HwaChongians At the Virtual Vanguard03 Aug 2020
The Inaugural Hwa Chong Global Digital Young Leaders’ Convention
Written by Soh Yong Xiang (20A15) and Tan Lyn Shann, Rachel (20S7B)
In response to the changing global landscape brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak, the Gamemaster Organizers the first-ever Hwa Chong Global Digital Young Leaders’ Convention (HC-GDYLC) imagined an alternate reality.
From 18th to 21st July 2020, HC-GDYLC virtually brought together 101 young leaders from 17 schools across 7 countries around the globe to discuss pertinent issues from a multitude of perspectives, in addition to hearing from eight esteemed keynote speakers from various sectors. The need to come together in the face of challenges, more relevant now than ever, was aptly reflected in the convention’s theme – ‘Concord: Standing in Solidarity, Chartering a New Era’.
Chartering its own course, HC-GDYLC broke from the structures of traditional conferences by presenting something completely different – in the form of an alternate reality game . Each delegate played a stakeholder with unique goals and abilities, ranging from government ministers to media representatives to healthcare leaders, all within a complex geopolitical system of fictional countries.
Against the backdrop of a fictional pandemic, delegates then came up with solutions to a series of crises, with their actions determining the course of their fictional countries, and the story of the “GD World” at large.
Nonetheless, challenges were inevitable. Given the conference’s digital nature, technical difficulties had to be dealt with promptly. When one keynote speaker was unable to enter the meeting, the OT was required to flexibly switch platforms to accommodate the unexpected circumstances.
Another novel hurdle that the HC-GDYLC team had to overcome was the timezone differences among participating countries. To do so, the delegates were divided into three blocs, which met at different times of the day. As a result, some of Hwa Chong’s own facilitators had to stay up after midnight to facilitate discussions. Yet, this opened opportunities for unique memories to be forged, as facilitators bonded with delegates across timezones.
Despite the challenges, the event managed to leave an indelible impact on its participants.
Reflecting on her Convention experiences, Cora Elisabeth Macmillan, from Dominion High School in the US, remarks, “How funny, kind, and fascinating all the delegates were which conveyed the importance of international friendships and bonds — I will cherish these relationships, regardless of the distance.”
“HC-GDYLC has been one miracle of an event, emerging from a period of adversity and diversity,” Executive Committee member Lee Ru Ye Laura (20S7B) concludes, reflecting on the overall success of this ground-breaking event, which just a few months ago was unfathomable. “It has really been a testament to five months of hard work from everyone involved.”
While it may initially have seemed impossible for such an event to come to fruition, HC-GDYLC ultimately proved itself to be a pioneer in adapting to change, blazing a path for youth leadership in the new digital era.
The Gamemasters Organizers of the inaugural HC-GDYLC holding their online Zoom Meeting
From Left To Right
First Row: Baey Zo-Ren (20S6T) Yin Jiaheng (20A15), Chen Yiming (20S7F), Lee Ru Ye Laura (20S7B)
Second Row: Timotheus Teng Da Hui (20S7B), Ng Jin Yin (20A14), Hoo Hoi Tzer (20S6C), Wong Yuen Sum Sophia (20A14)
Third Row: Koh Zi Ning, Grace (20A15), Ng Tze Yang (20S7D) Tan Rongwen, Daren (20S6E), Khua Yan Han, Cedric (20S7D)
Fourth Row: Ye Haoxiang Robin (20S66), Huang Junwei (20S7F), Ooi Wei Chern (20S7B), Arianne See Rui Wenn (20S70)
Fifth Row: Goh Chin Ray (20S6J), Neo Bo Xiang, Bryan (20S7F)
Map featuring the fictional countries of GDYLC’s alternate reality world.
Delegates and Gamemasters smile for the camera
尹嘉恒 20A15 李侞晔 20S7B
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