News — December 05, 2019

The Magic of Tallinn Inspires JCI Members During the 2019 JCI World Congress

It’s been one month since JCI members came from around the globe, gathering in Tallinn, Estonia to experience a JCI Event unlike any other—the 2019 JCI World Congress. Hosted through a collaboration between JCI Estonia and JCI World Headquarters, World Congress is the one time a year JCI members come together to engage with like-minded young active citizens who are all working in their own communities to create global impact. This event naturally creates a community of changemakers who engage with one another over their shared values and a mutual desire to create positive change not only in our communities but around the world.

This year’s community of changemakers gathered in the magical city of Tallinn, Estonia from 4 – 8 November. The theme, as well as the energy surrounding this week, was Pure Magic. Over 3,444 delegates from 99 countries demonstrated how they’ve been using their sustainable magic throughout 2019 while learning how to continue their momentum in 2020. These young active citizens attended inspiring skills development sessions and engaging workshops including the JCI World Hackathon—a startup-style event that gave members the opportunity to creatively innovate and solve global problems.

We kicked off World Congress with the Opening Ceremony was hosted by Miss Eliis Pärna and Mr. Kaspar Karik, featuring speeches by Estonian Prime Minister, Mr. Jüri Ratas, Tallinn City Deputy Mayor, Aivar Riisalu, the JCI Estonia President, Anni Oja as well as other representatives from the Congress Organizing Committee and JCI World Headquarters. In between speeches, delegates had the pleasure of seeing a violin performance by Võlukeeled and an Estonian folk dance performance by Savijalakesed. Once the World Congress was officially opened by the 2019 JCI President, Alexander Tio, it was time to take action!

The next day, Congress delegates began collaborating, connecting and learning from one another about how to leave an impactful mark on our world. While that was taking place, JCI members had the exciting responsibility to make an impact during the General Assembly, approving the 2020 JCI Plan of Action, electing South Africa to host the 2021 JCI World Congress and nominating the incoming 2020 JCI Board of Directors, including Itai Manyere of JCI Zimbabwe as the 2020 JCI President. The 2020 JCI Plan of Action outlines how we can bridge the gap between the vision of the 2019-2023 JCI Strategic Plan and our current reality, and between the future we want and the present we have. In 2019, JCI members executed the first year of the Strategic Plan, making progress towards the objectives of the plan—using the Active Citizen Framework to create impactful local projects. This plan is meant to sustainably advance communities around the world as well as bridge the gap between the vision of the JCI Strategic Plan and the operational realities of the organization.

To achieve the vision of the JCI Strategic Plan, every JCI member must focus their time, energy and grassroots action toward the five strategies outlined in the strategic plan—Impact, Motivate, Invest, Collaborate and Connect—as JCI works toward being the organization that unites all sectors of society to create sustainable impact. These five strategies allow JCI to focus on the power of young people to advance sustainable impact, uniting their passion to take bold action. This creates a collaborative culture in a dynamic world but most importantly encourages young people to drive the world in a positive direction.

Outside of creating the future of JCI, delegates in Tallinn had the chance to participate in a wide variety of skills development sessions and workshops on topics ranging from advocacy, waste-free environments, digital innovation and investor matchmaking. These sessions empowered members to return to their local communities and create positive change. Each day, delegates also enjoyed the JCI Morning Show where they heard a variety of best practices from JCI members and experts from our partner organizations.

During the JCI Morning Show on 6 November, the winners of the RELX Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Resource Centre Contest were announced. The SDG Resource Centre is a research tool that aims to support the UN by creating awareness for the Sustainable Development Goals. These resources can accelerate transformation in local communities, creating better local projects around the world. RELX rewarded $500 USD to:

  1. Layag B.A.N.G.K.A. (Building Agricultural and Natural Gardening Key for Aquanomics) project from JCI Malolos, Philippines
  2. Active Citizens for Global Goals project from JCI Central, Mongolia
  3. So Can She project from JCI Beirut, Lebanon
  4. Prestige Peace project from JCI Abidjan-Prestige, Côte d'Ivoire
  5. DRM Africa project from JCI Eastern Congo, DR Congo

A key event this year was the Design Thinking Workshops presented by James Hitchings-Hales from Global Citizen, Noelle Guirola Paganini from AIESEC and JCI Vice President for Europe, Jay Johnson. Members participated in a new way of imagining solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. This interactive session gave attendees the tools they need to continue fighting inequality, poverty and climate change in their communities. The Global Youth Empowerment Fund Workshop was presented by Amy Au from SDSN Youth, explaining why young people are the key to a sustainable future.

During the 2019 JCI Awards Ceremony, the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honorees were recognized for their incredible achievements. Alongside these recognitions, JCI members who created a sustainable impact in their communities across the globe were rewarded for the most outstanding projects of the year. The World Congress event concluded with the JCI Presidential Inauguration where delegates enjoyed Estonian ballet performances followed by the Farewell Dinner.

The 2019 JCI World Congress was a huge success as it united young active citizens to learn and grow from each other, creating sustainable solutions and ideas for positive impact in 2020. Interested in learning more about the event?

Interested in attending other JCI Events? Learn more about the upcoming 2020 JCI Area Conferences! 
Visit the JCI Facebook Page to see snapshots of the 2019 JCI World Congress.
Want to know more about next year’s World Congress? Get the latest information about the 2020 JCI World Congress in Yokohama, Japan and register today!

Share this article
Support our impact! Donations fund numerous national and international projects contributing to training, development and sustainable, positive change around the world.