Invited Speech (3rd Speaker) at TEDU MUN 2023 Conference


My name is Aras Alkis. I am an assistant professor who is thrilled to be speaking in this opportunity to address leaders in front of me. Let me congratulate Eren Yalcin, Nisa Oncel and Dogasu Polat for their determination and relentless effort for bringing us together here today. I want to applaud them. 

I think of everyone in this audience as leaders, not future leaders, today’s leaders, because leadership is about caring not for yourself only, but about others. Particularly those who do not have the upbringing or time to care. You do!* Although being a leader is an achievement in itself, there is a much bigger achievement. That is being a good leader – and not a bad leader.

Good leaders aim at and deliver good results not just for the groups they are part of, but for others as well. We know caring is not enough. We also have to act. We need to listen what others have to say, not to answer them in an argumentative way, but to understand and work out a solution with the “others”. May our opponents become allies to craft a solution. Too often ongoing problems need that. Real solutions may need collaboration and that requires an understanding of the effect, of the impact leadership actions will have on everyone and the environment.

I emphasize the environment. The environment is often at the center, mostly ignored, rarely gets invited to the table. It often does not have its own leadership. Yet, it is the strongest. 

Current topics for TEDUMUN are interesting. During this conference, I would like you to think about the environment and climate change at the background. When you have your heated discussions, please pause, and think about it. It is rather easy to do so when the topic is energy security. How about racism, inequality, the battle of Gallipoli?

 Your questions now may be more important than your answers. Because we may get a false sense of achievement when we talk about it. True achievement is when we get results.

We need to learn to consider the environment in every decision that we will encounter in the future. There is not a single topic that does not affect social or natural environment that we live in.

Let us aim to be good leaders.

I wish you all a stimulating conference and a great MUN experience at TED University.”

(July 21, 2023)