My JCI World Congress 2021

01 Dec 2021 President Ireland By President Ireland

Although I joined JCI in 2016 I never attended any of the international conferences as travel wasn’t an option for me with work and family commitments. Then due to covid we got introduced to this new level of online life, we all depend on the online world so much but with the pandemic we really leaned on it for human interaction and networking. This opened huge opportunities for all our members to experience the international side of JCI. It was great to be able to join in on online events and get to know members from all over the world.

I finally got to attend my 1st world congress which was amazing. I sat in my sitting room and was instantly transported to South Africa, in just a few clicks I was right there in Johannesburg with everyone. The sounds and colours just surrounded you and welcomed you into their world.

The opening ceremony was a spectacle for the senses, your eyes darted around the screen with bright colours as they preformed dances and wore the most amazing clothes. your ears hummed with the sound of drums and calls and the most beautiful songs. Your heart leapt with the wild animals running through their natural plains, you felt you could reach out and touch the elephants as they strode across your screen as if you were on a safari.

I loved seeing all the different countries presenting their flags each uniquely and with such pride and honour to be representing their nations.

All of this and the uplifting address from our world president really brought home the theme of this congress,

Ignite Compassion,

Unite Humanity.


It was so informative too learning about our partnerships {especially with BNI] and more about the initiatives that are being introduced under RISE. it really is an exciting time to be a member in this ever-growing, ever-changing community of futuristic leaders and emerging entrepreneurs that is JCI.

First timers ‘orientation was a great way to meet new members who were also at their first international event and a little nervous about navigating the whole event. It was great to learn more about the portals and what to expect over the event also.

The COC tour like the opening ceremony was a spectacle of sights and sounds. I loved the story at the beginning of the ladies’ bridal dress and the hunt for the perfect dress and material to tell her story. The dress makers journey was as important as the clients, a good representation of our members journeys. we come together to build something bigger not just for ourselves but others, but each journey has its own benefits and its own music to tell its tales. The most important tread was the one found in the feeling experienced, the love, the connections made that shaped the journey they were all on, magical

The tour teased us with stunning beaches and breath-taking mountains. Fun filled water sports and adventures at heights that flipped my stomach.

The food and the atmosphere it all just to entice you in and encourage you to book your ticket to experience it all for real.

It’s been firmly placed on my most visit list and in the near future if possible.

I also attended the networking for success training with Ivan Misner from the world-famous networking group BNI where he told us tales of Necker Island with Richard Branson but also about the importance of the everyday connections the first meetings and the importance of every little interaction no matter how small can lead to a bigger connection for either party.

It was informative on a business networking level but also a reminder on a personal level to treat everyone you meet kindly and with respect. We never know what anyone else has or is going through or where or paths will cross again but also just as a matter of respect for them and for your own behavioural reputation we should always lead with kindness.

I popped by general assembly to see how that all worked and to pick up a few nuggets of information along the way.

It was an honour and truly inspiring to watch Miss Keira Keogh and all the VP candidates video pitches. listening to their plans for the future and the journeys they have already taken to get here was really motivating and encouraging to step up my own JCI career. Since the congress I have joined our national council for the 1st time. The congress was full of leaders to follow and try to emulate into the future to ensure JCI’s future and its growth.

All of this was amazing, but an obvious highlight was the awards with our local branch JCI Mayo winning an award for our crisp packet project that was a really proud moment for us all after a lot of hard work and dedication from our team.