SVUK Leader Camp 2018 notes

Original posted date: 21 January 2018

Here are my personal notes from the event yesterday.

Topic: “The goal is for young leaders to be inspired from your story and go back to their VietSoc and have that mindset of connecting ppl and their community”


“Đoàn kết” (unity) in its purest sense is virtually impossible

  • Each person within a community has a different idea
  • It is impossible to please everyone
  • A good community is one that empowers its member
  • A good community is also one that has a strong core team - inspiration is contagious
  • Vietnamese communities and student communities have a great advantage: naturally we are drawn to each other
  • Politics is an inevitable part of the community building experience. Unity is built, not taken for granted
  • VietStartup is built around this principle. I also wished for Oxford to have been like this, but back in the day we never really had the vision to go out of our way to do such things even though we had more spare time. The furthest we ever got to was probably study groups or playing football
  • Tip: find a purpose for your community. When people have a common goal to work towards, it is an easier challenge

Leadership comes in many shapes and forms

  • There are leaders who are aggressive and will try to reach for the extremes, but there are also pacifiers
  • Extremes evolve the community, the very progressive & extreme leaders are perfect for this, but it is important to find a balance - the pacifier handles this.
  • VietStartup utilises this mechanism: the community needs to be always moving forward, and a constantly changing community needs pacifiers to resolve the differences and reach a consensus.
  • VOX lacked the radical leader in all of the years I was there. It might have made sense at the time, but now I think of it as a waste given the amount of potential that we had
  • Tip: give a thought to how your leadership team is structured, their personalities, assess your society needs and split your tasks accordingly

A functioning community or society is one that is actually social

  • And it should not only be so amongst its own members but also with other communities/societies
  • The reality is that for highly-purposed community like VietStartup, we can never fulfil the needs of all of our members at all times so we need to venture out
  • It is what I regretted not doing more when I was president at VOX. A prime example would be days like today where we all gather, or VietPro doing events that are impossible for VietStartup to pull off

Have fun

  • Part of the bonding experience is to be connected on different levels
  • It could be as simple as a drink after work or study groups or field trips or sports
  • Cater to what your people like and feel the most comfortable with. This not only applies to your society/community as a whole but also even more importantly to your core team.