Our fourth and final day here at the CDRC was certainly among the most exciting.
The day began with the semi-finals. To recap, the four negotiator teams and two mediator teams included NALSAR University, Singapore Management University, MGIMO University, NLSU Bangalore, SOAS University of London and Marquette University.
A few hours after the conclusion of the semi-finals, only three teams remained for the finals. These were:
- MGIMO University
- SOAS University of London
- NLSU Bangalore
In addition to experts, volunteers, organizers, and contestants, our audience included close to 1,200 remote viewers tuning in through Facebook Livestream (in case you missed it, check out the CDRC Facebook page below to watch the feedback session).
Sentiments of admiration, joy, and excitement were rife when the finals came to an end. Several experts offered inspiring closing remarks underscoring the great maturity and growth contestants demonstrated throughout the competition.
Navigating cultural differences
Echoing the content of these speeches were the words of first prize in mediation winner, Sonia Anwar-Ahmed Martinez in her brief interview with me after the finals. Sonia’s reflections on the personal growth she experienced during the competition were particularly exemplary of the importance of the CDRC competition:
“Since I was born, every 2 years I would move to a different country. I was familiar with cultural difference but certainly not within the context of negotiation. The cultural differences I’ve experienced were more pacified because it was more in a social as opposed to professional context.”
She added: “That’s why being here at the CDRC competition has helped improve my interpersonal skills greatly, it has pushed me to understand the intricacies of dealing with different sides in terms of strategy, language barriers. All these things contributed to my growth over the last week.”
Sonia’s words give much food for thought. Despite a life lived in an international setting, she had yet to evolve certain skills necessary to navigate international environments. The CDRC proved to be an experience that catalyzed the development of these skills for Sonia and many other contestants with similar back grounds.
Our day concluded on a rooftop overlooking Vienna, thanks to the sponsorship of law firms Knoetzl, and King and Spalding. We spent our evening in this beautiful location for the award ceremony and reception. Awards were presented to the following teams:
- SOAS London
- Marquette University
- NLSIU Bangalore
- MGIMO University
- Singapore Management University
The ceremony concluded with the moving speech of CDRC Director, Dr. Claudia Winkler, who expressed her joy for the familial atmosphere that characterized the competition. Her words were met with smiles and tears, a heart-warming confirmation that, indeed, over the course of only a few days, the CDRC competition created a unique family.
Congratulations once more to all participants and good luck in all future endeavors!
Written by Jasmine Anouna.
Jasmine recently graduated from Swarthmore College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Education. Later this year she will be pursuing a master’s degree in Women’s Studies at Oxford University.