Some conferences do two joint crisis cabinets and it’s challenging enough to pull off. The New York University Model United Nations Conference (NYUMUNC) does ten joint crisis cabinets — they are all interconnected regionally with this year’s focus being South Asia. This new breed of fully-connected and concurrent crisis conferences includes Princeton PICSim, Duke DISCon, and West Point WPSC, but NYUMUNC kicks the complexity up one notch: they have no predetermined crisis tree nor thematic tension. For those who analyze crisis committees, this concept is on the opposite spectrum of ChoMUN’s deliberately crafted crisis trees and similar to what Georgetown refers to as “Morshed’s mantra” — allowing the chaotic nature of crisis to determine the actions of a crisis staff that starts off as tabula rasa. It makes sense though; no one can predict or map out how ten committees and each of its cabinet ministers will interact with each other.
NYUMUNC does an excellent job at preparing itself to manage a ten-way joint crisis. The conference has a 2:1 delegate-to-staff ratio with all the crisis staffers divided into pods and coordinating from one central command. Customized software allows all committees to simultaneously see conference-wide BBC updates and specific committees to see cabinet-relevant updates; the crisis staff sees all of it. An advanced Google Docs spreadsheet that’s shared with all staffers tracks all private meetings and negotiation results between members from different cabinets. Communication is instantaneous as all directives and notes are done through Gchat and documented on Google Docs; the conference is paperless. Projections are overlaid on whiteboards to make it easy to mark-up troop movements on a map. Free Red Bull was given to keep delegates energized. All this lead to an improved crisis experience, and NYUMUNC plans to spend the next few years perfecting it. Finally, my favorite part as a blogger? Their conference takes better photos than I do (links below)!
First, let’s have NYUMUNC Assistant Undersecretary-General of Crisis (and NYU Head Delegate) Zach Halberg explain:
Okay enough of my photos. Seriously, check out the photos taken by NYUMUNC — they’re really good!
Georgetown University won Best Delegation. The University of Pennsylvania and University of Delaware came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Washington University in St. Louis, Princeton University, and American University also had multiple award winners.
Congrats to all the staff and delegates for a successful and fun conference! Special thanks to Secretary-General Talya Bobick, USG of Logistics Cristina Diaz-Torres, Chief Technology Officer Cathy Kim, AUSG of Crisis Zach Halberg, Chair Erica Li, and the rest of the NYUMUNC staff for making my last college conference of the year a fun one to visit!