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What Makes a Team the Best?

As we wrapped up the Social Media for Global Good forum, Bogna Frykowsk (Psychology Major, Forward College), the team coach who ushered in the winners, reflected on how Team Trinequality pulled it off:

Social media has become our new reality. Now, during the pandemic, we understand more than ever that it can be a double-edged sword - holding both an opportunity and a threat to society. In order for us to build a better future, we need to learn how to use Social Media for Global Good. The last forum’s best team members - Kingston, Rushil, and Sofia - understand the urgency of that task. When signing up for the Forum, they outlined how social media contributed to sharing knowledge about the protests in France, connecting to friends far away from home, or making people united for a shared cause in India. They decided that it was their time to contribute as well.

Team “Trinqueality” has built an app to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal number 10 - Reduced Inequalities - in which they educate, raise funds, and inform about current events involving the reduction of various inequalities (including racial, gender, or religion). All three team members worked hard for two months to make sure their product matches their expectations. They are: Sofía García Díez (Colegio Los Sauces Torrelodones, Spain), Kingston Yu from Pacific American School, Taiwan and Rushil Doger from Strawberry Fields High School, India.

Even though they won the Best Team Award, the road to it was sometimes really challenging! Starting with the Warmup week, the team had a chance to meet for the first time. Rushil later told us that he’s naturally introverted and was quite afraid of meeting new people but the global community was understanding and welcoming enough for him to feel comfortable and look forward to every meeting.

After the initial introduction, the team moved to the What week - during which they focused on research about their assigned SDG and presented their results. Then the Build weeks followed - during that time, Rushil, Sofia, and Kingston focused on turning their ideas into reality. They went from talking about what their understanding of the topic was, performing a brainstorming session, and designing the potential solutions into the research and app development. Sofia pointed out that listening to different points of view was one of her favorite things about the forum - not for everyone “inequality” means the same thing! The focus session was a good opportunity to find out about that. Students had an opportunity to brainstorm together and receive feedback from others to make the potential solution better and more comprehensive.

The ability to receive feedback and apply it to your work is a key point to success. As their coach, I’ve observed how closely Sofia, Rushil, and Kingston listened to others and how they got better from the presentation and presentation because of that. One thing is talking to other people, the second is taking into account what they are saying. That is key for success both inside and outside of the forum.

The second pillar of success is communication - and Sofia, Rushil and Kingston also know something about it. The team struggled with it a bit - the teammate’s silence can sometimes look like neglect but in reality, can be caused by post-vaccine fever. The dose of understanding and benefit of the doubt is important for good communication and satisfying teamwork. Not everything will go according to plan so the team’s success is primarily based on how they tackle problems, not how they deal with success - and it’s impossible to do so without good communication. Make sure to be open with both your teammates and your coach, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be understanding of others - that’s the secret recipe!

After the Final Presentation, I told Kingston, Sofia, and Rushil that I’m honored to be their coach. All three of them were ambitious, dedicated, and open-minded, and after 2 months it certainly didn’t feel like they have just met. After the forum, Sofia messaged me saying thank you for all the guidance and encouragement throughout the forum. I would like to thank the whole team for all their work, friendliness to others, and engagement. After all, the Forum is not about the competition, it’s about creating a global community of like-minded teenagers that care about the future of the world. Sofia, Kingston, and Rushil are the proud ambassadors of that amazing group.

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