From Debate to Action: Model UN, Service Learning, & Social Entrepreneurship

At last month’s Qatar Leadership Conference, I gave a one-hour presentation on how Model UN simulates the debate and negotiations of the UN, but not how the UN implements and reports on programs.

That’s a huge missed opportunity for Model UN.

In the presentation, I offered examples from model UN conferences that do touch on implementation, including

  • MUN conferences that fundraise for NGOs, such as how Georgetown NAIMUN raised $24,000 for charity:water
  • MUN conferences where students simulate NGOs, like NHSMUN, Harvard, and others
  • MUN conferences where students create their own NGOs, like CalYMCA and Montessori MUN
  • MUN conferences that partner with the Resolution Project, started by Harvard MUNers, who organize pitch competitions where social enterprises can win seed money and mentorship opportunities

I described a process for how Model UN conferences and programs could create service learning and social impact projects, based on a workshop I led at Taipei American School last year. As part of their NOVA Social Enterprise event, I collaborated with TAS teachers to lead students through a process that connected their Model UN program and with creating service learning projects.

Here’s the presentation below:

Do you agree that Model UN conferences should help students create service learning and social impact projects? Let me know what you think!

Ryan Villanueva
Co-Founder & Education Director

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