In June, I was delighted to attend my first ever JCI European Conference, online! Whilst we could not be together physically, the conference offered a fantastic opportunity to connect with JCI friends from across the world, to be inspired and have fun.  

There were around 30 events hosted over the 3-day period, with a range of sessions on offer to suit all. With so much on, it’s a difficult event to summarise, however I have picked some of my highlights to share with you: 

  • To start off, the opening ceremony was a brilliant way to get the buzz going. It can be hard to create excitement with virtual events, but the team did a fantastic job at highlighting each of the JCI National organsiations and President’s, with video footage from each country. It’s a brilliant video, and really showcases the reach, and power, of JCI. Very inspiring indeed! 
  • One of the workshops during the conference focused on Empowering Virtual Teams – very relevant in the current climate.  We learned tips on how to manage teams remotely, how to keep motivation going, and the important of effective communication. All of which are really important, both in my role with JCI and in my office-based job (or from my sofa for now!). 
  • I also really enjoyed the ‘Leadership in a Crisis’ keynote session with Cornel Amariei. Cornel shared his journey in business as a leader, inventor and innovator. In particular, he discussed the importance of harnessing innovation and how to create experiences that drive action and create results. He was a Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award Winner in 2018 – and a truly inspirational speaker to hear from.  
  • JCI Europe Awards – No JCI conference is complete without an Awards. What a great way to round the conference off, and it was truly inspiring to see the number of leaders, projects and organisations nominated. Our very own 2020 Local President at JCI Edinburgh, Judy Mariens, won the Most Outstanding Local President award, which was very much deserved and made the event that bit sweeter! 

Overall, I had a fantastic time at the Conference – the variety of events on offer was brilliant and offered something for everyone. I had fun, was inspired and learned lots about JCI and our international network. If any JCI members are considering attending a conference, but haven’t made their mind up yet, I really do encourage you to participate – it’s the best way to get fully acquainted with all things JCI.  

Thank you to the JCI Edinburgh team for introducing me to the conference, and look forward to the next one – where hopefully we can all meet in person. Here’s to EC 2022!