The Banterra Times Issue 3
Fatal Family Favouritism Page 8
Who is that girl Page 14
Everyday Teambuilding Page 19 1
Table of contents Page 3: Editorial Page 4: What do you say after saying Hello?
Brought to you by:
Page 5: Roar! ENVI Roar! & Engineering Ethi-
EDITORS: Monica Mantovani (IT) Anna Borrell (ES)
cal Trade Page 6: Everlasting Chinaâ€™s untold misteries Page 8: Fatal family favouritism Page 9: Brace yourselves, future is coming Page 12: One People, one goal, one faith Page 14: Who is that girl? Page 16: Italian Village
VIDEO EDITOR: Carolina Comis (IT) JOURNALISTS: Beatrice Reichel (SE) Fabrizio Colucci (IT) Henok Ghebrenigus (NL) Lewin Schmitt (DE) Matteo Falsetta (IT) Valentina Spina (IT)
Page 18: Competence makes quality Page 19: Everyday Teambuilding
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Editorial Dear delegates, It seems impossible, GA day is already coming. Teambuilding and Committee Work have passed in such a quick way that we don’t even realise the quantity of things we have done in only two days. It was such a pleasure being with you at the Hippie Party and you actually inspired us somehow. You let us remind how Hippie mentality is close to the EYPers one. We like to be free, we want to change the world. Our souls are free and we can be considered as a group apart from everyone else. The point is that, even if we don’t always dress up as hippies, we are all a bit hippie inside because we experienced EYP at least once. As we have already said before, GA is approaching, so why don’t we take the chance of showing our hippie side during the plenary session? Let’s try to be open minded, to share our thoughts, to defend our ideals and to believe in what we really want. Passion is always the key of success. Enjoy. Anna Borrell Mauri (ES) Monica Mantovani (IT)
What Do You Say After Saying Hello? Lewin Schmitt & Matteo Falsetta In the last issue, you learned a lot about the importance of saying hello. At any EYP event, you say hello to many, many new people. You meet them as strangers, get to know them better during the session and – hopefully – say goodbye as friends. However, there is a rather long way between saying hello – obviously the first, essential step – and being very closely connected at the end. It is of utmost significance to keep a discussion rolling and there is a famous phrase for this: Small Talk. Per definition, it is an informal type of conversation not covering any functional topics but more focusing on the sharing itself. A common critique is that small talk is superficial, hypocritical and not natural to human social behavior. Indeed, small talk is more about speaking than listening; it is for the speakers very own sake. You do not want to learn about your counterpart, you want to touch the surface of various topics and hope that there is one of common interest that actually leads into fruitful and interesting discussions. It is comprehensible if you have an awkward feeling when talking about the weather with strangers or commenting on what is perfectly obvious. Still, small talk as an essential social skill is the most effective way of shipping around the initial distance and sailing into safer shores – topics you feel familiar with, where 4
you have an opinion and background knowledge. Just try it at the next possibility. Choose someone who seems to be standing alone, think of some random news headline – like politics or sports – and start chatting. As you soon will notice, the discussion drifts away from this ice breaking opener and approaches to remarkable and curious stuff. However, be aware of gaffes: They are everywhere ready to pop out and destroy the connection you just made up after such a big effort. Gaffes are the nightmare of every small talk. You never know who you are in front of. He could be everything you did not expect him to be, from the southern people – while you are stating they are lazy – to the northern people – while you are affirming that they are superficial. Or even worse, a situation that actually happened to one of the authors: picture that typical perfect loving couple whose lives depend on each other. One day, they split up and you happen to meet that same girl in the street, and the logical question that comes to your mind is “Hey, how is your boyfriend doing?” Yes, you can almost get punched. And don’t forget the classic of all the gaffes: asking an overweight woman: “How much time left before the baby comes?” So, our advice is … mind what you say!
Roar! ENVI Roar! Lewin Schmitt The Committee on ENVI has to care about animals by the pure nature of its topic. What is noteworthy though, is how well they did during teambuilding in means of caring about each other. Whether it was the Monkey Bridge, where no one – not even dead monkeys – where left behind, or lifting up the committee members on just one finger: Together they stand strong, together they share the fun and banter of Volterra, together they will create a splendid resolution. Mattia, Martina, Manal, Massimo, Manfredi and Monica integrated those poor souls of the minority that didn’t have a first name starting with an M: Francesco, Francesca, Giulia,
Riccardo, Antonio, Eleonora and Carlotta. After a blasting afternoon of teambuilding, the delegates were keen on starting with Committee Work. Again, observers were impressed by the qualified discussion that soon developed, and went on smoothly and respectful, yet productive. With the background of an extensive wall of knowledge and the delegates’ widespread research, a highly concentrated atmosphere immediately filled the room. European animals should be happy to have these ENVI people caring about their rights and planning on protecting them while keeping in mind the importance of regional culture and local traditions.
