WebMUN 2014 - Behind the Scenes
By Chiana McLatchie
With Webster’s first Model UN conference approaching this weekend, the organizers are getting frantic and the participants nervous. We asked Secretary-General Lucas Kornexl to tell us a bit about himself, his international background and just what it takes to organize such a unique multicultural conference.
What drew you to join and ultimately organize the entire WEBMUN conference?
MUN has always been one of my favorite extra curricular, especially in high school. I have been trying to organize conferences at Webster since my freshman year but without fully succeeded. However, once WebMUN started gaining interest from some people, Dennis and I started to plan the conference.
What exactly is your role in the entire conference?
My role in the conference is to just be the General-Secretary; this pretty much means that I have to make sure everything goes as planned. Since we are a first time conference, most of the participants don't really understand what they have to do, so I have also been helping others figure that out. But my primary purpose is to check that everything is going as planned.
Could you please give us a brief background into yourself: where are you from? What do you study? Any plans after graduation?
I am Austrian-Brazilian, from Vorarlberg; I am 100% a foreigner (laughs). I study International Relations at Webster University and I plan to continue with a masters focusing towards climate change or energy.
What have you enjoyed most about the whole organization process thus far?
It gives me a great insight on how to work with people. I am working with a lot of people from around the world, with different rhythms of organization and dealing with work, which is both constructive and hindering. I have been able to deal and learn a lot from this experience in both negative and positive ways.
What do you think makes this Model UN so special in comparison to others?
It is special mostly because of our interconnectivity system, which allows all countries to talk with each other regardless of their committee and to allow them to elaborate their strategy. Also our spirit of wanting to revolutionize Model UN and to be as close to reality as possible, hence our slogan “ Revolutionizing Model UNs” and always trying to implement new ideas such as a press team, videos and everything else.
Have you encountered any major set backs up to now? How have you handled them?
Last moment dropouts were becoming a problem. Also dealing with some financial issues with Webster. How I handled them is by having close cooperation not only with my friends in the organizing team but also this Webster staff who has been giving us lots of support on the project.
Have you ever participated in a conference like this before? If so, has it helped shape you and your degree in International Relations?
I have never been in a conference like this before; WebMUN is very unique in several ways, especially how it aims to revolutionize ideas. I have been to quite a few conferences and simulations across the world, but never something like this. It will allow me to put in practice many of my ideas, which I have had throughout my MUN career and it will also give me a deeper insight on International Relations and the current events taking place.
The conference is labeled with “interconnectivity” and is especially unique with the use of social media and a press team. How do you think this will aid the entire conference?
Because of the interconnectivity, all the countries will be allowed to connect and interact with each other, which means that they will be able to elaborate their strategy in how to deal with the current situation. The press committee and the social media will help the crisis in many ways and help them reach a new frontier of politics, which is media.
The conference is titled ‘Energy Issues of the 21st Century.’ What prompted you to choose this topic?
Energy has become one of the most pressing issues shaping international politics today. Webster University, more specifically the IR department, has focused primarily upon this issue. The topic choice is not only up-to-date but it also very beneficial for all the participants, it will give them the chance to put what they have learnt in their lectures into practice.
What are you most looking forward to about?
Having a great time, seeing that people are enjoying it, and how the first interconnected conference will work out.
Before we plunge into the chaos of the conference, do you have any words of advice to give to the other participants?
I have two pieces of advice; you can decide for yourself what you think is better. One, which I try to take into consideration, is the Monty Python song “Always look on the bright side of life!” Second, the other one would be “Let’s revolutionize it!”