A First-timer at JCI UK National Convention 2012 in Belfast
by Lynda Harwood on December 6, 2012 10:02
Some of us at JCI Reading have recently returned from the annual JCI UK National Convention which was held in Belfast last weekend.
This was my first time attending a JCI UK National Convention and what a great experience it was!
The conference was held at the Hilton hotel in Belfast with a wide variety of events from training, business lectures, a treasure hunt around the city and, not to forget, the fantastic JCI Gala Dinner and Awards held in the recreation of the Titanic ballroom at the Titanic Belfast Museum.
The weekend started on Friday afternoon with registration, networking and catching up with fellow JCIers. I previously lived in Glasgow so it was great to catch up with my JCI Glasgow friends.
In the afternoon, I took part in a business mentoring session with young entrepreneurs from the Princes Trust. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic, like-minded young business people to share my experiences and offer advice of setting up a small business.
The evening entertainment was held at the Ulster reform club with traditional Irish music and food as well as an extempore competition (when you have to speak for two minutes about an object which you pick from a bag - much more difficult than it sounds!) Our very own Clare form JCI Reading participated in the competition and did a great job managing to talking about hair clips (!) for two minutes and making them sound interesting!
Our Saturday was filled with sightseeing, business and professional development lectures, networking as well as the all important JCI Gala Dinner and Awards. Everyone was dressed to the nines and had a fantastic evening…it’s not every Saturday night you get to attend a fantastic dinner and awards ceremony in a recreation of the Titanic ballroom!
Sunday was a time for recovering from the night before, some more sightseeing and shopping at the Christmas market next to the town hall. Then it was time to say our Goodbyes until we all get together at the next conference in Monaco in June.
As a first timer to the UK Convention, I had heard a lot beforehand about how good the conventions were. My expectations were high and JCI Belfast delivered with a fantastic JCI UK Convention in 2012! Well Done! I’m already thinking about the next UK convention in Leeds for November 2013….
Inspiration from Birmingham
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on February 8, 2012 13:44
Travelling to Birmingham was well worth the time and effort to get to the JCI UK launch event for the year it truly was an 'Inspiration Day' for Sreenivas Midatala one of our newest members.
It was a great oppurtinity to meet people from various backgrounds and it was very inspiring to know how JCI has helped or had an effect on professional lifes of individuals.
In all JCI UK as whole has lot to offer , and now I belive that I have taken one small step to make a difference.
To find out more about JCI and how it can help you please come along to one of our 'How JCI Reading Can Help You' sessions, the next one is on Thursday 9th Feb
The Spirit of JCI - Ignite your passion
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on October 19, 2011 22:34
I am currently sat on the train from Paddington to Reading on my way home from the very first JCI Ignite – South London social event held at 'The Loft' on Clapham High St.
I would like to congratulate the entire JCI Ignite team on a fantastic event that was, in my opinion, a huge success.
The evening reminded me of why I joined JCI. I am not talking about the fabulous offering that JCI has in personal development, community, business, social, or international arena's. I am talking about the pure spirit of JCI, the open forum that is a group of passionate people talking to each other trying to work out how they can help someone else purely for the safe of helping them.
It honestly reminded me of my very first event at JCI Reading where I decided to join. On that night and again tonight (and many times between) I have experienced the natural excitement in a room where people are happy to share, their stories, their ambitions, their goal and are actively seeking ways to achieve them.
JCI Ignite is off to a great start, well done guys.
For all those I have met this evening, make sure you contact me and I WILL help you, as will all the others from JCI Ignite that offered you their help.
Take action and make the difference, to yourself and those around you for that is the Spirit of JCI.
JCI - UN Global Partnership Summit - Conclusion
by Faisal Mooraby on June 28, 2011 14:22
I had mixed feelings when the summit ended. I was sad because of the wonderful experience I had at the summit has come to an "end". I was happy because this "end" is only the beginning. We talk about win-win situations and this summit was one. It was a win for JCI, a win for its partners and the UN MDG programme, and certainly a win for the individuals.
