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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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8th May, 2014

Belgrade 2014 - The start of the ECM
by Svenja Koeppe on May 8, 2014 15:30


It is time for the ECM - a non-offical JCI international event that was created by JCI London and Berlin in 1993. Still going strong with capitals all over Europe hosting the event every year this year's ECM is held by JCI Belgrade from the 8th until the 11th May 2014. Of course some London members made their way to Serbia and Marco Van Den Heuvel JCI Senator and President of JCI London 2009 is reporting about the event while it is happening.

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I have been to National Conventions, twinning weekends, European Conferencences and a World Congress, but my favourite is still the European Capitals Meeting (ECM); big enough to get the international experience, small enough to get to know everyone during the event. Perhaps I am biased having organised the ECM in 2008.

So here I am in Belgrade with ECM veteran and friend Shafiq Mumani. We arrived 1day before it started and after dropping the luggage off at our host's house, we went straight to a night club to meet some of the other delegates from Amsterdam and Belgrade. These guys here know how to party hard: loud and late. Bedtime was at 4:30 am and my ears are still buzzing. Should I be worried about the nights to come, as we haven't even started yet?

Greetings from Belgrade


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23rd Nov, 2012

2013 JCI European Conference in Monte-Carlo - just 187 days to go
by Anke Brandts on November 23, 2012 10:17


Just 187 days until the 2013 JCI European Conference in Monte-Carlo on 29 May 2013!

Online registration - Registration for EC2013 is open, both for online credit card payment and for bank transfers. To register, please go to The early bird fees of 349 Euro are available until 31 January 2013.

Accommodation booking platform - The 2013 European Conference might be taking place in the middle of the high tourist season but we have negotiated exceptional low season rates in all the best hotels of the Principality of Monaco for an unforgettable experience. Once you have registered, you will be e-mailed the links to the booking platform. We can guarantee that you will not find better prices elsewhere on the internet for hotels in Monaco. But please note that these rates are only available until 31 January 2013 and are on a first come first served basis, so don’t wait too long.

Travelling to Monaco
- Monaco is easily accessible from all over the world thanks to its proximity to Nice Airport, France’s second busiest airport, just a 35 minute drive away, with easy access to low cost flights from all over Europe. Save up to 20% on travel with the STAR ALLIANCE™ NETWORK promotional convention code. For full information and an idea of flight prices, please see

Is Monaco really that expensive? - Monaco is no way near as expensive as you may think for such a glamorous location, as long as you follow our advice. Please see the article on our website for more information about how to make the most of the best that Monaco Monte-Carlo has to offer without breaking the bank

Snap the Schmurtz contest - Our Snap the Schmurtz contest is still in full swing and the winners will be decided after the 2012 JCI World Congress in Taipei. Prizes will be announced soon. For more information and to see the photos that have already been submitted, please see

F1 Grand Prix pre-tour - The COC have established some unforgettable F1 Grand Prix pre-tour packages to suit all budgets, these are now online at If you wish to join, please book as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment as demand is extremely high. We would also advise you to book accommodation in Nice and flights very quickly in order to benefit from the best prices.

If you have any questions, we will be happy to answer them by e-mail at

The latest information will be posted on our website and on our Facebook group.
We look forward to welcoming you next year!

The JCI EC 2013 Monte-Carlo Organising Team

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18th Sep, 2012

Why a JCI Conference should be high on your list of “Things to do”

The JCI European Conference is an annual event which sees Jaycees from all over Europe (and the rest of the world) converge on an European destination for several days. 2012 was no different with the Conference being held in Braunschweig, Germany in June. Although I had heard of the legacy of JCI European Conferences from other Jaycees, my experience as a delegate surpassed all expectations. I was fond of JCI before, but after European Conference: I love JCI !

