Model UN Milestone: The 10-Year Anniversary of BestDelegate.com

by Ryan on November 3, 2017

The first blog post on bestdelegate.com

The first blog post on bestdelegate.com

Ten years ago, I thought I was done with Model UN.

In November 2007, I was a senior at Yale. I had participated in Model UN throughout high school and college, as a delegate, as a chair, as a Secretary-General, and even as a Model UN intern for UNA-USA.

Model UN helped me get into college. Model UN even helped me land an offer at the company I would work at after college, Goldman Sachs. I was going to graduate, work on Wall Street, and leave Model UN behind.

But I thought to myself, I’ve accumulated all of this Model UN knowledge. It would be a shame to let all of that go to waste. I should pass on this knowledge. What should I do?

I should start a blog.

Blogging was a new and innovative thing to do at the time. The easiest way to create a blog was to use a platform called Blogger. So I visited Blogger and starting setting up my Model UN blog. And then I realized I had to give it a name.

What should I call it? MUN World? No, I thought. What’s something that you would recognize only if you do Model UN?

And on November 3, 2007, I registered bestdelegate.com.

I registered bestdelegate.com on November 3, 2007, at 8:10pm ET

I registered bestdelegate.com on November 3, 2007, at 8:10pm ET

I published my first post that same day:

If you do a Google search of “Model United Nations,” nothing extremely helpful comes up. Maybe you get to the United Nations Association site, or the National MUN conference, or even the Wikipedia article on MUN, but currently there is no website dedicated to Model United Nations as an extracurricular activity.

This website changes that.

The goal of this website is to be the #1 source of information on Model United Nations. I want to have a constantly updated calendar of MUN conferences across the country and around the world. I want to help people who are new to MUN, have yet to attend an MUN conference, or are just starting a club of their own. I want to share tips and strategies with hardcore MUNers who have a number of gavels under their belts. I want to brainstorm best practices with Secretaries-General, Secretariats, Chairs, and Crisis Managers, so that MUN conferences keep improving.

But most importantly, I want to lay the foundation for an MUN community. Those of us who enjoy meeting people at MUN conferences, those of us who like making friends through MUN, those of us who call ourselves MUNers–we are part of an MUN community. And it’s about time that our community has a place to call home.

This website is that place.

Ten years later, I could not have imagined how starting this little website could change the rest of my life.

I started the website because I thought I was done with Model UN. But when I went to work on Wall Street, it became my lifeline back to Model UN — back to something I was passionate about — something I’m still passionate about today.

I didn’t know at the time that I would come back to Model UN — that I would partner with one of my best friends to start an education company — that KFC and I would visit Model UN conferences around the world and write about them on the website.

I didn’t know that that we would get to work with incredible students and dedicated educators across the globe — that we would get to teach MUN alongside the best delegates at the college level to teach hundreds of students every year at the Model UN Institute — that we would get to be part of a bright and passionate Core Team here at Best Delegate working to create global citizens through Model United Nations.

And I didn’t know how much this website could achieve over the course of ten years. Today, 800,000+ people a year visit the website to learn about Model United Nations. bestdelegate.com is listed on the first page of Google for virtually any search related to Model UN. The website has been cited in the New York Times and Huffington Post.

I may have started the website, but these achievements are really due to the work of the Best Delegate Media Team, which was first created and led by Best Delegate’s co-founder Kevin Felix Chan, and the Model UN clubs, conferences, and classes who have read, used, written for, and supported the website all these years.

To anyone who has ever visited the website — to the students and educators who have found the website useful in learning MUN — to the “hardcore MUNers” who have argued the pros and cons of awards and rankings — to every MUN conference, club, and class who has ever let us visit, to learn and share what makes your program unique and special — to the Media Team, and anyone who has ever written for the website to share their tips, strategies, and best practices — thank you.

Thank you for making this website what it is today.

Ten years later, I still believe the goal of the website is the same — to be the #1 source of information on Model United Nations — to help students and educators who are new to Model UN — to share tips and strategies with “hardcore MUNers” and brainstorm best practices — to create a home for Model UN.

So let’s keep creating a better place for students and educators to learn Model UN — a place for experienced MUNers to share tips, strategies, and best practices — a place for us, who call ourselves MUNers, to come together as a Model United Nations community.

Best,

Ryan Villanueva
Co-Founder
Best Delegate | MUN Institute | MUN Education

Ryan Villanueva, Co-Founder of Best Delegate | Model United Nations

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