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31st May, 2012

JCI London partner with KIDS!
by on May 31, 2012 07:18


I am very pleased to announce that JCI London has chosen KIDS as your first charity partner of the year, so here’s to a very exciting year ahead! Hurrah! We are planning to work together to offer JCI members the chance to get involved with KIDS, helping to make a difference to families in your local area and further afield. So first a little bit about KIDS …..

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KIDS is a national charity working with over 7000 disabled children, young people and their families. KIDS works with the whole family, enabling disabled children to develop their skills and abilities and to fulfil their potential, hopes and aspirations.

KIDS provides a wide range of services in the London Boroughs, including 5 Adventure Playgrounds, Parent and Sibling Support, Home Learning, Short Breaks (respite), Youth Clubs, Inclusion programmes and Transitions. 

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One of our many playgrounds which allow allow disable children play freely 

Together these services support the whole family, helping children from birth into young adulthood. So what do we have planned for this fantastic year of opportunity? Well there are a few initiatives and events that you could consider getting involved with…..


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24th May, 2012

'Financial Fitness' with Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion
by Simon James Bucknall on May 24, 2012 10:49


JCI London members were treated to some expert advice on personal finance, recently, by guest speaker Vivi Friedgut of Blackbullion. Previously in Private Banking, vivi has expertise managing the wealth of some of the world's wealthiest people. She has now turned her hand to promoting greater financial literacy among young people in the UK. In the current economic climate, what hotter topic could there be than managing personal finance?

Click below to view a brief video interview with Vivi, conducted by JCI London President, Simon Bucknall.

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23rd May, 2012

Business Magic Series - 2: Grown-ups don't use powerpoint...
by Simon James Bucknall on May 23, 2012 10:47


The 2012 JCI London 'Business Magic Series' is proving to be a real hit - with another strong turn-out for the second event in the series: "'Grown-ups don't use powerpoint..." delivered by Lee Warren and James Harwood from InvisibleAdvantage.


James and Lee shared a wealth of practical tips and insights to help audience members achieve more impactful presentations in the workplace. What struck me - both from enjoying the session and from chatting with our speakers afterwards - was the importance of getting the fundamental purpose of any presentation clear. Lee commented: "So many presenters assume that improvement is about tweaking eye contact or perhaps speaking a bit louder. But it's more about deciding what you really want the audience to do as a result."


All in, a fabulous evening - huge, huge value for all those who attended. I had a quick catch up with Lee immediately afterwards, which you can view in the clickable video link above! you can also see what a couple of audience members thought of the event below...

The third event in the 'Business Magic Series' will be 'Practical Productivity in 15 Minutes A Day' on Tuesday 26th June. Be there!

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19th May, 2012

Out of the Box – ECM 2012 in Bern
by Sarah Beckwith on May 19, 2012 11:46


At a European Capitals Meeting (ECM) you are always amongst friends. Whether they are friends you have known for five minutes or five years. And this year's event was no exception.

The ECM is an unofficial and informal JCI event, exclusively for those members of chambers in capital cities. It gives participants the chance to experience the culture of a different city, whilst discussing the common issues faced by capitals.

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The Beautiful City of Bern

Participation at an ECM is generally limited to a maximum of 100 people and this, combined with the informal and relaxed atmosphere means it is easy for all participants to really get to know each other and cement friendships. That is why many Jaycees agree it is one of (if not) the best international events and return year after year. I can testify to that, having taken part is four of the past five ECMs.

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You don't expect to find a bear in the city centre!                                   Dinner in Parliament

This year's ECM was in Bern in Switzerland, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I loved the tour around town by members of JCI Bern proud to show off their home and experiencing Swedish traditions and food (see photos!). We also heard from some Swiss thought-leaders on a variety of subjects from innovation to sustainability and spent the evenings enjoying the local night life. Once again the weekend offered up something truly unique which won't be forgotten easily - how many people can say they've experienced a gala dinner in the Swiss Parliament?!. Thanks to JCI Bern for a special weekend.     

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Swiss Traditions - Music and Cheese Fondu!

Next year's ECM is in Berlin, around the theme of Urban Security. JCI Berlin is one of JCI London's five twins and it will be their 60th anniversary, so it again promises to be a very special ECM. I cannot recommend this event highly enough. Find out more here:


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18th May, 2012

The Art of Blogging
by Sarah Beckwith on May 18, 2012 20:19


One of the most important elements of a blog post is...

...a catchy title and/or opening sentence! These will pique the reader's interest and make them more likely to click through to read the post.

This is especially important for blogs (and events) on the JCI London website, where it is the title of the blog post and first sentence which appears on the home page.

Top Tip - if the blog is by a guest blogger who won't be posting themselves, put the "by member's name" at the bottom of the post, otherwise this is the only thing seen on the front page of the website. Likewise don't just repeat the title of the post.


