This past month, over 30 pupils—representing nine secondary schools and seven different home countries in Europe and Asia—took part in our second Online Model Arctic Council (OMAC) Delegate Training round. This fully online experiential learning programme, launched for the first time last year in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, engages secondary-school pupils from anywhere in the world in a process of experiential learning about the Arctic. Over the course of four weeks, they learn about the idea of the Arctic as a homeland, about the work of the Arctic Council, and about how to prepare for and participate in Model Arctic Council (MAC) simulations. They also learn valuable interpersonal and communication skills, including public speaking, negotiating and consensus building.
OMAC Delegate Training complements my in-person MAC conferences, offering pupils who are unable to travel for whatever reason the chance to take part in a live diplomatic simulation focused on one of the most important regions on the planet today. And like my in-person MAC conferences, OMAC is the only online MAC simulation in the world for secondary schools. Special thanks go to my OMAC Secretariat of Joshua Gray and Rosie Tregenza, for helping to make this unique event possible.
The final session of this year’s training round ended yesterday with a brief practice MAC simulation. The trainees seem to have valued their OMAC learning experience highly, and we received extremely positive feedback from them, including comments such as:
- ‘An amazing experience, really looking forward to attending more OMAC conferences in future’
- ‘Thank you very much and I really appreciate this experience. It is pleasure to meet people from different places’
- ‘I have learnt many things about the [Arctic] Indigenous peoples in depth, this conference really inspired me’
- ‘Thank you again, it’s brilliant’
- ‘The director, Dr Anthony Speca is amazing!!’
It was also especially pleasing to hear from one of the teachers whose pupils took part, who said, ‘Thank you so much for running this training; my boys have loved it!’
Our second full OMAC Conference is now coming up this 11th and 12th December, and some of the trainees taking part in OMAC Delegate Training 2 plan to put what they’ve learned to good use there. Looking forward to seeing them again then!
If you or your school would like to hear more about OMAC and other Polar Aspect MAC opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact us.