European Conference officially ran from 13th - 17th June 2012. However, it began two days earlier for me as I was a participant in the Official JCI Trainer course. Taking the course with international Jaycees and being trained by two of the best international JCI Trainers you are likely to come by (Marcel and Marju) was a phenomenal experience.

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Although the international element did make the two day course that much more intense, it also made it that much more valuable as I got so much more learning out of it.

For the remainder of the Conference I had registered myself to tour a Jägermeister factory, attend a keynote speech by the CEO of Volkswagen Financial Services, attend separate workshops and seminars on personal branding, groupthink and business success factors, as well as squeeze in some time for sightseeing of Braunschweig via an Old-timer bus.
Quite a schedule but the Conference was not all work as play was definitely present with a phenomenal party each night. Whether it was the party following the Conference opening ceremony, the Alps Night, or the Nothing but Nets Charity Night, Jaycees let loose from the day's activities, mingled and partied up a storm, and then some!

In particular, the opening ceremony held on the evening of the 13th June stands out for me. Held in Volkswagen Halle - an indoor sporting arena whose arena has a capacity of 7,000 people and which is home to the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig basketball team - the opening ceremony can only be described as an extravaganza. For anyone looking to find the UK delegates, they were the lively group decked from head to toe in Union Jacks and animatedly waving a Union Jack!

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In closing this blog post, I must agree with the guarantee stated on the JCI UK website about JCI Conferences: "once you've been to one, you'll want to go again." The 2012 JCI European Conference was fantastically organised, well-executed, packed with brilliant keynote speakers, workshops, seminars and training sessions, and professionally unparalleled to any other networking event I have previously attended. To add to this, I met some truly amazing Jaycees from all over the UK and Europe.

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See you in Monte Carlo for the 2013 JCI European Conference!


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1st Jul, 2012

A First Timer at European Conference in Braunschweig
by Alekhya Mukherji on July 1, 2012 18:12


When I started my journey to Braunschweig two weeks ago I was not sure what to expect. I had heard many stories and great experiences from others at JCI but nothing really prepares you for the real thing until you actually take part.

Right from the start I met fabulous people. At the airport I met most of the delegation from Cambridge. It was an early start for all of us but we were all buzzing with energy! From the beginning I was impressed with the immaculate organisation of the conference. Everything was catered for - transport, food, drinks etc. Even if you felt you were lost (especially at the beginning) there was always someone from the Conference Organising Committee (COC) staff on hand to help you.

While going through the agenda before the EC I had decided to attend as many training courses possible, sprinkled with a few company visits to keep me busy; and the parties every night J .However, I would recommend any first timer to take part in the "First Timer" event at the start of any conference. It is a great starting point to understand how the conferences are structured and work and also guide you through the important parts of the agenda. It was also a platform to meet other people who are in the same boat and get introduced to Senators who have done it all and are there to help you get the best experience.

The training seminars available were varied and interesting (however dependent on trainer). Being able to learn and share experiences and best practices across Europe was very useful. You get many "aha" moments where you realize that there are other aspects you had not considered and enable you to think more broadly.

And finally the parties and UK delegation - the parties were fabulous. The locations were quirky, free-flow drinks and socializing with great people. A perfect end to each day! However, the highlight at each party was the UK delegation. We showed up in strength, stood out from the crowd and were the loudest and most cheeredJ Further, not to forget the galas and award ceremonies were very special - with one of our own winning the "Most outstanding new member" award.

Looking back it was a fantastic experience and I am really happy I took the opportunity to attend. You can only understand the international aspect and appeal once you attend an event like this. What stand out for me is the perfect organisation, the sponsorships and branding of JCI (something we should target in the UK) and the extraordinary people!

