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4th Sep, 2016

At the end of July, I was fortunate enough to attend the JCI European Academy (EA) which is a unique leadership training programme hosted by JCI Goteborg for Jaycees aspiring to leadership positions in their chamber or beyond.

Apart from knowing that I wanted to develop my leadership skills and network, I didn’t know what to expect from the Academy. I’m a relative new Jaycee – I joined in December last year and due to circumstance I ended up becoming London International Director in May (which goes to show that you don’t have to be a long-term member to get involved!). EA was also my first international JCI event. So before I set off for Sweden, I spoke to a couple of London Jaycees who had attended in previous years. They both told me two things: (1) “It’s a once it a lifetime experience, you’ll have a fantastic time” and (2) “make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you head off!”. I couldn’t sum it up better!

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The Academy is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. The training and trainers are great, and I left pumped with enthusiasm, inspiration and ideas not only for my JCI work but for my career and personal life as well. I also made friends for life rather than just an expanded network – I mean the type of friends that even after long periods without contact the fondness remains. The sense of community, as cheesy as it sounds, is inspirational and is a great reminder of the impact JCI has in creating positive change.

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However, what I got out of EA most is greater self-awareness and confidence. I have a better understanding of my strengths, weaknesses and preferences, and how to use them to create positive change at JCI, at work and at home. I can also better recognise these qualities in others. This in turn has made me a more decisive and assured person. I feel ready to tackle new challenges outside of my comfort zone which I was ‘umming and ahhing’ about before.

I would recommend EA to anyone looking not only for great training but personal challenge as well. It is an intense programme, an emotional rollercoaster at times, and an open mind is a must. But like all good things, you get out what you put in. So throw yourself in wholeheartedly, you will not regret it!

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Written by Katie Dash, JCI London International Director 2016



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30th Aug, 2016

What an experience - JCI European Academy 2016
by Rafael Tselikas on August 30, 2016 23:27


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As a Jaycee, you may be familiar with a lot of interesting international and training events. This year I have been fortunate to join a few distinctive events, and European Academy is a highlight of the year for me. The Academy is for Jaycees who’re planning to be involved in the leadership team of their local chapters. And I have to say “The Academy is amazing!”

Imaging yourself going to a far way land (in the middle of nowhere). You don't know what would happen. You’re surrounded by a lot of strangers from different nationalities. However, everything changes after 4 days. You make friends with Jaycees from all around Europe. You go through a lot together with your friends, including happy and challenging times. You all grow as better individuals!

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As Anais Nin said, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born”. My world has been extended since the Academy! I’ve learnt so much from it. I learnt about myself, about others and how to work with them as a team. I start to look at things from different perspectives. Even now, when I’m back to my normal life, I still can recall great lessons from the Academy.

For me, the Academy played as an important bridge connecting us together. I know more about other chapters and their great works which contributes to building a better society. It makes me believing more in our organization. We’re actually making a difference. You can watch the below showing an example about the positive impact JCI creates.

Gandhi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. I believe that we’re born to make something in this world. As an individual, it may be like a drop into the ocean. However, with JCI we can make it happen. If you ever wonder why we’re doing what we’ve been doing, the below video should remind you about it J. By making a difference with JCI, we receive happiness, we feel the love, and friendship which money can’t buy! Be a proud Jaycee everyone!

Link to pictures

Written by Trang Tran, JCI London Strategic Partnerships Director 2016

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30th Apr, 2016

Young Leaders in UK (YLUK) on U.S foreign & Domestic policy
by Tantely Zohasina RAZAFINJATOVO on April 30, 2016 22:46


Blog » Business » ULUK- EPi 1.jpgLast week I was invited by Ambassador Barzun to attend the Town Hall Speech and Q&A with President Obama together with 500 other young Leaders. Due to reasons beyond my control, I could not attend, however this week I was part of an interactive workshop he held for Young Leaders in UK (YLUK) focusing on U.S foreign & Domestic policy. 

What an enlightening workshop! In the short space of time we had, the Ambassador covered condensed versions of topics of frustration/concern/confusion including:

Police brutality, Impact of Religion: Abortion debate; Private healthcare in US; Middle East policy; Oppression of minority groups; Global health; North Carolina policy on LGBT; The role of Media on racism & inclusivity (Donald Trump); Gun laws; & Climate change. 

