Ivan’s recap of the JCI Impact and Achieve courses
Getting up early on Saturday morning is not how I imagine my Saturdays to start. However when the cause of getting up is actually something interesting, I usually give it a shot. In case of JCI Achieve and Impact trainings last Saturday (1st of March), I wasn’t wrong at all.
Walking towards the Copenhagen City Hall (Københavns Rådhus) and looking at its ancient tower all covered in mist (which felt like slowly entering the middle ages) I didn’t really have an idea what JCI Achieve and Impact are about. I like JCI and I guessed that is about getting to know it more – which is good enough for me. After initial hassle that couple of us had with finding the right doors to enter this gigantic building on non-working hours, we were welcomed on the back doors by Rune, the main organizer of this event (thank you Rune). When we entered the building, I started admiring this amazing building, It was full of history, these long hallways, wooden ceilings covered with ornaments, wonders were piling up as we approached the conference room which was on a balcony above the central atrium. While I was still admiring the view down the atrium, we entered the room to find a huge oval table having about 50 seats. In comparison to that table probably even King Arthur and his knights of the round table would look like lads in the back corner of a pub.
Funny and yet unfortunate, that table served only 7 JCICIers whereas our JCI Achieve course presenter – Senator Stephan Baumannwas was standing in front of it – ready to start (Snowwhite and 7 dwarfs? I surely felt like one of them by that table). While I would have been intimidated by the setting of our course, Stephan started and led the course with great deal of enthusiasm. What is JCI, who are active citizens, what JCI and therefore we stand for? Those were only some of the questions that Stephan introduced and answered while engaging us into debate. Through open conversation, with jokes flying around, the great feeling was in the air as the course challenged us to think further. Stephan truly managed to show us in this “Fundamentals of JCI” or “JCI 101” course, the history, vision and mission of JCI as whole, and I don’t mean just the motto, but the real spirit it carries.
Followed by a lunch break in great Bronx Burger restaurant, the second part of the day continued with another course: JCI Impact. While I thought there is not much else to be said about JCI as such, JCI Senator Michala (Fie) Mulvad-Thiim from JCI Ørestad took the presenters place to show us how the JCIers are managing to be active citizens. Introducing a bit of theory about the project management, Michala continued to ask even more questions. Divided into teams of 3-4 people, we had to put on board the main challenges we believe our society is facing right now. Having in the end chosen one of the problems per group, following the “why-why-why” scheme, we were to deduct the core issue behind those problems while passing the guidelines set up by JCI to achieve the biggest impact and to eventually solve them.
Being both courses and practical trainings, JCI Achieve and Impact gave us great and valuable hands-on experience on understanding JCI, our role in it and how to realize the projects it encourages. Spending the day in the old City Hall where our enthusiastic presenters did really great, this Saturday was a quite constructive day and I believe everyone had a really good time. While part of the group had to leave for their private duties, the rest of us continued the evening with a beer in a cozy bar setting.