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31st Aug, 2011

JCI Global Partnership Summit 2011
by Soraya Bowen on August 31, 2011 16:22


May 24, 2011 was when my life changed (Jarvwan bumroungruksa) . I rang my mother with such excitement telling her that not only had I found an ideal place that inspired me but that I felt I would always be inspired by it. It was the JCI London opening, where I was given a glimpse of what JCI was about.

That very day, I was so motivated and very eager to become part of the Jaycee family. So I signed up to my first international event - the JCI Global Partnership Summit, not knowing what to expect or who to meet, but just hoping for the best.

June 20, off I went to the Park Central New York Hotel, which was situated at the West end of the vibrant city of New York. It wasn't my first time here, but it was the first time I was this excited. This time, I wasn't here as a tourist but as a delegate to what I would call a gathering of the finest people around the world, people with passion who aim to make the world a better living place through active citizenship.

After registering on the Sunday, June 20, I was told to wait for the opening ceremony, which was about to take place around 5.30pm. So I went to Starbucks just around the corner. As I sat down, my nerves started to hit me. It hit me that I was in New York City, alone... whom was I going to talk to? I had no friends with me. To my surprise, a gentleman approached my table asking if I was a JCI and whether he could join me. "Of course", I naturally answered. And so, my first friendship here was born. Jamie Lee was his name, and now I was not alone. I asked him if he would mind me tagging along with him and he welcomed me to his group of friends.

As the opening ceremony began, I was pleased to learn about the long remarkable history of JCI, and how it formed and rose from St Louis, MO, USA into a worldwide partnership, purely by the power of a small group of men who had dreams.

As Mr Kodama, JCI Secretary General, stated: "We need men who can dream of things that never were (JFK)... and ask 'why not?'"  That was what JCI peers were about.

Blog » JCI Global Partnership Summit 2011 Jaruwan with Mr Kodama at UN HQ.jpg

The four days and three nights of the conference were intense. We early birds met at 7.30am for breakfast and a bit of a chit-chat prior to our interactive discussions, workshops and case study sessions. Our first sessions began each day between 8am and 9am and would continue intensively until 3pm or 4pm. Of course, we never did leave at exactly 4pm as there were so many interesting people to meet and so many things to do such as have drinks on the Monday 21 as hosted by JCI Philippines. It was at this point that I realized how much of an opportunity this conference had provided me to meet top class people without so much of a hassle of having to fly around the world to other countries to see them. The creams of the crop were all right here, all summoned to one place and I needed look no further.

Besides learning such things as how to advance UN MDGs goals, how to take action in local communities, how to adapt sustainability development in the work environment or do business that can help solve a society's problem, what was hidden was the fire within each individual and the personal experiences they brought to the table. They were from all walks of life: business owners, lawyers, social workers, doctors etc.

The spirit of the Japanese people particularly impressed me. There were some 150+ Japanese delegates there, not including their translators. They managed to come to New York with such positivity of attitude despite the unimaginable difficulties they are presently going through in their country. It was a tragic moment when a slide presentation was shown of the devastation.

Instead of throwing our lunches away, we were asked if we would like to bring the food to the homeless shelter nearby - a thoughtful gesture to which many of us were more than happy to fulfill: it was reminder of such easy ways there can be to make small changes that most of us probably forget about.

Blog » Pesentation on education and economic breakout session at JCI Global Partnership Summit.jpg

Moreover, I got to meet other UK delegates, including Mr Mooraby, also known as Faisal from JCI Reading to whom I am very grateful. He introduced me to Toastmasters, an organization training public speaking skill through practice and feedback. We went to the Microsoft building, the hardest place to get into and, to my experience, to get out of. The organizer did not show up, but as a JCI and a great leader, Faisal took charge. We decided not to waste our time and organized our own session and it there he taught me how to be a better speaker.

