Barcamp ASEAN 2016’s Volunteer Team, Assemble

What a pleasure to be here again.

Without further, what we have in the house for this year’s event? The first big note (so big) is the tag is no longer “Phnom Penh”, but one of most famous buzzword in Cambodia right now: “ASEAN”. Yes, its “Barcamp ASEAN 2016”. The name has its own story. But for now, and for some reasons, we need to talk about “The Team”.

This year’s volunteer team is very much a hardened and driven one. Although saying so, there is no room for free riding. As soon as I was informed of the concept for this year’s event, I started to develop my plan for this year’s team.

At first I am struggling with the concept for this year team. Team Building has been my great interest for years, and I could say that Barcamp Volunteer Team is one of my central piece of work. However, year by year, very different themes arise which proves difficult to select the best theme for each year’s team. This year, with “ASEAN” tag in the large, I will have to make an ambitious plan.

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The concept behind the development of this year team is about making sure it reflects the regional community’s values. What could be the certain values that amplifying and magnifying the needs of regional integration? How to create a team to carry those values which still staying true to the Cambodian ones?

I settle on this “fine line”: a line between complexity and simplicity. ASEAN community is one community consists of 10 members. There is definitely a sense of one and each one of them work together in a complex way. The team is designed based on a concept that the team needs to be simply one unified team but they will work together in a very tangled environment.

This lead to the structure of this year: we will have up to 7 Pre-Event teams, and 6 In-Event teams. Each has their respective coordinators, and members could work across teams. Simply complicated.

To support this complicated platform, I need to make sure responsibilities are shared yet affirmed. This mean that each team will be doing a fair share of work and will join hand when it comes to result.

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The amount of preparation done for volunteer registration is absurd compare to the previous year but in return, it yielded amazing results. 500 applications, 150 more than last year, is our newest best. I am more than happy that The Team is beginning to show signs of improvement in the time of needed.

This year, inspired by the above-mentioned concept, the size of the team also follows suit. 40 members (15 seniors, 25 juniors) will be working together to bring about the best for Barcamp ASEAN 2016. At the height of this responsibility, I cannot afford to relax.

The first meeting was soon held after the announcement of volunteer team selection result, on 27th September, under the name “Orientation Day”. The main purpose is to welcome the new members to the team, demonstrate Barcamp community’s values and get to know each other. With everything’s ready, I introduce the new incentive theme for this year, Garlic (ktem). The Team seems to love it. ^^

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The atmosphere was right, the execution was smooth, the expectation was high. The team blends together and kick start a new life in The Team. I like the way everyone keeps asking for clarification on some points and digging into team’s description. The seniors were doing their best to keep up with the juniors, and the juniors won’t let the seniors have all the spotlight.

Since we will hit Pjum Ben holiday soon, I need to speed up the “first phase” of meetings to give out homework and some training for the volunteers. As such, today is another day for it. (courtesy to another post coming after this).

Before I end this, there is something I feel like wanting to talk out now.

I feel like year by year, The Team has given more and more reasons to work harder for them. Though we might only have to spend as much as 4 months together for this, there is always this motivation clinging and radiating. It’s telling me that my story is just beginning and there are a lot to learn and explore. However, it also keeps me wonder: how long will I have to wait to see the end-result? I might be a white-hair guy… (I dont want to think about it now).

As for right now… The Barcamp ASEAN 2016 Volunteer Team has been assembled and ready for duty.