He also highlighted the values, freedom & opportunities that are all part of the American dream, as we were focusing on America.

YLUK shares the same principles and values as JCI, giving young people a voice that empowers them to create positive change in communities. 

I am making the most out of development opportunities in JCI by actively participating in events held by partner organisations such as YLUK and exchanging value with them through promoting and supporting each other's events.

Without JCI and its relationship with YLUK, I would not have had the opportunity to be invited to meet President Obama and also network with Ambassador Barzun and all the wonderful like-minded young Leaders. JCI is surely a game-changer for me and I would like to encourage any young person reading this, to be part of this awesome global network of active citizens.

Epi Mabika, JCI London Team Member-- 

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9th Apr, 2016

The challenge continues...
by Rafael Tselikas on April 9, 2016 21:39


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As a JCI London2Ghana project director this year I am really excited to have with me an amazing team and really great people that are happy to help to create a positive impact education by delivering computers for pupils in Ghana. 

For us having a computer is something so normal as we can't imagine life without it, but for a kid in Ghana that means access to knowledge and education in a well connected world, and means making possible his dream to become a doctor, a journalist, a teacher. 

London2Ghana JCI team is working hard to deliver interesting events that help us to raise money for kids education. Get a new skill and do good! is the motto of our first series of events. 

Our previous event that has been a real success last week with amazing feedback from our participants is How to start your own business while still working organized in collaboration with our friends from SkillsGym.

The next event is already scheduled  on 4th May : The authentic you! How to keep your authenticity while telling your story. Ingrid who is the founder of Women With Voices will teach us how to become confident in public speaking and be authentic.

"I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I've become. If I had, I'd have done it a lot earlier."  Oprah Winfrey

If you are keen to develop a new skill in public speaking and also help us to fulfill a kid's dream to become a doctor, you can book your ticket here  and join us on 4th May. 

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Post by JCI London2Ghana Director 2016, Anca Miraut

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15th Feb, 2016

JCI London at UN Secretary General event
by Rafael Tselikas on February 15, 2016 20:00




The visit by UNSG was a landmark occasion, to celebrate the appointment of the first Secretary General, 70 years ago at the Central Hall Westminster. 6 JCI London delegates attended together with over 2,000 people according to UNA-UK statistics on 5th Feb 2016.

In his opening remarks, HE Ban Ki-moon expressed his appreciation for the solidarity shown by heads of state the previous day, in pledging monetary contributions to help Syria. He commended the championing efforts of the United Kingdom in that regards. In Preventing extremism and promoting human rights, he said 'the UN was responsible for raising over 10 billion dollars for Syria in one day’! This is the triumph of multilateralism. In JCI language, this is real 'service to humanity' where we can join forces with them in helping to create a safer world with projects that include assisting refugees to integrate into society.

He also highlighted that the Sustainable Development Goals will take us further in the Agenda for interdependency, and encouraged that 'All goals must be interconnected & implemented comprehensively'. 
I believe JCI as an organisation, can certainly adopt these strategies towards global positive contribution by continuously aligning our various community projects with the SDG's to make greater global impact. 

Amongst other topics discussed, the issue of 'Women empowerment' was at the forefront, with the UNSG proposing that we should be more 'proactive than reactive' when it comes to the rights of women and girls in order to promote social progress & gender equality. Again, a good challenge for us to consider and do our part. In addition to this, an interactive session moderated by UNA-UK's Chairman, Sir Jeremy Greenstock addressed questions raised about what young people can do.

 As young people being the hope of a better world, we were advised to raise our voice because we have unlimited capacity without any political restraints and we need to expand our global citizenship. I was pleased to see that JCI is certainly ticking the boxes in making our impact felt and our voices heard. We will continue!

Overall an enriching experience that we were honoured to have been part of & had the opportunity to network with potential JCI partner organisations.




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1st Jan, 2016

Message from Soraya, JCI London President 2015
by Rafael Tselikas on January 1, 2016 20:40


Dear Friends,

It's amazing how a year can fly by and we are now finally in 2016!! Whoop Whoop!

The reigns have been officially handed over to Rafael Tselikas and his team.