Engineering Ethical Trade Beatrice Reichel Only the faint squeaky scratch of pen on paper can be heard. Attention is focused inward, to the heart of the circle. A girl writes; avid note-takers follow with alert gazes. The blueprint lies spread on the ground, exposed to the harsh scrutiny of its architects. “I read the constitution,” says one delegate. It is not a boast. Reference to a specific article grounds the conversation in black-andwhite fact. Another brings up the tariffs China imposes on rare earth elements. Meanwhile, a third delegate draws attention to the differences between procedural and substantive democracy in China. One by one, the foundation stones are selected from the bedrock and chiseled into shape. Four groups of three: each with a coloured poster with matching post-it notes. Then follows a rotation of working teams in a clock-
wise order. One by one, the teams supplement the others’ knowledge in an orderly and carefully controlled fashion. Division of labour. Plan. Organise. Command. Coordinate. Control. All runs like a welloiled machine. Yet all is not mechanical. The facts are couched in a deep belief in Europe’s moral obligation to promote ethical and sustainable trade. Though you can sometimes hear a pin drop in the committee, the discussion becomes infused with incredible pathos when China’s human rights record is raised. Despite the wellpolished and disciplined surface, there can be no doubt that a sense of duty drives the dedicated delegates of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The mortar binds and strengthens. Piece by piece, an abstraction begins to take on physical form. 5
Everlasting China’s Untold Mysteries Valentina Spina
I’m wandering around Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai. What grabs my attention are hundreds of posters with smiling-faced Xi Jinping , the new President of the People’s Republic of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party. I want to show my friends what China is like and posters explain it perfectly, so i try to upload a picture on facebook. It doesn’t work here in China. Youtube replaced by YouKu, Facebook by Renren, Google by Baidu. Writers and journalists are condemned to years of prison for misrepresenting the Country, generations are afraid to talk about their past. During China’s 21st century economic boom, incompetent western journalists fill us with made
up news about this still mysteriuos China, with its complicated dynimisms. When words like democracy, human rights, dictatorship, despotism, genocide, oppression, Red Terror and Tibetan Indipendence are banned from the internet and when people’s taboos change every now and then depending on the political strategies, there must be something strange going on. Talking about democracy, it has to be said that a lot of chinese people don’t want it and compare it to chaos. They consider it as an unefficient system also for the strong impact media have on them: chinese news only talk about western democratic countries giving in to crisis and how, instead, China stands up to it and grows . Li Datong, journalist in China since 20 years ago, tries to explain the complex phenomenon of chinese censorship. “When something happens in China,” he says, “all journalists can talk about it except the ones writing for the newspaper of that area”. He also underlines the absurdity of chinese press process. “All media
have to follow the directives given from propaganda departements,” he affirms, “ but the huge difference with western countries is that in China the editors are supposed to be censoring their newspaper or controlling their own tv channel in order not to be punished or fired” . From this point of view, it would be too easy to judge and blame the governing Party, and that’s what we’re used to, but the censoring-editors prove the fact that they are their own enemies. They want their hometown to be in good light and the majority of them strongly believes in China’s system as a whole, because they had never been as rich as they are now. Chen Guangcheng, blind lawyer and activist for human rights, was condemned to 4 years of imprisonment for having reported more than 130 milion cases of forced abortion and sterilisation in Henan, a chinese central region crossed by the Yellow River. Some dissidents, to make him escape, brought him to Beijing and from that moments his traces disappeared. Someone says that he was at the
American ambassade, which could be logical, given that Victoria Nuland , representative of the State Department of the United States, declared to be “ worried about the Chen case” . Guangcheng reappers in a video adressed to Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister until february 2013, asking him to make people respect the law and Guangcheng’s family. Then, he listed the names of the public officials who used violence against Chen and his family. These events enlight and make us understand that chinese population doesn’t have a common will and opinion on their Country’s policies. China has a long history, it remains not fully integrated in world’s society and having a completely different culture and costumes, it has always isolated itself from the resto f the world. China has to be studied and the fact that it takes time and that it is not easy to understand its situation must be taken into consideration. Despite what we might think, China’s empire is still surviving and maybe we are going to be its next servant ourselves.