For JCI, it now has more opportunities to put in place more programmes and attract more members across the globe. It has also strengthen its bond with the partners present and certainly with the UN.
For the partners, they have approached the right platform to make strengthen their messages and links to the world. JCI members are global active citizens who are making a difference in their businesses and local communities every time. Thus JCI is the ideal partner to mobilise young people around the world.
For the individuals, the summit has given the opportunity, and motivation, for them to become better leaders in business, in their community, and in the world. Although the focus of the summit was related to the Millennium Development Goals, the skills acquired, the links made, the opportunities which have opened, are relevant to nurture your leadership skills in various fields - from business to politics. After all, the event of such scale was organised and made successful by JCI members. It can be you who are amongst the organisers of the next world event. Imagine how much weight it will bring to your CV since all the skills you'll learn and acquire are transferable, how positively it can present your business to your partners or clients, and certainly, how important you can make yourself in your own community. The people you'll meet will not just be links to you, they'll be active contacts who will know you.
JCI gives me opportunities at every corner to become a leader and create positive changes in my community and globally. Think what JCI can do for you!
JCI - UN Global Partnership Summit - Day 4
by Faisal Mooraby on June 27, 2011 20:41
The final day started with an energising activity to uplift our spirit more. We were told to feel happy and inspired with Shakira's Waka waka (this time for Africa) being played. We even had a train march to encourage everyone to join us.
On the day, there were three breakout sessions and each individuals could attend up to 2. The sessions were on: Sustainability, Education and Economic Empowerment, and Health and Well-being. Personally, I attended the sessions on Sustainability and Education and Economic Empowerment. The most memorable point made from these sessions were that "You don't need to engage in ground breaking initiatives, engage in small initiatives incrementally."
The first session was moderated by Vice President Katherine Cheng from the USA. She opened her session by quoting her own experience and showed how little change can make a big difference. In the past year, she convinced her company to use eco-friendly light bulbs. Since then, her initiatives reduced energy cost to her company and even saved two job heads, which is certainly a huge impact. The speakers of the panel were Jimmy Lee (Vice President of Strategy and Regional Affairs for GBCHealth), Aaron Nelson (President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina, USA) and Joseph Hearn (President of Advanced Remarketing Services).
The speakers brought into their experiences and achievements and how we, from JCI, can help spread the good work in our local communities. They were clear and honest that the main purpose with business in engaging in environment sustainability is not because they care about the environment (the individuals do care however). Green initiatives for businesses mean reduced cost, good reputation and more clients in some parts of the world - thus a sound business case. Green Plus an initiative by one of the speakers, Aaron Nelson, consists of simple guidelines on how businesses can become greener. It also consists of a forum on which members can engage with other members on lessons learning. But the point is again, the changes do not have to be big but they will help businesses save money and maybe employees. Hopefully we will get hold of these presentations, which we can distribute to our local chambers of commerce or employers. Let us start with small incremental changes.
Education and Economic Empowerment
In the Education and Economic Empowerment session, we had the pleasure to hear from David Donaldson (Director of Education at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF), Erin Sawyer (Director of International Operations for Junior Achievement) and Sarah Gunther (American Jewish World Service's Associated Director of grants for Africa). What we heard was that education and economic issues do not only relate to the developing world. David Donaldson gave clear problems which a lot of communities across the United States are facing because cost cutting activities. What we heard from Erin Sawyer and Sarah Gunther, were how their organisations were helping teenagers across the globe to empower themselves - whether through teaching them business skills or through creating their own networks. It was clear to the audience that we should partner with these associations because (1) we are already doing similar work in our local communities, (2) JCI has a huge amount of volunteers which these partners can make use of, (3) it will be for our mutual benefits since more young people will be empowered and JCI members will learn new skills that they can put into practice at work or in their businesses.
