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First Timer's Guide to Networking - The JCI 2017 European Conference in Basel

Valeria
  • Jun 05
  • Global Networkers

As a JCI Malta member and Project Manager for World Clean Up Day of Let’s Do It Malta, attending my very first JCI European Conference in Basel Switzerland titled Crossing Borders, alongside fellow JCI Malta delegates (7 in all), my experience was nothing but absolutely unforgettable and ecstatic journey, one that left me thirsty for more!

As a First-Timer I was introduced to the 3 rules of JCI Conferences.

  1. When you see food eat it, cause you never know when you will eat again
  2. Sleep when you can
  3. If you are asleep you are always missing out on something great

From 3 rules that are mentioned above I made sure to follow the first one. As I wanted to absorb as much fun and information as I possibly could, balancing the other two proved more difficult. I didn’t regret not getting my 8 hours of sleep cause I knew that I would be missing out on networking with interesting JCI members, making friends for life and having the greatest time of my life that i could ever possibly imagine!

At the First-Timer Session you will obtain a First Timer’s Guide. It’s a small yet very useful and informative booklet which gives you all information on what JCI is about + includes 10 questions to fill out when you attend all of the trainings and events and on the last night if you are lucky you will get the chance to win a prize at the Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony.

On a first day when everyone started arriving at the conference centre I got to meet and be introduced to plenty of JCI members and national presidents. It was a steep learning curve trying to figure out who is who, and believe me 5 out 10 I couldn’t remember their names! Yeah I know I know, I am bad! But a few days later I was feeling more like being a part of a huge JCI family :)

I got to connect with people on different levels from all over the world and understand each other’s values, share great ideas and discuss different project opportunities. These are people who are passionate about the difference JCI can make in their local community and work on helping the world to be a better place for everyone to live in.

A great way to meet fellow JCI members at the conference or while you are partying is to exchange national pins with each other! It makes it fun and easy to get to know each other and you make great friends along the way! And it’s something that i will always treasure!

In the evenings of course there was lots of partying, drinking, having fun and socialising to be done!

Bavarian Kickoff Night Swiss Village Traditional Night Netherlands, Germany and Belgium Friday Night Fever 70,80, 90’s Gala Dinner JCI Award Ceremony followed by a Latvian Masquerade Night!

JCI Morning Shows are a great way to get together with other jaycees to have some fun, and get a bit of energy back from the late night’s parties!

Play games, win prizes and listen to great guest speakers. The show in Basel was hosted by Celestine from JCI UK, Keira from JCI Ireland and of course Arrey Obenson, JCI Secretary General, the best entertainer during Morning Shows!

Highlights of the morning show were Global Goals for Sustainable Development - is a commitment to Leave No One Behind. A Video Must Watch! Too many people have been left behind JUST because of Who they are and Where live.

Peace is Possible Campaign - is to mobilise young active citizens worldwide to raise awareness, advocate, take action and commit to an everlasting world peace!

Leisure Activities

Urban Farmers: Rooftop Farms

Since i am aiming for Zero Waste and supporting Global Sustainability Goals i booked an interesting and at the same time super cool Urban Farming Tour. It’s World’s first ever commercial rooftop aquaponics farm.

Sounds interesting doesn’t it. Aquaponics it’s basically (fish farming) + Hydroponics; it’s where you grow plants without using any soil. And all of it located on a rooftop! Basically from that small unit they harvest both fish ( using tilapia ) and vegetables, while using fish’s waste to feed the plants and the plants to clean the water for the fish.

The farm is capable of producing 5 tons of vegetables such as peas, tomatoes, courgettes, salad leaves and 850 kg of fish annually. Urban Farmers manage sell their ultra-fresh and ultra-local produce to the top leading restaurants in Basel.

Let’s Do It World & JCI Meeting

And of course where would I go without having a special meeting that was chaired by Let’s Do It - Heidi Solba and I proudly sitting next to Maltese JCI EVP Jonathan J Borg. It was a great opportunity for all Global Cleanup action leaders to discuss and share valuable ideas of the Global Cleanup together with JCI National Presidents and fellow JCI members, and how we tackle the problems and obstacles that may be standing in a leader’s way. So a big thank you to JCI EVP Jonathan J. Borg for making it happen!

It’s been an absolutely unforgettable experience for me and I urge new fellow JCI members to grab opportunities like these as It’s never too late to start acting now, creating an impact on your local community, develop yourself and to make a world a better place.

Thank you - Deputy President Jonathan Mifsud and National President Rachel Cassar for encouraging me to attend!

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