I also met somebody I will  callMr Bat. He asked where I was originally from and I explained I was from Thailand. His next question was whether I knew who the former Prime Minister of Thailand was. I said yes, of course. He then told me that he had been invited to join the inauguration ceremony of Thanksin's sister. I might just make it clear here that Thailand's Prime Minister's election was not due to happen until August 3, and yet here I was on June 22 being told this: as you can imagine, I thought to myself how he could he possibly be sure who was made Prime Minister? Then Election Day Mr Bat predicted, he was right -Thanksin's sister did indeed win. It made me question our system of democracy. As a result, I decided to do a dissertation for my master's degree on this topic.


Blog » Jarvwan reporting back on breakout session on education economic empowerment.jpg

The most unforgettable moment and quite personal of mine would be our last day going to the UN Headquarters. It was raining hard, but we didn't care. It was a shame that the UN Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, was unavailable at the time. I didn't know what to expect, but there were talks, speeches, scroll signing symbolizing our agreement to the resolution, and out of the blue, my name was called to the stage. I was in shock. The youngest JCI membership pin I received will always last long in my heart.

Blog » Jaruwan with JCI UK VP Lesley Young at Closing cermony.jpg

It took me 23 years to fly across the continent to finally find myself in the right place at the right time with like-minded people at JCI. The hospitality was amazing and it was an experience I will never forget. It was the best that I hoped for and the best is what I got. 


Jaruwan Brmroungroksa (JCI London Marketing Team Member)

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24th Aug, 2011

How To Run A Workshop
by Sarah Beckwith on August 24, 2011 17:51


How would you cope if your trousers ripped just before you presented a training session?

JCI members were recently treated to session on 'How to run a workshop' delivered by Alan Donegan of EnjoyPresenting. It included tips on many aspects of running workshops from how to structure your workshop to how to handle yourself when things (even your trousers!) are falling apart.

Alan started by explained how important it is to know the goal of a workshop is before creating one. To identify your goal he suggests asking of yourself what you want people to think - feel - or do differently as a result of the workshop.  

He then talked about how to gather good content and plan workshops using mind maps and storyboards. There were also helpful tips on the different types of activities you can include in training such as discussions and mini quizzes.

Alan then discussed different adult learning styles and why workshops should include always try to include them all.

 A few other useful tips were:

  • Use background music when participants do group work
  • Use the rule of thirds to make slides aesthetic
  • People don't learn while your taking - pause so they can think
  • The thought of losing something motivates people more than gaining something

Alan was an exceptional, enthusiastic and engaging trainer. It was easy to see why his clients, such as Microsoft, keep asking him to deliver more training for them.

The interactive nature of Alan's session made for an enjoyable and unique evening. He used real-time feedback from the participants which allowed him to tailor the session's content to everyone's individual needs.

He punctuated the session with engaging stories and amusing anecdotes. One of the funniest was how his trousers ripped before delivering a training session with a major client. His solution? Change his trousers - emphasising the importance of staying calm no matter what happens.

Everyone took away some general and practical advice as well as tailored tips to use in their own workshops. All in all it was an excellent session, delivered by a high class trainer. It was both entertaining and informative.

By Euan Gillies, JCI Member


If you missed out, make sure you check out our upcoming training events on our events diary

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23rd Aug, 2011

The JCI World Congress in Brussels is only two months away!
by Sarah Beckwith on August 23, 2011 21:20


JCI World Congresses are hosted in different countries around the world.  In 2012 it will be in Taipei, Taiwan and in 2013 in Rio, Brazil.  Brussels is only two hours from London on the Eurostar.  This year's conference therefore offers the fantastic opportunity to attend a world congress about as  close as it can get!

There are at least 10 JCI London members planning to attend and we'd like to make it even more.  JCI London members attending their first international event can apply for a bursary by downloading this form.

Here are details on how to join the JCI UK delegation:

Registration: Delegates are required to register direct with JCI Brussels - The cost is currently 350€ until 31/08/11, then its 375€ until 30/09/11, then its 450€ until the date of the congress.