Closing of Summit
After 2 great sessions, all delegates reunited at the grand hall for the closing of the summit. The Secretary General of JCI, Mr. Edison Kodama, showed us two very emotional videos. The first was about MDG partners work in 1 day. The second was regarding the work being accomplished by different JCI Chapters around the world, with "Heal the World" as the background music. Vice President Ester ter Beek then presented the resolution to us:
As active dedicated to the advancement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and inspired by our shared commitment, we, the delegates of the 2011 JCI Global Partnership Summit, do hereby resolve as follows:
* That every JCI National Organization will take action to identify a need in its country within the framework of the UN MDGs by the 2011 JCI World Congress in Brussels, Belgium
* That every JCI National Organization shall commit to at least one project by 2011 World Congress, but may embark on additional projects as new needs are identified before 2015
* To proceed to launch the implementation of such a project simultaneously around the world on JCI Active Citizen Day, December 11, 2011
* To commit to report annually on the progress of the implementation of such a project at the JCI Global Partnership Summit
This resolution agreed herein shall guide the activities of JCI National Organizations until 2015.
JCI President Kentaro Harada presented his gratitude to us delegates and urged us to act upon the resolution in his farewell speech. The chair person, Toshinari Fujii from JCI Japan, also expressed his gratitude and the success of the summit before closing it.
Closing Ceremony at the UN HQ
After the closure of the summit, we headed to the United Nations Headquarters for the closing ceremony. Not everyone has the opportunity to have a closing ceremony at the UN but I can say without JCI I would very unlikely have had the chance. The closing ceremony was a final chance to meet more JCI members and partners before the next JCI event. As I mentioned in my previous posts, these JCI events offer more than networking. They give you the opportunity to bond with other professionals around the globe. Personally, I had the chance to talk to the permanent mission ambassador of Madagascar, H.E. Mr. Zina Andrianarivelo-Razafy, and Japan, H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishada, to the UN. Talking to the Secretary General of JCI, Mr. Edison Kodama, in itself is a privilege.
As a JCI UK member, I was also very proud to see our newest member, Ms Jaruwan Bumroungruksa of JCI London, being awarded her JCI membership pin by the JCI President, Mr. Kentaro Harada. To put it in perspective, Jaruwan has been a member of JCI for only 4 weeks and she is already making a difference globally.
The ceremony ended with all members of JCI present to sign a scroll, representing an agreement to the resolution. I was privilege to sign the scroll as an acting JCI UK President. Afterwards, there were lots of photo shoots with members and partners.
JCI - UN Global Partnership Summit - Day 3
by Faisal Mooraby on June 27, 2011 10:21
As I mentioned in the Day 2 post, we can take on board the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by convincing our businesses and employers. In Day 3, Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, showed how Businesses are becoming active, within the UN, in working towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There is an acknowledgement that Governments are not sufficient to achieve these goals and also more and more businesses are acknowledging the benefits of social projects. The Global Compact make sure that its members (companies) have to report on their performances related to MDG internally (i.e. they are not passive members and that they do not violate the MDG in being corrupted or negligent). The Global Compact is generating results but unfortunately only 6000 global companies are listed. Again, we can convince our partners, clients or employers in joining the list. We can promote the MDG by convincing perhaps our trainers to spread the word.
In the day 3 panel of discussion, we were privilege to hear from speakers Martin Rendon, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy of U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Wayne Clarke, Managing Partner for Best Companies Partnership, and Dr. Michel Kodom, Founding President of Aimes Afrique. Mr. Rendon, emphasised how and why we should mobilise our politicians, locally and nationally, in funding for children around the world. The importance for us to be part of the global civil society (which we are already). After all, as he pointed, children constitute of the future of our world. Mr Clarke, on the other hand, showed measurable evidences of the economic benefits that companies can fully enjoy when they invest in social projects and caring for their employees interests. He also showed the danger that awaits these companies by not investing socially as well. Dr. Kodom on the other hand, presented a very emotional video on health problems in Africa. It was painful to hear that some people in Africa are born and die without having seen a doctor. It was again very emotional when he declined help from politicians in Africa. He explained that he required help from doctors around the world (GPs or specialists) in donating their time, even if its only one month or two of their time. As JCI members, being active citizens, we can engage with our GPs or look at our contacts to let other doctors know. Even if only one doctor agrees to volunteer, it's a gain for the World.
