YMUN XLV Social Impact Challenge
This year marks the first ever YMUN Social Impact Challenge, which offers delegates the chance to take the initiative on addressing key challenges in the modern world. The goal of this initiative is to encourage delegates to take ownership and provide an opportunity for the application of the skills cultivated by Model UN, namely collaboration, initiative and a desire to change the world for the better.
YMUN’s Social Impact Challenge is driven by its mission statement of “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow” as well as that of our nonprofit partner Save the Children. It asks participants to appreciate the capacity of youth today to play a key role in shaping popular and political discourse. For this challenge, contestants will identify an issue facing youth today either in their own community or abroad and develop an innovative, practicable solution to it. The Social Impact Challenge is an exciting new opportunity reflective of YMUN’s 45-year history in providing excellent education through a wide variety of resources. By participating in this contest, delegates will gain:
An appreciation for the importance of youth voices in sparking change
Experience with working in a team to craft a relevant and feasible action plan
Access to mentorship and direct feedback from YMUN’s Secretariat
A chance to take their Model UN skills outside the committee room
The prompt for this year’s Social Impact Challenge takes inspiration from Save the Children’s Global Advocacy Program (more information can be found here) which seeks to help transform the voices of young people into powerful forces for social and political change. As a team, identify an issue affecting children in one of three areas, health, education or safety and develop a realistic and innovative solution. Try to focus on a specific issue which could benefit from having young people included in the discussion.
Process & Timeline
Round 1: Written Application and pitch video (July 15th - november 18th)
Each team is required to submit a written application describing both the social challenge facing youth today in the realm of health, education or safety. A document containing the full details of the written portion is found on the final page of this packet.
Additionally, teams will submit a 2-5 minute video where they will present on their idea in a crisp and concise manner as if presenting to the board of an organization.
Round 2: feedback and Finalist Interviews (December 23rd - January 6th)
Each team will receive comments on their written application, based on the criterion mentioned below, from members of the YMUN judging panel. Finalist teams will be announced on the YMUN website by December 23rd, after which members of the judging panel will arrange a series of brief video interviews with these teams to give them an opportunity to present on their ideas and directly respond to the questions of the YMUN Secretariat.
All members of a team in the Social Impact Challenge must be members of the same delegation that is registered as attending YMUN XLV. Teams should consist of between 4 and 5 delegates. A team will remain eligible if a member or members need to withdraw. However, if the entire team or the school they are affiliated with withdraws from YMUN they will no longer be considered eligible for consideration and judging.
All teams must have a Faculty/Staff Sponsor, who must also be a YMUN Advisor, to oversee the team and handle the monetary awards received by winning teams on behalf of their members. Teams must also indicate a Team Leader who will be responsible for submitting all Social Impact Challenge materials and will serve as the primary contact for the YMUN Secretariat throughout the judging process. Both the Faculty/Staff Sponsor and Team Leader must be indicated on the written application.
Written Application (Criteria and Description)
Interest and Dedication: Application conveys effectively why the problem in question is so pressing and reflects a passion among members of the team to take action for addressing it.
Feasibility: Proposed solution is realistic and has a clearly discernible action plan to go from ideas to reality.
Creativity: The problem and/or solution identified have not been significantly explored by previous initiatives or organizations.
Quality of Research and Writing: Application demonstrates a familiarity with the subject and reflects a strong grasp of the issue at hand as well as the logistics of the proposed solution. Writing is clear and free of errors.
Pitch Video (Criteria and Description)
Composure & Presentation: Members demonstrate a strong grasp of the proposed project, have rehearsed, divided their presentation effectively and budgeted time accordingly.
Effective Presentation: The video is clearly structured between identifying the problem and laying out the proposed solution. Pacing is appropriate and all team members are involved in presenting.
Clarity: Audio functions and the video has been reviewed prior to submission.
Note: The technology used to shoot the Pitch Video (i.e. video camera or smartphone) will not affect judging so long as the presentation is visible and voices audible.
Use of Feedback: Pitch incorporates ideas from the initial written application and addresses feedback received where necessary.
Adaptability & Innovation: Team members respond quickly and comprehensively to questions posed by the judging panel.
Passion & Interest: Team conveys why they are interested in the problem at hand and shows a clear desire to alleviate it.
Mentorship and Assistance: The winning team will have a chance to workshop their proposal with members from Save the Children, the YMUN Secretariat, and the Yale International Relations Association. In addition, they will have access to YMUN social media outlets to publicize their initiative and assist in their implementation.
Funding: The winning team will receive $500 to aid them in putting their proposal into action, with part of the cash award being delivered contingent upon a report of specific steps taken and progress made in kicking off their project.
Social Impact Challenge Award: The winning team as well as second and third place teams will all receive certificates acknowledging their achievements in the first ever YMUN Social Impact Challenge.