Fatal Family Favouritism Beatrice Reichel
Who you know matter more than what you know. Or so the saying goes. Nepotism, or the practice of favouring friends and family when filling vacancies in business and politics, is nothing new to Italy. The very word comes from the Italian word for nephew – nipote – stemming from the time that Popes handed out clerical jobs to their relatives. “Nepotism is alive and kicking in Italy,” read the BBC headlines on February 19th of this year. The Brits clearly consider this information newsworthy, whereas the Italians scoff at their naivety. When delegates are asked about the prevalence of nepotism in Italy, many seem unsurprised. “It’s a cultural thing,” says one delegate, going on to suggest that Italians have learned to accept nepotism as normal. The young people at this conference are at an age when they just begin to enter the Ital8
ian labour force. Most of those interviewed say that they would want to be valued by their employers for their merit, not their connections. Still, many add that in the face of rising youth unemployment, they would be willing to exploit their contacts to find work. This may have a profound impact on the Italian economy. It’s the basic tenet of development economics. To improve living standards you increase growth; to increase growth you improve human capital. Human capital is directly linked to education – so if people aren’t being hired based on merit human capital diminishes. Attitude is central to the issue. Acceptance of nepotism as a cultural norm is dangerous, and the responsibility for changing attitudes rests with Italy’s youth. After all, the rules of the game are only fixed if you agree to play by them.
Brace yourselves, future is coming Henok Ghebrenigus Ninety per cent of all scientist and engineers that have ever lived are alive today. Since the 1800s we have been making scientific progress at an astonishing pace and we are learning more every day. I can never understand why people would like to live in different times. Sure, Medieval Europe, the Wild West and such have their charms, but I like toilets. And our time is about to get even better. We have known since the beginning of the 20th century that Mother Nature at subatomic levels does not behave like we are used to, but it took us a while to realise what kind of opportunities came along with modern – or quantum – physics. Once we fully understand the underlying principles of quantum physics magic will become reality. If you think I am exaggerating, you will have to adjust your definition of the word “magic”. Imagine a phone as powerful as the most complex computers or doors that appear and disappear with the touch of a button. Oh wait, no, not with the touch of a button
because everything will be thought controlled anyway. To me, that is magic. Do not misunderstand; this is all still several decades away, but there will be products available soon that show how fast we are moving. It is our dear friends at Google that have done it once again. Google Glass will be available at the end of this year. Glass is voice controlled device that enables you to take pictures or videos, listen to music and even let’s you make phone calls. Glass is a basically a pair of glasses, but without the glasses. Here comes the part where you might want to sit down. It contains a small translucent screen right above your line of sight. If you would tap on the frame and say: “Okay Glass, give me directions to the nearest restaurant.”, it would show you exactly that. Just seventy years ago the first real computer was built. It was a huge cumbersome that could not even perform calculation that your blow dryer could do now. Now we have wearable voice controlled computers. In seventy years bet that we can fly to work.
Treasures for the rest of your lives
One people, one goal, one faith Fabrizio Colucci
Four days ago, on the 20th of March, Philippe Verdon, a French citizen residing in Mali, was killed by the AQIM group (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), after two years of seizure. This directly brings us to one of the most challenging and delicate issues that occur nowadays since Libyan’s struggle and Afghanistan: Mali’s conflict. To give a proper explanation of this last fact, we need to go through the historical background and the succession of events that led to the conflict. From the 1990s, Mali has been going through periods that go from short peacekeeping to harsh battle throughout the northern part of its territory. Everything started back in the early beginning of the last decade of the 20th century, when a group of Malian Tuareg and Arab nomads formed the Azawad People’s Movement, also known as MPA, and declared the independence of Azawad, the northern half of Mali. The government quickly managed to establish peace with the group, which lasted 4 years from 1991 to 1995. The grow12
ing dissatisfaction of the Tuareg, though, fostered the MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, an organization fighting to make Azawad an independent homeland for the Tuareg people) to find support for the following 15 years, until they managed to get in touch with the Islamic groups Ansar Dine and AQIM and, in 2012, began what we now call the “Northern Mali conflict”. What initially seemed “easy business” to the world’s eye, suddenly started to be really complicated to deal with. In fact, as soon as the Libyan conflict ended, an enormous influx of weaponry led to the arming of the Tuareg in their demand for independence, which baffled and surprised the Malian officials and observers because this factor was not present in previous conflicts. Being the Malian army too weak to oppose to the MNLA, the so-called “strategic withdrawal” of the government forces from the region was the only possible conclusion. However, former co-belligerents of Ansar Dine,