Transportation: JCI UK has made a group booking on Eurostar and there are 5 tickets still available. The cost is £76 and a non-refundable deposit of £19 is due immediately and the balance is payable by 12/09/11.  

Outbound Journey: Mon 31st Oct leaving at 12.57 from London St. Pancras arriving at Brussels Midi at 16.05
Return journey: Sun 6th Nov leaving at 14:59 Brussels Midi arriving at London St. Pancreas at 15:56

Hotels: The JCI UK delegation official hotel is called Le Dome and is 300 meters from the congress HQ hotel and is very close to the metro station.  40 rooms are reserved at the Le Dome for the BANSI countries (JCI UK, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Malta).  All you need to do is reserve the room direct with the COC and pay the hotel direct on departure. The cost is 112€ per room per night including breakfast and taxes. To book the hotel please use this link - Rooms will be available until 01/09/11, after which any remaining rooms will be released and your reservation will be subject to availability.

If you decided not to use this hotel that's ok, if you can just let JCI UK International Director Carrie Green know where you are staying so we can make sure we can keep in touch that would be great.

Social events and Goodie Bags:  These will be organised for the JCI UK delegation.  More details will be coming soon!


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22nd Aug, 2011

Make a difference in 2012 with a role on the JCI London council
by Sarah Beckwith on August 22, 2011 23:57


JCI London council meeting, members discussing JCI's brand. A role on the JCI London council is a great way to:

  • Learn new skills
  • Really get to know the organisation
  • Make lifelong friends in London, the UK and the rest of the world
  • Gain practical experience of being on a board and running an organisation
  • Shape the future of the chamber and JCI

You can find out more about the council positions and our current directors here. This document contains the benefits, roles and responsibilities of each role on the council.

[Note: some members have had difficulty accessing the documents - you may need to save them onto your computer first and then open. Any problems, just email Sarah Beckwith at: to receive the information direct via email. Ed.]

Elections for the 2012 council will take place at the AGM on 10 October. The deadline for nominations is 9pm on Monday 3rd October. For more information, contact Deputy President, Simon Bucknall or any of the JCI London council. To stand for a position, download and fill in this nomination form.

Here's what some of our directors have to say about their experiences on the JCI London council:

˝The experience I've gained and contacts I've made have proven hugely rewarding on a personal level - new skills, fascinating people and opportunities to make things happen in a way that simply wouldn't be possible elsewhere. All of the above has also played a vital role in helping me develop my business outside JCI too.˝
Simon Bucknall
Training Director 2008 & 2009
Business Director & Deputy President 2011

˝For me the best part of being on the council is the people. Members of JCI are very open minded and ambitious and the members on the council are very passionate about making their members' JCI experience a positive one.˝
Nadene Jones
Social Director 2011

˝JCI board meetings provide me with an insight on how best to manage and run my own board if I am put in such a situation in the future.˝
Eyad Hamouieh
Business Director 2010
International Director 2011

˝I really enjoy taking new potential members throuhg the steps of self-discovery. JCI lends the tools and opportunity to really develop your personal potential beyond your expectation. The friends you make are like-minded and keepers. JCI is a truly enjoyable organisation for everyone.˝
Lydia Bartaud-Nel
Membership Director 2011

˝Being a JCI council member has helped me develop leadership and organisational skills hich has helped me in starting my own business. Invaluable skills for entrepreneurs not taught in the classroom!˝
Saket Modi
Deputy Training Director 2009
Training Director 2010 & 2011

˝I have been lucky enough to be on the JCI London council now for nearly five years and I love it! It is so refreshing to work with people from different backgrounds and experiences outside my own profession. Working with them has taught me a lot about myself, teamwork and leadership. As a council member I have acheived things I never even thought I would try. It is so rewarding to contribute to the growth and success of the chamber, as well as helping our members with their own personal development.˝
Sarah Beckwith
Community Director 2007
Membership Director 2008 & 2009
Deputy President 2010
President 2011

JCI London, council meetingJCI London, presidential inauguration 2009 at London Chamber of Commerce

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22nd Aug, 2011

Crayfish Conference
by Sarah Beckwith on August 22, 2011 21:31


Hi Jaycees,

I send you this message to give you feedback about the Crayfish conference in Halmstad (Sweden). It was really nice. During the weekend I discovered Halmstad, a town with a port, situated next to the North Sea.

