The 15th JCI European Academy
The 15th JCI European Academy
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.
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!
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.
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 -
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!
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!
JCI - Go Impact The World!