“Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” – Jedi Master Yoda
Despite the wrong grammar and the words being taken out of context, the diminutive Jedi master is right. The future can take us anywhere and pinpointing it is an ungrateful task. Many predictions do not become reality, but not making any demonstrates a lack of vision. ZuMUN, in its third successful run, has established itself and can look ahead with more certainty.
From the first year onwards, we wanted to establish standards of procedure, automatic handling of common tasks, and a sense of clockwork precision and efficiency that pervades Switzerland and us.
In the first edition, there were a lot of uncertainties that molded our problem solving. The second edition built on the established solutions, but its growth presented a set of opportunities to show how we can adapt to anything that prevents optimal execution. With two conferences under our belt, we now have a good grasp on handling most challenges that come our way. However, we are not complacent, but rather mindful and on the lookout for how to adapt our strategy. And this is what we will build on.
Zurich is a smaller city which limits the total size to which we can grow, so there will be a saturation of delegates. The maximum number of MUN delegates that ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich can accept is around 250, but there is no cap to the good service that we can provide. Apart from the good conference experience, we hope to expand to also providing accommodation and full meals, so that our delegates are taken care of from the moment they register to the end of the closing ceremony. This will rely on the fundraising capabilities. With more successful conferences, this becomes easier because the ZuMUN brand will gain confidence and good reputation. This is also evident in our sponsor list which has expanded over the three years.
People do MUN for various reasons, but the most important one is to discuss pressing issues in the world today and hammer out the best solutions. It is our job as the OC to present the delegates with these engaging issues. The approach that we have adopted is setting an overarching theme and shaping our committees and topics around it. To kick off the conference, we set up a panel discussion as a part of our opening ceremony. This discussion with top experts in the field touches on the topics and all participants can take something away to help them jump-start a discussion even better. We chose the panel discussion format instead of a speaker, which many conferences offer, to expose the delegates to different opinions, give them the opportunity to get into a dialogue with the invited guests, as well as make ourselves stand out. This format will be kept and we will step up efforts to make the delegates immerse themselves more in the topic. We will be on the lookout for the most important themes and topics in the ever-changing world around us.
To conclude, the next frontier of ZuMUN is growth to the maximum and at the same time improvement of what we do well now. We want delegates to be able to completely focus on the debates and alleviate all their other small concerns, such as food and accommodation. We take a page from the rulebook of top scientific institutions – take care of all the scientists’ needs and let them devote their full mental energy to finding solutions. To facilitate that, we will provide input information on the state of the art through experts in the field on the panel discussion and excellent guides on cutting-edge topics. Innovation will not be disregarded during all this. If we see an opportunity for disruptive innovation in MUN, we will take it and lead the way in MUN-conference making.