The annual D2MUN, which saw delegates from BIS HCMC, EIS, and AIS debate on resolutions to provide solutions for current global issues and events, was the perfect forum to try out the new paperless format devised by the Global Goals team. With the commitment of BIS HCMC to raise awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and a clear focus on Global Goals 11 and 12, the amount of waste that is usually generated by an MUN conference through printing resolutions, passing notes, and eating snacks was unthinkable.
The inspiration for this idea can be attributed to various events and conferences. Last year the Global Goals Club collaborated with various other clubs to create a whole school action plan which focused on creating a more sustainable BIS community. As part of the NAE Global Challenge, two BIS students, both members of the Global Goals Club, visited the UNICEF headquarters in New York to attend a conference for all NAE schools to discuss the action plans created, and came back with a new challenge focusing on Global Goals 11 and 12 (Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Responsible Consumption and Production).
With these Global Goals in mind, many clubs in school are working towards a more sustainable community, such as the Green Minds club who have introduced uniform upcycling (developing the Primary project) and recycling of e-waste at the Secondary Campus, and the Project Aware Year 12 Community Project team who raised awareness of the effects of the use of plastic on our oceans. On November 8th - 12th members of both the Global Goals Club and MUN attended the SEOMUN XX annual conference where we were introduced to a different approach to our current ideas of sustainability: “Think global, act local”. Soon afterwards, we met with the Director of the local NGO, Clean Up Vietnam to talk through ways of reducing the waste that we produce in school and generate ideas for a future clean up. All of these events, and the realisation that two days of MUN conference generates waste in the form of note-paper, resolutions and snack-packs, led us to take on the challenge to create a paperless MUN conference.
Traditionally, laptops are banned in MUN debates due to the potential for students to become distracted. To overcome this issue we asked the IT support team to create a network for the conference that would allow students to only access the Google Drive suite and avoid any social media sites. Resolutions were shared as Google Docs, and note-passing and amendments were submitted via Google Form. Our wonderful student admin team had the responsibility of monitoring these sheets to pass on notes to the appropriate country delegates, something a bit different to racing around the room.
As this was the first conference where we tried to go paperless, we were incredibly pleased with the final results. The effort we put into setting up Google Forms, Sheets and Folders paid off as the admin teams were able to filter notes through the online platform and resolutions and amendments could be read and changed on screen. We even gave out snack-packs in reusable paper cups to reduce the plastic generated too. Of course, there are points to reflect on and improve for next time, and we look forward to making these improvements in order to increase the efficiency of our new paperless system. In this small, local way we are aiding the development of a more sustainable form of MUN conference to share with MUN teams around the world.
Ana Samudio, 12/13T