On November 15 & 16, over one hundred students will head online to participate in the Teton County Model United Nations (TCMUN) Conference. This year marks the sixteenth iteration of the event and the second one undertaken virtually.

This year, TCMUN will host 110 participants from seven schools across Wyoming and Idaho. TCMUN is the only Model UN conference in the state of Wyoming and has anchored the growth of Model UN participants across the region.

Model UN provides students with a unique opportunity to learn about and engage with important global issues while also developing collaboration, research, and critical thinking skills. Undersecretary of Communications Will Aepli (JHCS ‘22) remarked, “MUN taught me the crucial skills of diplomacy and compromise. In all facets of life, these skills has helped me immensely. Model UN is also FUN! You explore new places, meet tons of new people, and pass cool resolutions that you can forever call your own. I’m thrilled to help run this year’s conference.”

Prior to the conference, students are assigned to a country on one of six different committees that model the functions and activities of various United Nations bodies. Students research their country’s position on two given topics and write position papers outlining their findings. Some of this year’s topics include “The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age,” “Mitigation of and Adaptation to Desertification and Drought,” and “The Use of Robust Mandates in Peacekeeping.”

To kick off this year’s conference, consultant Kristjan Archer will present a free public lecture on “The Rise of Global Suffering and Wellbeing Inequality” at 12:00 pm, November 15. Kristjan is the senior communications consultant of Gallup, an advisory firm specializing in big data analytics of employees, customers, students and citizens. Kristjan works on many of Gallup’s leading initiatives and studies, connecting policymakers and journalists with data that describes how people live their lives.

Pre-registration for the Zoom event is available here or at bit.ly/tcmun2021. The community presentation is open to all age groups. “We’re always striving to connect local issues with broader international trends and events,” said Lindsey Ehinger, executive director of InterConnections 21. “Kristjan’s data-driven experience provides fascinating insights into the importance of understanding wellbeing at a local, national, and global level.”

Teton County Model UN is unique in that it is run almost entirely by high school students. The conference will be overseen by Secretary-General Colin Reese, a senior at the Jackson Hole High School. Will Aepli, a senior at the Jackson Hole Community School will serve as the Under-Secretary of Communications, while Sophie Lamb, a junior at the Jackson Hole High School, is coordinating logistics as the Under-Secretary of Operations. Ten local student leaders have spent months preparing to lead the conference as committee chairs. Several TCMUN alumni will also be returning as Model UN mentors during the event.