Genesis of SPICOL

If there is a single person that can be attributed to the genesis of SPICOL it is Ward Mardfin. Ward had joined USP in 1996 shortly after having attended the tri-annual Pacific Island Conference of Leaders (PICOL) that takes place at the East-West Centre on Oahu in Hawai'i. Having also seen simulations taking place which are presented as packages called the 'UN Model', Ward figured why not combine the two events into a student simulation package.

If there's a second person that can be attributed with the genesis of SPICOL it would be Robert Nicole. An existing lecturer who Ward recruited into trying to conduct a University wide simulation exercise. 

Between the two of them, they recruited other lecturers to persuade their students to take part in the simulation exercise as technical presenters, and asked the student union cultural groups to suggest representatives for each of the respective countries. 

Of course SPICOL couldn't have occurred without the actual students that took part. All credit to them for believing that Ward and Robert were not going to make a public spectacle of themselves (the students).

Repeating SPICOL

The general consensus was that SPICOL was a success. Students felt that they had gained a perspective by taking the roles of community leaders, technical presenters presenting to the community leaders and engaging in a topic that has both national and regional signfiicance. The 'formula' appeared to have worked and so it was tried again in 1997, this time with a different topic. With a different 'host' country and with larger participation from other departments.

Learning Through Simulations (copyright 2011, Society in Transition)