I know that next year will be an 'extraordinary' one building on what we have achieved in 2015.  It has been an honour to serve as President in 2015 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 'A-Team' (JCI London) council team for great year and memorable 12 months.  

A few highlights from 2015:

·         Building strategic partnerships with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Philanthropy Club, Funding Network, while continuing to support our long-term sponsor CET

·         Maintaining strong international presence. Last year JCI London members attended European Capitals Meeting, European Conference, JCI Norway Leadership Academy, European Academy, European Know-How Transfer and World Congress in Japan.

·         We re-invigorated our partnership with our Twin Chapters and hosted our Twinning Weekend.

·         We launched our Adventure Race and raised £1,243.75 (incl. gift aid) for Kids Club Kampala, KIIDs Trust Varanasi and The Prince’s Trust!

·         Our London to Ghana Project delivered 1,000 kids’ books for JCI ACCRA ROYALE 'Brighten you Corner project. We also won 'Best Long-term Community Development Project' at JCI UK National Convention in Barnsley.

The Team for 2016 has lot's in store and will exceed what has been achieved in 2015!

Soraya Bowen

JCI London IPP 2016



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25th Dec, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced last week that they are going to donate 99% of their shares in Facebook. At today’s market rate, it’s about $45bn.

Hat’s off to him for making a decision that will benefit billions of people from the around the globe for decades to come.

A cause for celebration for all. 

It will also set an example for everyone in our generation who has the means to give. He is not the first one to make such bold decision. Gates, Buffet along with many other billionaires have made similar pledges.

The process seems to be ‘accumulate first and then give back’. Of course, we have to have things to give back. 

But, not everyone is going to end up like Zuckerberg, Gates or Buffet. Only 1% of the human population have the kind of wealth & power that these guys have. So, the chances are quite small (statistically speaking) for good many of us to end up in that position, to make that kind of impact.

What, then? Does it mean our lives (the good many of us that can accumulate that level of wealth to give back) are less meaningful? 

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. - Churchill

What if we reverse the process? What if we start today with what we have? I don't think we need to have millions in the bank account or fame or power to give back, to make an impact.

Here’re seven free 'things' that anyone can give at any time to make an impact (the best part is, all of these are usually returned tenfold, not literally, but you will get the point as you read on): 

1. Smile
I have travelled to over 20 countries in the last three years. If there is one thing I have learnt is that 'smile is a universal language'. It works at the streets of Moscow to Bucharest to the little village in Bangladesh. Give it to every single person that you meet, and you will receive smiles in return. (Spoiler alert!) Some people may think you are crazy, but do you care? ;)

2. Kind Words
We were created to be kind (if you believe in that kind of stuff). I say it because, I have always seen kindness being returned with kindness. Give a kind word to others and that will be returned with kindness. (Spoiler alert!) Sceptics will think (at least initially) you have some hidden agenda, but who cares!

3. Good Thoughts
Good thoughts are reciprocal. Always. Give out good thoughts about others, and even about what you find yourself doing, and you will live a good life, and good thoughts will be thought about you. 

4. Appreciation
Give appreciation and your life will appreciate (be added to in value), and in turn, you will be greatly appreciated. (Spoiler alert) It may not work, at first, but stick to the process results will follow.

5. Encouragement
Give encouragement and you will be imbued with fresh courage to face each day, and be prepared to attract encouragement to you.

If my words are not convincing enough, just listen to this guy (Lance Miller) fromToastmasters. (Link to 1st London Toastmasters, my favourite club in London). 

6. Digital Endorsements
Give endorsements and recommendations in Linkedin, promote someone with a tweet, like someone's status in Facebook, love someone's picture in Instagram. Mention someone's good work in your post. (of course, be real and only if you really 'like' them)

On that note, see my friend Nisha Kotecha's inspiring work with the Good News Shared. Nisha is tirelessly promoting uplifting stories about inspirational people and projects. Sign up for her newsletter. 

7. Time 
I have saved the best for the last. Give up your time to a greater cause than yourself, and it will cause you to be rewarded in ways beyond your imagination.