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16th May, 2012

Interview with Simon Bucknall - 2012 President of JCI London
by Simon James Bucknall on May 16, 2012 13:37


This week, we caught up with our current Chamber President, Simon Bucknall. What's his JCI story - and current perspective on membership and what it can offer?

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JCI found me! Back in late 2007, I had had some success in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. Tina Strack, President of JCI London at the time, got in touch and invited me in to run some public speaking workshops for the Council. It wasn't long before I joined - and I've never looked back!

What do you feel is the biggest benefit of being a member of JCI?

OPPORTUNITIES! We're living through perhaps the toughest job market in a generation. Economic malaise is rife and there are countless thousands of young people out there with so much to offer... but in need of opportunities through which to do so.

Unless you've secured an internship with literally your dream organisation, JCI membership beats unpaid internships any day. Why? Not because you get paid here - you don't. None of us do - not even the President! But because the opportunity for you to make things happen are limitless - and all within a safe environment. You have complete flexibility and scope to use your initiative, while all the time working with like-minded ambitious young people from across a wide range of professional backgrounds.

If you want project management experience... you can help organise speaker events in business and in training. If you want to build an international network... you can connect with a global JCI network of more than 170,000 young professionals (last weekend saw JCI Berne in Switzerland host 'European Capitals Meeting'). Next month, JCI Braunschweig in Germany will host JCI European Conference - and it'll be HUGE). Equally, if you want to gain confidence in the public speaking... you can join our newly launched public speaking club. Simply make new friends and have fun... come to our regular socials.  I could go on!

We get the idea! Sounds like you feel quite strongly about this?!

You bet. What baffles me is why there aren't more young people approaching us and seizing these opportunities! Of course, as a chamber, we take responsibility for part of that - it's up to us to get the message out there more; to hammer away at social media, blogs like this, via email, eNewsletters, calling friends, text messages and the rest. But we have events running pretty much every single week - and we're not hard to find on google! The need out there is so strong... So, if you're reading this and know someone who's in search of practical skills and experience, get in contact! I'll give you my email at the end...

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How has JCI membership benefited your career?

in countless ways. I'm a professional speaker and have been running my own business since August 2008 (great timing, huh?) My first corporate client was Shell plc... would never have happened without JCI. One of my (now) closest colleagues is Richard Mullender, former hostage negotiator from Scotland Yard. Would never have met him... without JCI. I've had the opportunity to speak to audiences in India, Finland, Denmark and Japan. would never have happened... without... well, you get the idea. Honestly, and I really mean this, JCI has been a massively positive influence on me and my business in so many ways.

Are you saying that you have to become President in order to reap the benefits?

Not at all! None of the above personal benefits have had anything to do with being President. I was first introduced to Richard through JCI more than four years ago! Like anything in life, the more you put in, the more you get back. But even if you were simply to attend, say, a couple of events a month, the rewards you reap would be huge. They really would.

But you have to make a commitment - you have to invest in your own success.

But if you do that, you'll hear from quality speakers like Vivi Friedgut (former Private Banker and now personal finance expert at Black Bullion) or Delfin Vassallo (Social Media Ops Manager at Nokia) or Lee Warren and James Harwood from InvisibleTraining. i met Lee after the first event in their 'Business Magic@Work Series' (run specially for JCI London) He's a serious, serious expert at what he does - he's got testimonials from Prince William for goodness sake! Nowhere else would you get access to this level of expertise - unless you're prepared to fork out an absolute fortune. Deep breath... so, there you go. Hope that answers your question!

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Uhm... yup! So what's your top tip for readers of this article?

If you're a JCI member, deicde to commit. Now. How? By registering for an event - any event! - right away. If you're reading this article before 6pm on Thursday 17th May, then come to our Social Media workshop with Delfin. How can anyone serious about business NOT be interested in mastering social media? I know I am! Book your ticket and come along. This year's programme is packed with value - we'd hate you to miss it. If next week, then how about Meet The Members? Or Business Magic 2? Here's the link to all upcoming events...

If you're new to JCI, then we'd love to see you at an event, also! But you may prefer first to take a look around the website - have a read and if you like what you see, drop me a line. Also you can check out our facebook page if you haven't done so already... 

Finally, if you think any of this stuff could be of benefit to someone you know, then please forward this article to them - or forward the link. Too many young people are suffering from a lack of quality opportunities in this current climate. Maybe JCI can help?

And money needn't be an issue - in fact, at 7pm on Wednesday 23rd May 2012, we'll be hosting the second in event in our 'Meet The Members Series'. Informal social in the City - all are welcome; tickets are free. you even get a free drink! Now how's that for a bargain...?

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Simon Bucknall is the 2012 President of JCI London.