JCI UK delegation, European Conference


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6th Jun, 2012

EC2012 - company visits
by Anke Brandts on June 6, 2012 09:26


Use the EC 2012 possibility to visit one of these exiting companies:

Solvis GmbH & Co. KG (production of thermal collector panels)

Fürstenberg porcelain (production of finest quality porcelain objects)

Voith Turbo Scharfenberg GmbH & Co. KG (system provider for the connection and collision protection of rail vehicles)

Mast-Jägermeister SE (producer of the world famous herbal liquor)

Salzgitter AG (one of Europe’s leading steel and technology groups)

Auerswald GmbH & Co. KG (production and marketing of compact and modular communications systems)

Intel (research and development of microprocessor architecture and design)

Richard Bretschneider GmbH (the fascinating world of premium packaging)

Company Kindergarden “Frechdaxe” of Volkswagen Financial Services AG (the largest company-run childcare service in Germany)

MAN Truck & Bus AG (supplier of trucks, buses, diesel engines, turbo-machinery and special gear units)

DLR Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (research airport)

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (the scientist of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research study the mechanisms involved in infectious diseases and defenses against them)

Heimbs Kaffee GmbH & Co. KG (coffee roastery)

Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH (producer of the most frequently played German-made grand and upright pianos)

Nordzucker AG (sugar producer with 18 production sites and refineries across Europe)

Bühler GmbH (specialist and technology partner for plant and equipment and related services for processing basic foods and manufacturing high-grade materials)

Kroschke sign-international GmbH (producer of marking materials and industrial safety materials)

PTB Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (atomic clock)

As for all the other parts of the conference program: it’s for free !

Enter our event management system (EMS) at using your login and password and sign up for the Company Visits now.

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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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11th Apr, 2012

European Conference Newsletter 10
by Anke Brandts on April 11, 2012 08:59


Conference fees rises on 14 April!!

On April 14th the conference fee will rise from 299 EUR to 349 EUR. Sign up now and make sure your payment arrives before that date. Save money and get an amazing all-inclusive conference program with a range of highlights.

• Free shuttle service with buses, limousines and public transport

• Food and beverages (daytime, lunch, dinner and evening)

• Four evening events at German Night standard

• Over one hundred different training events, workshops, company visits, and sports activities

• Five days of learning, personal development, discussion, interaction, passion, fun and meeting friends from 50 different countries.

Airport Lounge
The Hanover Airport Lounge is located in Business Terminal A near the Lufthansa check-in area and can be used for free on June 13th and 17th, 2012 by all delegates arriving or departing through Hanover Airport. The fully air conditioned lounge has an overall space of 100 m² and is exclusively furnished. At the reception desk, check-in to the conference can be done in advance on June 13th. Welcome to an exclusive lounge ambiance! 

On both days, the COC will be offering you at least every hour a bus shuttle to and from Braunschweig. Please complete your flight data in the Event Management System to reduce queuing, as soon as available.

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7th Apr, 2012

European Conference 2012-Welcome to Braunschweig
by Anke Brandts on April 7, 2012 07:20


Last chance -book by 13th April before conference fees rises

Don't forget to sign up before April 13th and make sure your payment arrives by that date. This is your last chance to secure your participation in the 2012 JCI European Conference for the regular fee.

For only 299 Euros you will get an amazing all-inclusive conference program with a range of highlights.

• Free participation in the full conference and social program

• Free shuttle service with buses, limousines and public transport

• Food and beverages (daytime, lunch, dinner and evening)

• Four evening events at German Night standard

• Over one hundred different training events, workshops, company visits, social gatherings and sports activities

• Five days of learning, personal development, discussion, interaction, passion, fun and meeting friends from 50 different countries.

• Be there and Enjoy … the 2012 JCI European Conference in Braunschweig!

This second major evening event is hosted by JCI Germany, JCI Switzerland & JCI Austria and takes place in a tram depot. Hot music and specialities from Germany, Switzerland and Austria will be provided. A shuttle service is available.

Alternatively just take the tram from the conference center and go directly into the party. One tram has a DJ on board and goes on a trip around the city center. This industrystyle location is partly roofed and ideal for all weather conditions. Tracks are covered but we recommend flat shoes.

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