After lunch, we were split in 9 groups to work on a JCI resolution to be presented at the World Congress. 3 groups worked on Health and Well-being, 3 on Education and Economic Empowerment, and another 3 worked on Sustainability. I was in an Education and Economic Empowerment group, moderated by Vice President Lesley Young. The energy within the group was high. Lesley showed leadership by making sure that we do not divert from the main purpose of the activity. The number of ideas that came out of the group were also very good. We also had a JCI senator from Nigeria who gave us a real example on how his Chapter in Nigeria monitored the educational progress of a Nigerian girl up to her tertiary education. Now that she is working, she has also become a member of JCI through the same local chapter. It was also clear that we could not have a solid and rigid resolution. We opted on how we will work on it rather than having specific actions because each local realities are different from each other. In the end we came up with the following points:
* Working with relevant UN MDG professionals
* The need for assessment at local level
* Put active citizenship framework into practice
* Create more visibility with our MDGs action (e.g a JCI Day)
* Exchange information and experience (amongst ourselves) - connect and share
Afterwards, we saw the presentations of each group and then the moderators of all groups worked after the conference day to create a resolution that will be presented at World Congress. The most important part for me is that we are already working as active global citizens and thus already making a difference.
JCI - UN Global Partnership Summit - Day 2
by Faisal Mooraby on June 26, 2011 21:53
On Day 2, we heard from various notable speakers on how the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are progressing and what are various actors are doing on the ground. But we also heard how the world is failing the most vulnerable, thus emphasising the importance of the global partnership with JCI. Many countries have signed the MDG treaty but the reality is far from the ideal. Many countries are negligent, corrupted or implementing inefficient strategies.
Corinne Woods, Director of UN Millennium Campaign, believed that more can be done on mobilising individuals of against the scourges of the communities and the future looks promising with the cocktail of people power and technology. The endpoverty2015.org website has managed to collect complaints related to the MDG from different communities and published them online. But the information is not worth it if we do not utilise and mobilise people accordingly to eradicate the issues.
Gillian Sorensen, Director of the UN Foundation,also explained the good works being made on the ground but expressed that we should not mixed idealism and realism together - although idealism is a great starting point. She also pointed out that our voice, i,e the voice of our organisation, is heard at the UN. She urged us to look at our own communities to work on the MDG.
Rufus Hall, CEO and founder of The Orchids in the UK, however, admitted that this whole experience was new to him. But we were all fascinated by his presentation which showed that a business does not always have to be mainly profit related. For him, it's mainly about his employees, clients and communities. His presentation was highly motivating that a fellow JCI mentioned to him that his company ticked off all what JCI should be doing, and also convincing him to encourage his employees to join our organisation.
We had a panel discussion in the second part of the day with speakers Christopher Drasbek (Senior Advisor for Pan American Health Organization), Lisa Nitze (CEO and President of Social Enterprise Alliance), Robert Jenkins (Associate Director of Planning, Policy and Guidance of UNICEF) and Jeffrey Whitford (Global Citizenship Manager of Sigma-Aldrich). In the discussion, we were made aware of the rise of social entrepreneurship and why companies are more and more interested in them. Evidence shows financial benefits that companies can acquire by investing in the philanthropic desires of its employees. Happy employees certainly make a health business. But also, no business can be healthy in an unstable and unhealthy community.