Check out this great organisation JCI that I'm very proudly part of and if you're also inspired to make an impact, come and meet our exciting members on 12th of January for our 2016 kick-off event at Neo Barbican. It's free and people praise us for our friendliness and superb hosting skills. You'll enjoy the evening. :)

Want to know more about JCI? Check this video:

Written by Bandhu P. Das, JCI London Finance Director 2016

Link to full post:

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4th Dec, 2015

Congratulations to the 2016 JCI London Council
by Rafael Tselikas on December 4, 2015 21:50


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Following our Annual General Meeting on 20 October, the following members were appointed to the JCI London Council 2016:

  • President - Rafael Tselikas
  • Deputy President - David Khanna
  • Secretary - Zohasina Razafinjatovo
  • Finance Director - Bandhu Das
  • Membership Director - Immaculate Birungi
  • Business Director - Yann Moulary
  • Marketing Director - Diana Mihai
  • International Director - Sarah Steel
  • Training Director - Roxana Cardos
  • Community Director - Louise Chisolm
  • Social Director - Heloise Mignot
  • Peace Week Director - Marine Klein
  • London to Ghana Director - Anca Miraut
  • Immediate Past President - Soraya Bowen

Matt Beavan has also joined as Deputy Membership Director, Jennifer Mbunga as Deputy Training Director and Ruta Rataviciute as Gala Dinner Project Manager.

Congratulations to all the team!  Taking a leadership position on the JCI London council offers a great opportunity to develop new skills, make long lasting friends, empower members and make a positive difference in the community.

The following Director positions are still available to fill:

  • Social Media Director
  • TEDx Director
  • Million Makers Director
  • Deputy Director positions for most of areas except Training and Membership

If you are interested in a role on the council or in one of the teams, please get in touch with President-Elect, Rafael Tselikas.

 You can also check here our calendar of upcoming events:

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13th Oct, 2015

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Reflections from Sofie Sandell, JCI London President 2008, for the centenary of JCI

I’ve never felt that I got enough training and development in my life, so the fact that I joined the Junior Chamber International (JCI) network was not a surprise. JCI is a unique volunteer network for people in their 20s and 30s. It’s hard to explain in a couple of sentences, but you can get involved in projects and events and there is no limit to what you can do, really. One way to describe it is as a global movement promoting active citizenship.

JCI is present in more than 100 countries and this October it’s celebrating its 100th anniversary. Here I share some of the things I discovered about myself and others by being involved with JCI.

1) All change in the world starts with people and ends with people. At JCI you have the chance to attend and deliver leadership training and courses on debating and public speaking. It’s a pleasure to see people come out of their shells, where they used to hide, and start to find out what matters to them.

2) When you participate in a project with no monetary reward the energy you produce is on another level compared with a normal job. It’s as if the box of limiting beliefs holding you back is smaller and you dare to try out new things. I believe that new experiences are the best way to develop yourself and I also think you get more creative and imaginative mindsets by being active in the JCI.

3) Leadership skills are something that we can develop, or ignore. Leadership starts with you and then you learn from the people around you. JCI projects provide members with hundreds of leadership lessons every week. My interest in leadership prompted me to start a blog and later these thoughts became part of my book Digital Leadership.

4) Embracing the international side of JCI is fun and you meet people from all over the world. I remember a discussion about the environment and global warming I had with a JCI member from Nigeria at the United Nations office in Geneva during a leadership summit. We were comparing different outlooks and ways to look at environmental problems. Where else would I have had the opportunity to sit down and have a deep discussion about global issues with people from all over the world?

5) When you are part of JCI you can put yourself forward and be part of the board on the local, national and international levels. Being on the board gives you hands-on training in leadership, project management and communication and lots of opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

6) When people are committed with both their hearts and their minds the results will leave you with a great feeling of satisfaction. Working together towards a vision is a wonderful process and you are rewarded by a surge of dopamine and serotonin released by your brain.

7) At JCI, if there is a reason to celebrate there is always a big party or a black tie dinner. The biggest gala dinner I’ve been to took place at the Osaka Kyocera Dome, a sporting arena that’s big enough to host a baseball game or up to 5,000 dinner guests. 

Another skill that comes with JCI involvement is the ability to get changed and ready in five minutes when you are on your way to a party.

8) It was during my research for my bachelor thesis that I first met members of JCI. The subject of the thesis was whether you can develop yourself professionally through networking or not, and the answer to this question was a big yes. Knowing ‘who knows what’ is one of the aspects of networking. When you are part of the JCI community you are part of a global network.

