INTERNATIONAL GOODWILL SOCIETY
How Can I Help People Freely Express Their Thoughts?
Growing up in South Korea, I felt that hierarchical social structure discourages sincere conversations between students, teachers, and families, especially making younger people feel pressured to candidly express their thoughts to older people or to more authoritative. Such constrained atmosphere within the society eventually causes disconnect within human relationships.
This realization made me grow interests in encouraging communication between people, which motivated me to work as a staff at International Goodwill Society club.
As a staff member, I helped other people actively express their ideas, free from occupation or age. This portfolio displays various activities and debate session we organized throughout our term at IGS.
International Goodwill Society (Union Club)
My Role Membership Staff
WHAT IS IGS?
International Goodwill Society(IGS) is a union club that organizes weekly debate session with regards to political, social, and cultural issues. Anyone can participate in a discussion after online registration on IGS website.
IGS members, including myself, organized and planned various presentations, debate session, and lectures to encourage in-depth conversation and discussion.
A ‘SPACE’ EVERYONE CAN SHARE
Through debate, people share and communicate inner thoughts with a professional and respectful manner.
Yet, debate culture remains novel within South Korean society. IGS provided a ‘space’ for people in various age to come together and to freely express their thoughts on social issues.
My role as membership staff was to ensure everyone actively participates in and follows the debate,
making sure that no one is left behind.
Some examples included introducing newcomers to
a group he or she can easily get along, giving guidelines to people who are facing difficulties participating in debate, and encouraging people to have more confidence.
Volunteer Academic Lecture Offering
Through past experiences as a staff, we noticed that people often face difficulties effectively expressing thoughts and opinions when debating or writing. In order to mediate this issue, we introduced ‘Academic Night.’ and offered lectures on ‘Balancing the General with the Specific,’ and ‘How to be a presider?’
5 Minute Presentation
We also encouraged ‘5 minute presentation’ for the participants to present about any topic of their choice.
Upon their presentation, staff members provided on-spot feedbacks. For this activity, I presented about the impacts 3D printers would bring soon in our future society.
Book as a medium of communicating opinions and thoughts
Writing is another way of expressing thoughts.
We collected 50 essays from different people and made it into a book,
and distributed it to members.
In the process, I was in charge of editorial design.
Ability to Observe and Listen & Communication Skills
As a staff member at IGS, I was able to be the helper instead of the helped. The responsibility of being the helper demanded me with various skills to listen and observe with careful attention to see if anyone is having difficulties fining moments to voice out their opinions. The listening and observation skills I gained through this process and experience helped me improve daily interactions with people and the ability to quickly spot the needs of surrounding people.
What I also learned is the fact that simply having knowledge and explaining it to people is a completely different challenge. Effectively communicating what I know to people requires understanding the other person from their perspective and explaining it accordingly. I came to this realization when I was working on the presentation about 3D printer. One of the biggest challenges in the process of preparing for the presentation was to question myself: how can I deliver the design content to non-experts in an interesting and clear ways so that they too can understand easily?