7 different committees with over a thousand students from a large number of countries. To ensure that each one of them reaches the venue on time, is registered with our teams, and reaches back home safely is in itself a herculean task. Given that they are all middle and high school students only increases the sense of responsibility further. The organization of INMUN thus begins with an open meeting where many schools are asked to send in perspective participants of the conference. In this meeting, ideas for committees and agendas are pitched to them, given that these students would ultimately be discussing them, and their inputs are used to refine and decide the final list of 7 committees their respective agendas. All of these are also supposed to be useful from the standpoint of the perspective guest speakers, since they are often invited to provide real life experiences of their work on these issues.
We are the only MUN conference to invite a number of guest speakers for interactions with students, unlike most speaker sessions, our interactions do not involve hour long speeches followed by 2-3 questions and exchange of formal greetings. In an attempt to make learning meaningful, they are structured as Presidential Townhalls or Panel Discussions, both of which are moderated by students and are entirely composed of questions being asked by the moderators and audience on a wide range of topics. This ensures that the channelization of the discussions is done by students and they are able to question and learn.
Organizing such discussions also requires substantial preparation and groundwork. We invite speakers from the domain of international affairs, public policy and law. This involves writing to them in a manner that compels them to attend the conference and share their experience with the students. We have been fortunate enough to receive the time of some of the leading minds in this regard. Our previous speakers have included incumbent Ambassadors from countries such as Afghanistan, Canada, Estonia, Bulgaria, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Pakistan among others. We have also received high ranking officials from the embassies and consulates of of the United States, Israel, Australia and European Union. Furthermore, we also receive ministers and high ranking political figures from India who discuss with our students the various aspects of policy making and implementation. All of these respected figures are there solely to help us in our endeavor of bringing a new domain of learning to our participants.
Another aspect of behind the scenes work is the conduct of auditions for Executive Board and the International Press. For this several rounds of discussions take place among the core organizing team to ensure a very rigorous process is set up each year to select the best minds in MUNs in the country. Often the responses are overwhelming and the conduct of trials itself takes up a full business day, not to mention the online rounds where we often ask students to complete tasks such as submission of essays, quizzes etc. Once the Executive Board and the International Press are in place, they begin their tasks of making the Background Guides and the pre-conference issue of the newsletter. All of which involves collecting material, heavy research and establishing reliable channels of dissemination, so that it all reaches the designated audience.
Simultaneously, another team continues the logistical work of the conference such as finalizing the venue, ensuring availability of food, travel and lodging for outstation guests and a whole host of other things. Those of us in the organizing team refer to all of this as an act of dancing on the lip of a volcano, and owing to the sheer strength of their resolve, and the constant support of our founders, we have always ended up on the right side of the metaphorical volcano. So all of this goes into organizing a conference that stands out as a symbol of Indian intellectual potency, hospitality, cultural exchange and the undying spirit of argumentativeness of this country that is perhaps the most famous real life exposition of Marx’s dialectical materialism.