HalmstadI went there on Friday evening, too late for the black tie event. Instead of staying at the hotel, I walked around the streets to get my first impression of the town. I noticed that quite a lot of people hang out together in family groups. Ambiance is friendly and relaxed. People seemed to be welcoming the weekend. It is evident they use bikes extensively to travel/commute. Wood can be seen everywhere, mostly in the houses. Somehow it sounds like a nice place to take rest where people can lead a peaceful lifestyle. Sweden is clearly advanced in ecology system.

Saturday started with a seminar called "What is success?" given by Martin Pettersson. He shared his experience of being a Buddhist monk for 4 years. One more time, I am impressed by the JCI network and its ability to find people coming from totally different backgrounds. Martin gave us his feeling and somehow his feedback on his meditations. We enjoy life only after having achieved something, or gain something, for instance at work. It was not a lecture (with notes) but really a sharing of experience. I don't tell you more, you will see by yourself if he comes to London :-)

Vincent opening Champagne with a swordWe were then invited to a small house nearby the boats for the "Crayfish Tie Society Drink". All wearing a special brown tie or a scarf, we experienced the Swedish tradition: Opening the Champagne bottle using a sword. (In fact, it is known in France as well, but it was not known by me until this time). I did it, it was not very hard. Almost all of us opened a champagne bottle with a sword, so there was enough alcohol for everybody. We also enjoyed some specialty from Sweden (cheese, dry bread, fish).

In the afternoon, we did a cooperative game : Arosfortet. Similar to Fort Boyard in France, we had to solve enigmas, or to use technical skills to succeed in a challenge and accumulate points. It was a very practical way to illustrate that discussion and collaboration are often necessary to achieve a common goal. We were welcomed by Halmstad hosts (for me, Daniel), to enjoy the famous crayfish party. The rhythm was easy to follow : one crayfish, one strong glass of alcohol. We enjoyed singing many Swedish songs and did some games where we had to walk with an egg on a spoon that we kept in the mouth. In fact, crayfish may be tricky to eat as the hard part has to be removed. Luckily we were sitting next to senators who explained  the Swedish technique to quickly open the crayfish and get the meat. It saved me loads of time. We finished the evening in a Swedish club.

Overall, I really enjoyed this weekend. I discovered a new culture, new town, new traditions, I met new people. This was an outstanding experience and I can't do otherwise than recommending it next year. I just regret not to have found time to enjoy the beach. But I was back from holidays in Tenerife so there's not much to dwell on...



Vincent Espitalier, JCI London Member

JCI Halmstad welcome you to their Crayfish party!Food & Drink

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12th Aug, 2011

Dear JCI member and friend, Solveig Malvik, JCI UK

As the economy in the UK and Europe is getting worse and worse and people are taking to the streets in frustration or picking up a gun (as in my home country, Norway), JCI offers real and proven opportunities for you to take control over your career. Ways you can stand out, help your community and make the best of your opportunities.

In JCI we are busy preparing for 2012 and there's lots of opportunities for you to get invovled. Check out the opportunities for roles on national board for a truly national and international network, talk to your local president for opportunities on the local level and how you can help your local community, and read our blog to get inspired on what is going on across the country already.

I'm Solveig Malvik and I'm the Deputy National President for JCI UK 2011, I'm also Immediate Past President JCI London (2010). I'd like to share with you how JCI has helped me in my career, how it can help you, and how we in JCI can make a positive difference in our local communities.

