Interview with MyMUN founder - Robin Schoss
Nabila: Hi Robin! Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Robin: First of all, thank you for taking the time for this interview. United Ambassadors is a fantastic initiative, and the MyMUN team looks forward to seeing more of your projects become successes. Since I started MUN'ing five years ago, at the beginning of my law degree in Hamburg, Germany, I've seen this common passion of ours from every perspective - organizer, participant, and now, entrepreneur and innovator as the founder and CEO of MyMUN, a MUN conference database, social network, research and publishing platform, conference organizing software, and more, all in one!
Nabila: What was the key triggering moment in your MUN journey that inspired you to start MyMUN?
Robin: In 2012, I was put in charge of Germany's largest MUN conference and experienced first hand the madness of organizing such an event with excel sheets. So for the 2013 conference, I kicked off the very first installment of MyMUN to make life for my successors easier. During that conference, the team kept being asked by the attendants about where they could buy the system they're using - such, the business plan was born!
Nabila: How has MyMUN been progressing so far?
Robin: From there, we've come a long way. The biggest stepping stone was making the leap from one-platform-per-conference to one-platform-for-all two years ago. We noticed very quickly that MUNers are serials offenders and would benefit greatly from creating their MUN profile just once, and then applying for lots of conferences with it, with their MUN and Award history to show for it! Conference Organizers also welcomed this paradigm shift, as they could now clearly see their conference as a "serial event", and not only preserve the work of the last years, but identify and address trends.
Nabila: What was a challenge you faced along the way?
Robin: The biggest challenge for myself was the realization that I would be in this project for the long run itself. The scope of the vision I had for the MyMUN platform would, and still will, take years to come to fruition, and challenged me to re-educate myself in the inner workings of the technology that make our connected world work today.
Nabila: What are the latest updates that you've had (since the last MUNPlanet article)?
Robin: In the latest updates, we have focused ever more strongly on the interaction of users among each other. Now, every conference hosted on MyMUN can use it to host live chat rooms for all their committees, secretariat, chairs, and so forth, share documents, position papers, study guides in real time. We have also taken a leap and created the very first research and publishing platform for Model United Nations, where MyMUN users can research real Position Papers, publish their own, cite and get cited. In the next few months, we will release an iOS app to compliment our Android app. And last but not least, we are working on a tool that will revolutionize chairing committees - more on that later this year!
Nabila: What was your proudest moment along the way?
Robin: My proudest moment was seeing MUNers updating their MyMUN profiles, adding every conference they've been to in minute detail, sometimes dozens of them! I realized then I could help MUNers show how proud they are of their achievements and engagement in the MUN community. That is what keeps driving me and the MyMUN project to this date. Today, MyMUN has almost 50.000 users, with thousands signing up each month, and we have delivered our conference management service to over a hundred conferences all around the world.
Nabila: If you could give MUNers of the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Robin: Enjoy the ride, but know when to hop off! MUN is truly the best academic activity you can engage yourself in, as it hones your language, diplomacy and organization skills, and will leave you with everlasting friends from around the world. However, there will always come a time when it's important to hand everything over to the next generation, your successors. I've seen too many MUN communities struggle under the death grip of their elders that just cannot "let go".
Nabila: Finally, what (in your opinion) do you think is an "Everyday Ambassador"?
Robin: Being an Everyday Ambassador is all about staying connected both to the world, and to the ideals you want to represent in it. The technology we have access to in this day and age, and I'm speaking from my experience as a consumer, designer and publisher of technology, transforms the world - whether or not we want it to; We as the users can only change the direction, not the (ever increasing) speed. In keeping this in mind every day, you can be an effective ambassador of your own virtues, and for change in our world.
Nabila: Great answer! Thank you so much for taking the time for this chat. I wish you the very best and definitely think MyMUN is a great resource for the global MUN community. I look forward to keeping track of all the great new updates!