MOJWA (Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa), and the MNLA soon found themselves in conflict with each other as well as the populace. The MNLA were initially backed up by the Islamist group Ansar Dine. After the Malian military was driven from Azawad, Ansar Dine and a number of smaller Islamist groups began imposing strict Sharia law, which brought the MNLA and Islamists to struggle to reconcile their conflicting visions for an intended new state. The initial “conceptual” struggle resulted then in an actual conflict between the former allies, but on the 17th of July 2012, the MNLA had lost control of most of northern Mali’s cities to the Islamists. At this point, the Mali government found itself obliged to ask for help to international figures. In a letter dated 28 September 2012 addressed to the President of the Security Council, the interim President of the Republic of Mali Dioncounda Traoré requested the adoption of a resolution by the Security Council. On the 12th of October 2012, a French resolution
unanimously passed approving an African-led force to assist the army of Mali in combating the Islamist militants. The resolution would be drafted by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), providing a deployment of 3,000 troops. As soon as the MNLA re-engaged the Islamic forces and took the city of Konna on the 10th January, the French military intervened into the country to protect the important Sévaré military airport, and the day after backed up the Malian army, gaining the city of Konna once again and claiming to have killed over 100 islamists. As you can see, the conflict still appears very confuse, both for the number of stakeholders and the harshness of the fight. What is really important, though, is the result that the combination of the international armies will achieve, because it will show Europe’s and UN’s military reliability in handling such delicate operations.
Who is that girl? Lewin Schmitt and Henok Ghebrenigus
Monica Bota Moisin
You have probably seen her walking around, but have no idea what she is doing and what she is like. We are talking about our lovely session president Ms. Monica Bota Moisin. While questioning you delegates what you would ask her, most of you indicated that you would like to know all intimate details of Monicaâ€™s life. The conversation was rather mind blowing, but unfortunately for you, EYP policies restrict us 14
Place of Residence: Bucharest from publishing the startling specifics. Both you and she recognised that the president has a very special role at the session. As the head of the board, Monica is the link between all the different teams rather than belonging to one of them. Being that link, she said, is not necessarily physically tiring but it is academically challenging. When the board of EYP Italy invited
her to preside the session at the end of 2012, the work started. First of all, the officials team had to be selected. Once the officials team was complete, numerous Skype meetings where required in order to create the preparation kit and the topic overviews. In the months before the session, Monica was mainly supervising the chairs’ work; as soon as Volterra`13 finally started, she became the driving force behind everything that happens here. For example did she lead the officials’ training, and ensures that everyone is going to have a good time. Being a very positive person, she appreciates the tremendous amount of energy it takes instead of complaining about it. She describes EYP events as extremely rewarding because of the learning process that everyone is going through. It makes her extremely happy to see everyone happy. Five years ago, Monica herself was a first time delegate at the National Selection Conference of EYP Romania. Like every delegate she was hamstrung at the beginning, but quickly opened up and enjoyed it to the fullest. Thankfully for us, this girl got selected for an International Session where she built friendships that still last. In the five years of her involvement in this organisation she has seen more sessions than one can count, but as she emphasizes, each of them is special. Some experiences are worth to share. It was the year of 2009 Anus Domini. The European Youth Parliament had gathered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the first International Forum to take place in said country. Our protagonist in this story is maid Monica Moisin, who despite her young age, was a formidable chair already. On midsummer night, the Parliament had a ball. Like the other
young lasses, our beloved Monica was dancing, dressed up in a beautiful yellow gown. Without her knowing, it had slowly loosened and slipped down. It was not until our hero, her good friend Ruben came running towards her and in a dramatic gesture dropped to his knees as if to propose, that she believed something to be off. At first she was puzzled, but as the other chairs gathered around her to shield her from everyone’s silent stares, Monica realised what had happened. Prince Ruben carried her away into safety and they lived happily ever after. As mentioned above, our president sees something magical in every session. However, like we all know, all sessions are equal, but some are more equal than others. This is the case with Volterra`13; even though we are only half way through, it already has a very special place in her heart. According to her, it is mostly due to the amazing food, the wonderful venue, the outstanding vibe and above all else the people. She especially favours the Italian sense of humour, which is quite similar to the Romanian one. And there are more common grounds: not only do they always have fun and enjoy their life, but do they adore a relaxed way of living with “flexible” schedules. So next time you walk into Monica, do not be afraid to start a chat with her. Maybe you even find out about some of the blather we weren’t allowed to share.
