Saturday’s session on Negotiations, led by Antoine Duvauchelle, began with a gasp as the students were plunged into the exciting world of negotiating a mission to Mars. They were split into teams where each pair represented one of three research companies: Robotic Ventures, Space IO and UISF. They first had to prioritise items for their mission, and then in the latter stage, complete a negotiation upon which the mission could take place and which research facility would get what. They learned how to balance their objectives with the other parties’ objectives and how to come to the quickest consensus under time pressure. Negotiations became heated as each party wanted the best deal they could possibly get, and as we sat in on various discussions, we saw how emotions were rising and voices were getting louder as each representative displayed their passion for Mars, without wanting to risk such high stakes (including space cows and a 6 star hotel on the Red Planet!)
As Kae Hou recalls, “I quickly realised that there was a huge misconception of how negotiations work. Rather than bargaining during most of the negotiation, the ideal situation is to first discuss the issue at hand and what each party desires and can bring to the table. Through the simulation, it became apparent that teams who were able to have a longer discussion before bargaining usually had a better overall outcome for all parties involved compared to those that did not.”
After this inspiring lecture it was time for, according to our participants, one of the highlights of camp: Paintball and Accrobranche!
While the students who chose to zip-line got to experience a day in the life of Tarzan, the paintball group separated into teams and chose a leader to coordinate the team. After a few security announcements, the first teams went to face their fate on the field. After a first very intense session and a discussion to determine what team had won the first round, the first four teams were allowed a quick break. Meanwhile, the most durable could settle the debate on whether Batman is better than Superman and partake in sumo wrestling in the suits of their favourite superhero. For the second paintball round, two teams had to come together to reach a flag in the middle of the field and then defend it with their lives (or until they got tired).
The accrobranche team were stationed 20 meters above the ground, on a wooden platform built around a tree. One by one, we placed our feet on the cable that ran across the empty space between this and another tree… The cable swayed precariously. The course offered us spectacular views of the Fontainebleau forest, as well as an opportunity to quickly discover – and conquer – any fear of heights! Guillaume positively enjoyed the experience, and came down pleased to have “fought my fear of heights” once and for all. The course included many different ropes elements and several sections of zip lines, and was much more demanding than any of us expected. Because of this, the initial elements presented quite a challenge, but everyone adapted quickly to the situation and performed increasingly better as they progressed through the course.
“Even though I struggled and failed, and was extremely close to quitting at times, the support of my friends made me stronger and helped me through.” —Tilda
After having spent their morning high above the ground or battling each other on the paintball grounds, students then had to leave any grudge behind and come together for their YFCD teamwork. E-mails kept on coming in, bringing up new problems and opportunities. The students improved their teamwork and time management skills, so that no issues were left undealt-with. Once their daily tasks were completed, the participants went to refill their energy level with tasty pizzas.
Our last activity was truly the highlight of the day. After several days of intense preparation, this evening’s activity was the internationally famous talent show: “INSEAD’s Got Talent”. Participants and counsellors had to convince our professional jury of six students that their talent was worth a career in the entertainment industry. The talent show, structured by four very talented Masters of Ceremony (MCs), featured acts such as an intense dance routine from the counsellors, stand up comedy, acrobatics, singing, drums and piano playing. All of the participants realised how international and multi-talented the group truly was, with some acts in German and English. At the end of this successful and entertaining evening, the students returned to their rooms to dream of their names in lights.
~ Andrea Wunderlich & Romanshi Gupta