As a collective group, we can make our partners aware of the benefits in investing in our community. As individuals, we can convince our employers to take such directions. But what fascinate me, as ever, are (1) the business skills that can be gained through convincing our partners or employers, (2) the visibility we bring to ourselves at work or within our community, (3) the progress we can bring to our community at a local or global level, and (4) the personal reward we will obtain that money can buy - priceless!
At the end of the day 2 conference, we were privilege to network even more with other Jaycees. The Philippines-New York Jaycees organised a wonderful network event not far from Time Square. We were on a balcony in the open, privilege with a magnificent view of Time Square and shiny sky scrappers. Meeting more fellow JCI members in such a semi-official way is rewarding and in my opinion, was another level in networking - bonding. Day 2 was fabulous in information and ideas on how we can help achieve the MDG.
Day 2 has already spun my mind in searching for ideas in how I can help my local community in achieving the MDGs.
JCI - UN Global Partnership Summit - Intro and Day 1
by Faisal Mooraby on June 22, 2011 13:07
JCI is an incredible organization that offers extraordinary opportunities of making its members active global citizens. The JCI UN partnership summit is a typical example.
The JCI UN partnership summit 2011 focus, like in 2010, is on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The MDG, initiated by former UN Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, has eight main targets which must be achieved by 2015. The eight goals set and agreed by 23 countries are:
* Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
* Achieve universal primary education
* Promote gender equality and empower women
* Reduce child mortality rates
* Improve maternal health
* Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
* Ensure environmental sustainability
* Develop a global partnership for development
The United Nations recognizes the potential of JCI and has acknowledged the contribution that our organization can contribute to achieve these targets.
What fascinates me is not only how I, as member of JCI, can contribute positively towards a better world, but also how my active participation and contribution in the MDG can also nurture my leadership and business skills. This fact applies definitely to all the 200+ participation at the summit.
It's my first time in New York and so far it has impressed me deeply. Although skyscrapers are not exclusive to the United States anymore, it has to be noted that New York has had them for more than a century. The Empire States building is even more iconic when you see it for real, and especially at night. The pencil shaped building stands up majestically in the city - and so do many other buildings.
Registration was brief and straightforward. We were given our kit, with program, folder and stationery. Straight away I was warmly greeted by registrants from Senegal and Togo. Later on I met members from 11 other countries (plus a senator of JCI Reading) - which highlights how global JCI is.
The Opening ceremony
The opening ceremony was very emotional, with a video on the MDG and the suffering that the most vulnerable have to go through everyday. Then a video on the history of JCI followed. Secretary General Kodama rightly selected the two videos for the summit.
Mr. Kodama also read a letter straight from the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, which urged JCI to convince more companies to sign the MDG agreement. Personally, I believe JCI Reading can achieve such target.
By the end of the opening ceremony, it was clear to me that I wanted to contributed to the MDG and become and global active citizen. I could also clearly see the benefits that I can gain in participating in the program. The positive atmosphere and the emphasis by the chair people on seeking concrete solutions were highly energizing.
After the ceremony, it was all about networking. It was a chance for me to put in what I have learnt from the JCI training in Reading into practice. I presented myself to individuals from more than 13 countries.
Day 1 started with a bang for me and the opportunities, for JCI, the UN and the individuals, are amazing. I would never have had such experience without JCI. What is amazing is that it's there for any JCI members to embrace.
I will be posting more updates soon, so please come back to find out what happens next.
JCI UK World Congress Delegate Package 2011
by Stephen Wells 2011-12 President of JCI Reading, and Founder of www.aimtosucceed.co.uk on June 15, 2011 10:30
Carrie Green (JCI Reading 2010 President and JCI UK 2011 International Director) has just released details of the first part of the World Congress 2011 Delegate package.
Follow the link above to view the details of the Eurostar (we are looking at getting everyone out on the same train) so that we can start the fun as soon as we can.
You can also sign up to be notified about the rest of the package as it it finalised even if you are not planning on getting the Eurostar or are looking at different dates.