Even though we are only half way through, it already has a very special place in her heart. 15
Italian Village Fabrizio Colucci & Matteo Falsetta “They told me that the EYP experience is not such if you don’t take part in an Italian Village at least once.” This is how our President of the session opened this amazing event. Every member of the EYP desperately desires to take part in it because of both the great amount of food and the high quality of every single stand. They are fabulous: coloured, well organised and presented. From the Northern stands to the Southern ones, we could appreciate many different wines and all kinds of cured meats and sweets. People were warm and welcoming. Some delegations, such as the one from Lucca, might have been “too kind” fostering us to eat everything on
their table describing every product in the best way they could. We were so full that we were aware that, sooner or later, we would fall down and stop breathing because of the unreasonable amount of food we ate. It was totally worthy indeed. We would do it again and again. It is not a secret that the Organizers build up national sessions just because of the Italian Village and we can ensure you that they would admit it if you only asked them. Apart from the food side of it, this tradition perfectly represents what EYP is. While there are people going stand by stand new relations build up and still, there is the sharing fact: everybody brings food to make other people taste it and socialize.
Anyway, if you watched at people very completely worth to be experienced, and at this closely, you could even see the differences in the point we can only say one thing: â€œBuon appestyle of eating. Some may prefer to walk shyly tito!â€? to one table and take a bit of something just after he or she has done a depth comparison of the dishes. Some others decided to walk many laps around the tables and take just one thing from each one - we have seen people panting because they walked too much. Some others, though, thought that the food was not enough, so just did like squirrels: fill the mouth the most they could and then eat brick by brick. This is being united in diversity as well, and maybe in one of the funniest ways! At the end of the day, Italian Village was
We were aware that, sooner or later, we would fall down and stop breathing.
EYP in Real Life
Competence makes quality Valentina Spina
In the middle of an inspiring debate, right when you are supposed to answer back to someone who just opposed your idea, having good communication skills is not enough if a deep knowledge based on precise and detailed researches of the topic lacks. Today delegates from ITRE committee are trying to make up their minds about the competence areas related to the post-oil society; their level of awareness of the problem, gained from remarkable accurate beforehand studies, brilliant showed out. During a conversation, formal or informal, when the atmosphere gets challenging, who has facts and data to back up his opinion has the best outcome: words said without the awareness of the situation would not lead you to your aim nor convince others of the value of your opinion. Your academic preparation is fundamental, even if Marc Antony from â€œJulius Cesarâ€? by Shakespeare had transmitted you his amazing skills of communicator. Furthermore, specific competences, along with general overviews of essential issues, give you the means to have your say and to be taken into consideration in your daily life. Working, either be it practical or theoretical, is all about knowing what is needed to be able to do a certain job properly. Human resources departments, during job interviews, concentrate on the candidateâ€™s specific competences rather than his attitude and his abilities. 18
EYP in Real Life
Have you ever thought about the purpose of Teambuilding? It does not only consist of rolling on the ground, making human pyramids, creating monsters or any other of the million funny games you have been playing these days. For me, it is not just about creating a group: the main aim, which is not always understood, is sharing every achievement with all the other mates of the committee. There are no single figures all the people refer to. There are no stars, just buddies who try to reach the top together. Teambuilding is never useless: you can effectively recognise that it works. Through its process the people who are participating unite themselves into one single human being. They share their ideas, highlight problems, find answers and lead to a common vision on their aims. Teambuilding is much more useful than it may seem at the beginning. Although it is not a part of schools’ and companies’ regular system, I think it should. Considering the schools’ general set up, which is the closest one to us, we can agree that it fosters you to be at the top of the class. For me, this is not the right approach. When you have a good start-up or a brilliant initiative, you should share it with other people to make it as real and effective as you can. Sharing plus agreement equals improvement. The sad aspect of not doing this is that people don’t feel comfortable with showing their ideas only because they fear that somebody could judge them. Working alone just make you improve until a modest limit. If only you would cooperate with your classmates or colleagues you could go “To infinity ... and beyond!” 19
â€œIf you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.â€? (African Proverb) Thanks for the support:
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Volterra 2013, 30th National Selection Conference of EYP Italy. Brought to you by: Editors - Monica Mantovani (IT), Anna Borrell (ES). Journ...