9) At JCI hundreds of awards are given out every year. Submitting yourself or your team for an award is a way to look back at your achievements and by just writing them down you are celebrating what you’ve done once again. For some people awards matter hugely and I’m very pleased when I see hard work paying off.

10) For a sustainable future we need to care about the people and the environment we have around us. I’ve seen hundreds of community projects take place through JCI around the world. One thing that I’ve noticed is that once you have the JCI community spirit in you it stays with you for the rest of your life. Many members start other initiatives and their success is often down to the skills and confidence members gained from being involved in JCI.

If you think your network would enjoy reading the post please share it with them on social media.

Thank you! Sofie

Sign up to Sofie's Digital Leadership Inspiration newsletter

You can read more about JCI UK here and the global JCI movement. 

Sofie's JCI Bio
Sofie Sandell started her JCI journey at JCI Göteborg, Sweden, and was JCI London President in 2008, JCI UK Marketing Director in 2009-2010, JCI UK Website Manager in 2011 and JCI London Ten Outstanding Young People Project Manager in 2012.

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8th Oct, 2015

JCI European Know-How Transfer, 11th edition
by Rafael Tselikas on October 8, 2015 21:51


JCI European Know-How Transfer, 11th edition
Brussels 27th of September to 1st of October 2015

The EU Know-How Transfer event is an amazing opportunity for those wishing to learn about the functioning of the top institutions in Europe. This could not have come at a better time given that here in the UK, we will be expected to vote whether to stay or leave the EU in 2017! Therefore, I registered for the event in the belief that few days in Brussels will be a time well spent if I am to make the right choice in the next two years. Also as a JCI member, It felt like a duty to be well informed on a topic that affects and will affect our grass root communities in London and the rest of the UK.

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At the European Commission

We all gathered in Brussels, the heart of Europe, to learn about the mechanics of the EU and how this can truly benefit JCI as a local and national organisation. A unique experience across the world given the fact that we were surrounded by EU experts and we were working hand in hand with members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It was amazing to realise that the EU is one of the largest markets in the world with more than 500 million people and 28 countries since Croatia joined in 2014. The EU was created after the second world war mainly to act as a vector of peace and prosperity for European citizens and to avoid any potential clashes in the long term. The EU is the major economic power surpassing China, India and the US. The European Council has three main institutions: European Parliament, Council of Ministers and European Commission.

We learned that MEPs are elected for 5 years, having been elected in 2014 means that the next election process will take place in 2019. Each MEP has between one and four assistants who manage a workload of 500 emails on average and 60 to 80 calls per day. The advice given to those attending the event was as follows:

-    Find which party your MEP is affiliated with

-    Make sure that you remember your MEP office details/number as there are more than 8,000 employees in the EU headquarters.

-    Know the names of other parties in the EU parliament

-    Make sure your remember that the Christian Democrats (EPP) is the most popular party

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JCI London delegates with EVP Steven Wilson

 The general guidelines given during day one were to be concise when talking to the MEP. The general practice is to present one sheet of paper to the MEP regarding an issue of interest. Make sure you make up your mind, know what you want to say before talking to your MEP. Also remember that you are a JCI ambassador during the EUKHT event and therefore whatever good or bad you do will affect the organisation either way. It has been suggested to take pictures with your national delegation and to write an article about the visit and a picture with your MEP (which is what I did :) They are as much interested as you to feel part of the community. Talk about your experience and spread the word around to what is one of the greatest JCI event in Europe. Also remember that what you hear from your MEP is confidential. Try to communicate as much as you can with your MEP assistant to whom you can even buy a symbolic gift.

There is a lot that happened in a five days event touring the EU institutions and which I wouldn't be able to describe in word. An eye-opening experience is an understatement, a life change experience might sound a bit of an exaggeration for some but I can tell you for certain that you  will leave Brussels with lot of knowledge, at least a dozen friend and some lifetime memories!

For more information about the JCI European Know-How Transfer, please visit:

Blogpost written by DrAbdulkader Aljandali, JCI London International Director 2015


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EUKHT dinner in a chic restaurant in St Catherine, Central Brussels



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