After almost two years of virtual meetings, pleadings and networking events, the Vis Moot in Vienna is back!
Although not in full capacity to conduct the pleadings in-person and not with all teams physically present, Vienna nonetheless welcomed more than 300 people of roughly 50-60 teams for the long-awaited physical get-together of the 29th Willem C. Vis Moot Competition. And as the Vienna Social Bubble is coming to its end tomorrow, on April 15, it feels right to pass the Social Bubble week in review.
Since the very first day, Vienna felt like the old friend you have not seen for a while, with its picturesque streets, blooming parks and – most importantly – friendly people! New faces from the Vis Moot participating for the first time as well as familiar faces from previous Vis Moot Competitions gathered to share their first in-person Vienna Vis experience. For me, as a participant of the 28th Vis Moot, it was a truly special experience to meet people I have thus far only seen through a computer screen and to become part of the much sought-after Vienna Vis networking.
The event “AIAC Arbitration Rules 2021: The VIS and Beyond”, organized by the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) and the Association for the Organization and Promotion of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, took place at Konrad Partners premises on Friday. This was the “opening” event for the Vienna Vis Moot Social Bubble. The opening ceremony itself, on the other hand, took place on April 8, and was truly overwhelming by touching reflections on years of virtual communication, and heartwarming speeches hosted at a fairytale-like venue.
The further events, such as the ICC YAF&YAAP conference on “Young Approaches to Arbitration” and the visit to the Belvedere Museum, were insightful for the mind and delicious for the taste buds. How could it be any different in the country of Wiener Schnitzel, Sachertorte, Kaiserschmarrn and Mozartkugel?
The Vienna Vis Moot Social Bubble has not yet ended though. The teams which proceeded to the final needed to prepare for today’s Vis Moot finish-line. Meanwhile, some teams will have said goodbye to the Vienna Social Bubble already. And like the pleasant melancholy one always feels when returning home from summer camp, parting with the Vienna Social Bubble feels like a sweet sorrow.
However, looking to the future, I have high hopes that Vienna will give a warm welcome to even more people next year at the at the jubilee 30th Vis Moot.