His email is

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14th May, 2012

The City of London Needs Your Help!!!
by Soraya Bowen on May 14, 2012 07:53


Guest blog: Emma Plouviez from City.COM who is supporting the community team 

The City of London has under 10,000 residents – which is about the same population as one ward in any other London local authority. The majority live in the Barbican area, in the two famous architectural landmarks of the Barbican Estate and Golden Lane Estate. The other population concentration  is in the east of the City, around Aldgate, at the Middlesex St and Mansell St estates.

People living in the City are generally happy to live there, happy with the services and resources that are available to them, and feel well-supported by the City of London Corporation – and this is perhaps also a reflection of the fact that they are generally  not economically deprived and can expect continuing good health . However, as in any urban community, there are homeless and  marginalised people; there are lonely, isolated and unwell people. And in the east of the City, there is a concentration of  poverty and ill-health in Portsoken Ward which places it in the top 25% most deprived areas (‘lower layer super-output area’ as defined by the Office for National Statistics).

The City of London also takes seriously its responsibility for those less-well off communities which surround it. The City Fringe Partnership (CFP) was established as an economic development and regeneration partnership in 1996. Set up by the City of London Corporation and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets,  it was soon joined by Hackney and Islington and Camden.  The CFP's principal objectives were to increase economic growth and social inclusion in the area to the north and east of the City of London, which includes some of the most deprived communities in the country.


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2011 Lord Mayor Sir Michael Bear at the launch of the Portsoken Community Center in June 2011

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5th May, 2012

JCI UK confirms 2012 Deputy National President - Emma Eastwood
by Simon James Bucknall on May 5, 2012 12:48


At JCI UK Presidents & Deputies Day in Southampton on Saturday 28th May, Emma Eastwood was confirmed as Deputy National President for 2012. This means Emma is now National President-elect for 2013.

Congratulations Emma!

On a personal note, I've known Emma for a number of years - and feel hugely positive about 2013. If you've ever met Emma, you'll know that she has energy a go-go! Really exciting...

Emma said a few words by way of acceptance at the weekend event - which you can view by clicking here...!

Onwards and upwards!

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4th May, 2012

Public Speaking Club
by Mehnaz Siddiqui on May 4, 2012 09:15


A couple of years ago, I heard that the thought of speaking in public are amongst the top fears for humans, just right after death... that is pretty telling and this is one of the reasons why I decided to do something to improve that skill.

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Many of us probably have countless experiences of preparing an executive report and having to get up in front of our colleagues or friends, present our ideas and findings, often with PowerPoint slides, wishing to be somewhere else... and simply hoping to get to the end of the presentation without losing anyone, no one sleeping or snoring, asking the wrong question or simply stating 'they heard it all before and the presentation was useless'... Sound familiar?

Now, who also recalls the scene with Colin Firth in the King's Speech, when his mentor leaves him alone in front of the radio microphone to deliver his crucial message to the nation and the King is utterly incapable of muttering a single word for a few seconds, yet the whole nation was waiting for the King to speak and guide them through these difficult times? I am sure many of us felt for this monarch and were somewhat relieved we were not in his position, although one can recall being totally petrified at the beginning of his/her speech during the latest company meeting.

Of course, very few of us have the good fortune of having a personal coach or mentor like the King. However, the good news is the solution is one click away: many of us have access to free or very affordable JCI events like the public speaking event on Wednesday 26th April that could help us practice and improve without the fear of appearing ridiculous in front of our peers and quite frankly too shy to even try. They say the first step is the hardest and it is also true for public speaking. Signing up and attending your first event takes a bit of an effort but I promise everything after that is worth your initial worry and personally rewarding.

There is a key element of the Public Speaking Club: practicing in a safe environment. By safe, I mean the physical environment (yes the London Chamber of Commerce is a good venue for anyone new in the city and to the JCI organisation) and also the audience: knowing that almost everyone was there for the same purpose, albeit not at the same starting point, is quite reassuring. You would think two hours for a first meeting is quite a lot but time flies quickly and the session was very interactive. You get to meet and learn from people with different backgrounds and cultures. Best of all, we had the benefit of meeting a professional speaker, JCI London President Simon Bucknall.

Simon provided us with useful tips and advice. So for your next meeting (yes I am sure more of us will take the opportunity to join the meeting next time), remember to focus on the audience, not you, it is all about them. If you are attending as an observer, you may be asked to give some feedback so keep these acronyms in mind: "C.R.C." , Commend, Recommend and Commend again.

As Mihai said while mentioning 'the richest man in Babylon':  don't wait, don't put it off and start today, even with a small step. If you are serious about improving this essential communication skill, come to the next meeting on 30th May and check out the Toastmasters International website to practice at a club in the meantime.

Go on, click on the link and start your journey to a better communication!'

Written by Sandra Goetz



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