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Reflections on the CEI 2020 Pre-Conference

Author: Ben (Junior Alumni)

The virtual pre-conference marked the beginning for the revised CEI 2020 journey. Over 200 students, teachers, volunteers, and alumni tuned in to listen to the conference hosts and speakers. For me, this was a massive achievement. It was a show of unity that despite the current pandemic, the world’s countries can still come together and work on issues that are near and dear to our hearts. While the pre-conference had a variety of technical issues, the alumni and volunteer teams were able to work quickly to resolve problems and to discover solutions. A display of adaptability. The speakers themselves were prepared and engaging. I was able to learn a lot through the talks about eco-friendly spending by Nadia and youth in change by Dandy. While Nadia’s presentation gave me insight on my own personal habits, Dandy’s presentation about youth gave me a new perspective in my job as an alumni. Students showed their participation by asking questions to deepen the conversation

The pre-conference served as a great stepping stone to which the teams that make this conference possible could learn from. It will allow us to critique the methods put forth and create a fun and successful ‘first digital conference’ that is as close to the real thing as we can make it. I really appreciated how easy it was for some students to get their feet wet and get involved in an experience they have never been part of before. Overall, the feel of the pre-conference was one of curiosity. I cannot wait to see how vibrant the community will be once we are able to involve everyone in this wonderful experience.

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