10 ways JCI can help your career (and your community) - and how it helped me!

JCI has been incredibly helpful for my career. I just (last week! yay!) started a job as Head of Marketing, part of the Senior Management Team at a national training provider, and I can tell you that I would never have gotten this job had if I had not been involved with JCI.

I want to share with you how that happened to me, and how you can make the same happen in your life - it if is a better job, more control over your career, a promotion, better career opportunities or simply just getting better at what you do. And all this while working with our local community making them Be Better too.

  1. Challenge yourself - Last year, mostly because no one else wanted to, I got the opportunity to represent the UK in the JCI World Public Speaking Championship at the European finals at the 2010 JCI European Conference in Denmark. And lo and behold! I won! So off I went to the World Finals in Osaka, Japan, 6 months later. Was I nervous? Yep, what an understatement. But by that time I was also prepared. People from all across the organisation, both in the UK and abroad, had been helping me to make sure I was able to do my best. When I stood there on the platform I was nervous as I knew I was being judged, but I also felt incredibly lucky and loved, knowing everyone just wanted me to do my best.
  2. Go outside your comfort zone - Yeah, the public speaking championship was pretty far outside my comfort zone. Though the things that have taken me the furthest outside my comfort zones are not the big flashy events. Its the smaller things where every day I've had the opportunity to try something I wasn't comfortable with and get positive results. From sending this email to you, to chairing a meeting, speaking to Senators, all the way to speaking in the House of Lords. JCI offers you lots of little ways you can learn something new and useful.
  3. Take every opportunity to learn something new - I never thought I'd find myself in marketing. And even less head of a marketing team. But I've always been interested in communication and in managing people, the how's, why's and what's. So I've always been curious. Read and listened. And taken every opportunity to try things out. Managing a project team in JCI with the Entrepreneurial Academy, working on communication with the newsletters and websites of JCI, learning what works and what doesn't. One of the best ways to learn something new? Get involved in JCI on the national or local level in 2012. Take on a director role or a project, have fun! try something new!
  4. Think inside the box, then do the other thing -It's a cliché to think outside the box - have you thought about what it looks like to think *inside* the box? Write down all the obvious things? Then write down the exact opposite? Then you write down what you can actually do. And just go do it. That's one of many tricks and ideas I've learned in training sessions with JCI.
  5. Build a global network - In JCI we say we want to be "the world's leading network of young active citizens". And we are. We're the largest organisation of like minded people in the world. And we're all over the world. And we're connected. It's a big kick to go to somewhere like Manila and have people from all over the world asking you about your new business and how they can do business with you. This is what JCI does.
  6. Build a trust based network - A network isn't how many names are in your contacts book, but how many people know you and trust you, people you can count on when things really matter. JCI isn't a networking organisation, but the network you get in JCI will be with you for life. Its people you've worked with, laughed with, cried with. Its real connections. Real friends. People who will help you for life.
  7. Help yourself, help others - In JCI we don't believe in business for the sake of business, but business as so far it can help develop our community. The mind-set of "Be better", always looking to see how we can go that extra mile (or meal), do things just a bit better, make things better for the people around us.
  8. Give back - Giving back feels good. Helping others feel good. We know that most of us join JCI for what we can get out of the organisation, but the majority of us stay in the organisation for what we can give back, for what we can help others do. In JCI you get to be part of the bigger picture, help your local community through local projects, or help fight malaria in Africa (funnily also through local projects here in the UK, it's amazing what a local project can do, really).
  9. Surprise yourself! - When I joined JCI I barely dared talk to the local president and I thought the national president was something similar to a semi-god. They were intimidating and awesome people I highly admired. I could never ever see myself as a local president. And national president?!? You must be kidding me! And here I find myself - past president of JCI London (2010) and future National President for JCI UK. And it's all happened awfully fast but been awfully fun all along the way.
  10. Remember to have fun! - It's been busy and gone fast but I've done things I've never ever dreamt of and had more fun than I ever thought I would. From visiting the tsunami stricken areas of Japan and getting in the middle of a tsunami warning ourselves, touring the UK with the world president (he's awesome! and really really nice!), setting up my own business on the back of my JCI experience to the weekly and monthly meetings with our amazing and always interesting members - it's all been fun. And I'll keep going as long as it keeps being fun, that I can promise you.

Check out the opportunities for you on National Board 2012 or find opportunities in your local chamber by talking to your local President.

If you want more inspiration, come to the JCI UK National Convention in Sheffield in November! (here's how awesome it was last year, this year will be even better)

Help us Be Better!
Do you have an idea for how we can do things differently or better in JCI UK? Please share it with me. It doesn't matter if you've been a member for a year or a week, any idea is welcome.

I look forward to hearing from you! (and maybe working with you next year, on local or national level).

And if you want inspiration for what people have already done, and read more about the things I've been up to, check out the JCI UK blog!


Blog » my signature.png






Solveig Malvik

Deputy National President JCI UK 2011
Marketing Director JCI UK 2011
Immediate Past President JCI London (2010)
Certified National Trainer (CNT)
2010 European Public Speaking Champion


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9th Aug, 2011

Meet IVP Lesley Young
by Sarah Beckwith on August 9, 2011 19:45


We talk to JCI London member and past council director, Immediate Past National President and International Vice President, Lesley Young.

How long have you been a member?
Lesley Young, JCI UK
7 years

Why did you join?
I had moved to a Belfast for a new job and thought it would be a good way to meet like minded people and make new friends. I was aware of some local JCI projects like the Christmas Tree appeal and Friendly Business Awards and was very impressed by their work!

What is the most interesting JCI event you've been to and why?
There are so many it's hard to pick one as the most interesting! I guess one that really sticks out in my mind was the JCI/UN Global Partnership Summit in New York in June 2010. As well as a great programme focusing on how we can development partnerships to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals I was able to meet JCI members from across the world. A big surprise was when Ban-Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, came to address us personally and thanked JCI for our partnership work with the United Nations. It was a real honour to meet such a prestigious leader and it really encouraged all the delegates to be more active!

Is there anything you have done as a JCI member that you never would have thought possible before you joined?
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would one day be the JCI UK National President!

What is your role this year?
I am International Vice President and am assigned to 7 countries in Europe. This means I am a member of the JCI Board of Directors and my role is to mentor and advise the National Organisations I am assigned to as well be an active member of the JCI team in Europe. This has provided many unique opportunities such as Chairing the First Timers event and Debating competition at the European Conference in Tarragona.

What made you take on this particular role?
I have always been very active and passionate about the international opportunities within JCI. After serving as National President I knew that I was keen to take my involvement to the next level as well as try to give back to the organisation that had made the opportunities I've been given in the UK possible. I really want JCI to grow in strength both within the UK and across the world and I am delighted to be able to contribute to that in some small way.

What are you hoping to achieve this year?
To build on the great relationships I have established with my assigned countries as well as make a positive contribution to the work of JCI President Kentaro Harada's team in 2011. I hope that the work carried out in my VP visits are beneficial to the JCI organisation in that area in terms of raising awareness of what JCI means and hopefully help attract new members and partners.

What do you enjoy most about being a JCI member?
Friendship!! I've made a number of dear friends in London, the UK and across the globe that I know I will be close to for many years to come!

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9th Aug, 2011

Find Your Happy Place
by Nadene Jones on August 9, 2011 12:03


One of the greatest way to allowing life and all its abundance is to have absolutely no resistance to it. What do you mean by that you ask? Well its really quite simple, just decide that you are going to enjoy your life regardless of what life may throw at you.

One of the greatest ways to live your life to the fullest is to have absolutely no resistance. How?? Simple, just decide that you are going to enjoy your life regardless of what life may throw at you.

The truth is life is not always going to be sunshine and lollipop but you can make the decision that your attitude will be. We don't mean ignore the not so frequent downpour; acknowledge it and dance in the rain. There is always a lesson to be learnt.

How do I do that? Well a few pointers......

* Pay attention to what you are thinking and saying - thoughts have wings

* Release any anger or resentment you may be harbouring - bad for your health and business

* Focus on what you want - what is is a reflection of your past thoughts, move on

* Feed your thoughts with material that will help - try turning off the TV for a week

* Launch your rockets of desires - life is about living an adventure

* Tell someone in your life how amazing they are - watch out for the boomerang!

* Do not let your current circumstances shift your focus - the truth is within you






** Comes from an unknown website but thought I would share these tips in the hope that one or two will enlightn your day! -- Nadene M Jones, JCI London Social Director 2011

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6th Aug, 2011

The 15th JCI European Academy
by Nadene Jones on August 6, 2011 22:26


The 15th JCI European Academy took place during the last weekend of July 2011 in the lovely Goteborg, Sweden. The event was attended by over 85 future local chapter presidents and delegates, who were hand picked to go from all over Europe. JCI European Academy aim to increase understanding and co-operation between future leaders from different countries. The aim was to establish a forum of representatives from all over Europe to facilitate an exchange of experiences, knowledge, culture and values.

JCI European Academy, Sweden


For me, the idea of going to another country and spending 5 days with a lot of people that I've never met before was a little scary as you can probably imagine. I was sitting in the waiting lounge at 6am in the airport thinking I must be crazy to be doing this because I won't know anyone! I arrived in Goteborg and was warmly greeted by a mini bus of very friendly JCI people from Tallinn, Germany and Netherlands who were all in the same situation. Needless to say it didn't take much to strike up conversations as everyone had much in common, and most of all, they are so willing to share their passion for JCI.

After a welcome lunch it was straight into training which saw the delegates split into 3 different groups and assigned 3 experienced trainers for the afternoon which was then followed by an evening seminar on our Discovery Insights profile, where we found out about the different types of colours and personalities people have and how to interact with them. It was really interesting to see the range of different people in the room!


Poster of the Insights colours, blue, red, green and yellow.


Saturday morning started off with the first General Assembly for the weekend which was attended by World President Kentaro Harada and after his inspirational talk, it was straight into the day's activities. As I'm sure some of you reading this will have the opportunity to attend EA next year (and I highly recommend it!!) I won't go into detail of what was involved. Just to say it was a fantastic experience and nothing like I was expecting as no one who went from the previous years would tell me anything either. It was incredible team bonding experience which I will never forget.

The general assembly at the JCI European Academy 2011


With only 4hrs sleep, it was up early on Sunday for breakfast followed closely by 2 sessions of training in the morning and the afternoon. One of the clips shown during one of the lessons had a real message to give people and i thought i would share it with you - have a look -


Delegates at the JCI European academy

As a treat for Sunday evening, we did a little sight seeing of one of the local sights close by which had some great history attached to it and in usually fashion, some of the delegates from Netherlands, Germany and Turkey shared some of their countries gifts with the party - shots of liquor and Turkish delights for dessert! After dinner it was straight back to work with our teams until 3am the next morning.

Monday morning was a nervous time for everyone as it was time to show how much we learnt from the last few days with a presentation that had been worked on through out every waking moment during the weekend and then had to be presented in front of all the delegates and trainers. All the teams did an extraordinary job with their presentations, needless to say everyone graduated!

Presentation at the JCI European academy 2011

The Graduation ceremony was followed by a lovely last supper and a dance party which was well deserved.

The whole Ecademy was very well organised and thought out. The activities done, each had their own purposes and it truly was an amazing experience - from going there knowing now one to coming back to London having made some wonderful new friends and armed with new skills and knowledge to help me out with, not only the new chamber, but also my work and personal life. The European Academy has given me new inspiration to go out and make difference in my local community and make an impact on the world! Fair to say "I've had the time of my life"....Dirty Bit!

Delegates from JCI UK, JCI Ireland and JCI Scottland

JCI - Go Impact The World!



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1st Aug, 2011

London to Brighton Bike Ride
by Soraya Bowen on August 1, 2011 16:16


I think the sun and snow got to me during my snow break in soon as I got back I registered to do the London to Brighton Bike Ride to raise money for the British Heart Foundation with 3 of my friends. 

My brother is a keen cyclist and trains several times a week, for the last 2 years he has ompleted La Marmotte, a one-day cyclosportive event in France, utilising some of the climbs used in the Tour de France (the route is 174km long and features more than 5180 metres of climbing). As of my friends will agree I am not the one in the Anderson Family with the cycling legs so this was going to be a massive challenge for me to complete the 54 miles from Clapham Common to Brighton Sea Front. But I put in some training over the 2 months before the ride and hoped to discover I had some of those Anderson cycling leg genes deep down somewhere - and with the aid of some padded shorts too!!

Prior to the big ride I went out on my bike once a week with my friends and worked my way up the first trip of 8 miles to the Orchid Cancer Charity ride 2 weeks before of 40 miles.

The weekend of the London to Brighton ride finally arrived, transport wasn't easy - that weekend you aren't allowed to take your bikes on the south eastern trains so getting back from Brighton by train wasn't possible. And the London Overground was not running that weekend so getting from Stratford to Clapham Common also wasn't easy. But we got there and joined the other 27000 cyclists on Clapham Common for the start!

Rebecca Anderson at the start of the London to Brighton Bike Ride.jpg


It was very much stop and start through London until we passed under the M25, and was much slower going than expected as a result. But it was great chatting with the other riders as we went along. The BHF suggested that the average participant aims to reach the seafront in an around of six hours, which was 2 hours longer than I was hoping to complete the ride in, but after the first 7 miles through London took over 90 mins that target was out the window.

London to Brighton Bike Ride 2011. Cyclist gathering and getting ready to leave London.jpg

The annual ride, which passes through Surrey, is to raise money for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is thought to be Europe's largest charity cycling event.

It was quite chilly this morning, and there was one big down pour, after the first big hill, but we ploughed on.  After that first hill all I could think about was the big hill Ditchling Beacon for the rest of the ride. The thought of the hill really got to me, to the point of tears before the second hill and I even started plotting how I could get home if I did not make it to Brighton. But my friend, Nathan, that I had trained and on the day cycled with really kept my spirits up and motivated me to the top of the second hill where we were greeted by the pub, a brass band and locals selling fresh fruit, drinks and much needed flapjacks 

Quick pit stop to take in the the lovely country views while cycling to Brighton.jpg


That was the boost I needed and I conquered the Beacon and then really enjoyed the 7 miles down hill then into Brighton, crossing the finishing line after just over 5hrs on my bike. As well as that one of the highlights was coming along the seafront in Brighton while there were crowds of people clapping. There are so many different people that take part in the ride I saw people on tandems and some people in amazing fancy dress. There is lots of support along the route, with local residents watching the ride which is very motivating and adds to the emotion of the day. As well as the hills I went through a lot of ups and downs, but thankfully only one lot of tears.

Rebecca Anderson with her medal after completing the London to Brighton Bike Ride 2011.jpg

The British Heart Foundation is a very worthy cause, this was big a challenge the ride was for me I really appreciated the support from friends and family to raise sponsorship, even from my 7month old twin nephews!! The money raised will be used by the charity to continue research into heart disease, and development of care and support services. Last year, the bike ride raised £4.1m.

The training and the L2B ride has ignited an interest in cycling and I am now taking part in the BHF London to Windsor ride in September as well! Hopefully this route will have less hills and less tears!!

Please continue to support British Heart Foundation and visit the my sponsporship page: 

Rebecca Anderson-JCI London Community Team Member





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