There is a very short dealine for booking your place on this as Eurostar only give shortterm quotes for group bookings. So make sure you sign up for the delegate package now.
JCI Scotland National Conference 2011 - Review
by Diane Edgington on April 21, 2011 15:22
JCI Scotland National Conference 2011
Hosted by JCI Aberdeen
15 – 17 April 2011
Park Inn Hotel, Aberdeen
What a fabulous experience to attend my first JCI Scotland National Conference in Aberdeen which took place at the brand new Park Inn Hotel, Aberdeen from Friday 15th – Sunday 17th April 2011.
I believe that conferences are one of the great opportunities that we have within JCI to meet fellow members, not only from the UK and Scotland, but also from other national organisations throughout Europe and the rest of the world. This weekend we had JCI members from JCI Scotland, JCI Ireland, JCI UK, JCI Belgium and JCI Ghana. It was a great turnout.
It’s true that conferences provide a great opportunity to make new friends and catch up with old acquaintances (often in the bar until the wee small hours!) They also give delegates the chance to meet, learn and grow through participation in motivational and informative training sessions, which was certainly the case this weekend in Aberdeen.
It was an action packed weekend in the granite city of Aberdeen. The conference team, lead by conference Director Gordon McCarlie successfully put together a varied programme of events over the weekend and most definitely something to suit every taste. Conference Team included: Steven Wilson, Emma Stephenson, Euan Gillies, Pam Cradock and Claire McBain. Thank you all for a great weekend!
Friday 15 April
15:00 JCI Scotland National Council Meeting & Registration
19:00 National Public Speaking Competition
20:00 Buffet supper
21:00 National Debating Competition
Saturday 16 April
09:00 Training: Team Building
09:00 Training: Project Planning and JCI Areas of Opportunity
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Business Speakers: Beyond the Business Barriers with Andrew Laing, Sir Moir Lockhead and George Yule
13:00 Lunch, hotel restaurant
14:15 Optional walking tour
18:00 Pre dinner drinks reception
18:30 Black Tie Gala Dinner, National Awards Ceremony and Céilidh
Sunday 17 April
11:00 Farewell Brunch
Just a short flight from London Heathrow to Aberdeen for me, Friday evening kicked off with the National Public Speaking Competition and National Debating Competition – both of which were excellent events to watch and such a high standard of entrants from JCI Aberdeen and JCI Edinburgh.
The winners were announced during the National Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening and congratulations to JCI Aberdeen on both counts, especially to Euan Gillies on his very impressive Public Speaking, well done!
Saturday morning, participants had an opportunity to attend training seminars:
Ismail Haznedar ran an informative training session about JCI areas of opportunity and project planning.
Emma Eastwood delivered a fun and interactive session on Team Building. During the session participants learnt something about themselves and how it feels to work with different type of team members. One of the fun team activities was to build an egg carrier…great fun!
The key note Business Speakers led an interesting discussion on ‘Beyond the Business Barriers’ with Andrew Laing, Sir Moir Lockhead and George Yule. A valuable session and some great business lessons to learn.
Saturday afternoon was an interesting walking tour around the city of Aberdeen and an opportunity to really explore the city. I was impressed and will definitely visit again!
The evening event on Saturday, an impressive black tie gala dinner, followed by JCI Scotland National Awards Ceremony was a great success. Congratulations to all the winners, especially to JCI Aberdeen and to Arlene Hutchinson, JCI Aberdeen IPP who so deservedly won so many awards during the course of the evening, including the very prestigious award of JCI Senator. Congratulations to my good friend and very well done, you deserve it!
The weekend closed with a fabulous farewell brunch on Sunday at the Park Inn hotel…a final opportunity to say our goodbyes and recap on the weekends activities.
In summary, a fantastic weekend was had by all, both socially and through the motivational and informative training sessions and key note speakers.
Thank you JCI Scotland for a truly great weekend in Aberdeen!
A few words on our trainers and key note speakers: