From July 5 to 12, JCI delegates gathered in Sapporo, Japan to increase their leadership skills, expand their JCI network and experience local culture.
More than 130 aspiring JCI National Organization leaders from around the world participated in workshops, meetings and discussions on creative ways to administer successful JCI Organizations. The theme of the 2012 JCI Academy was “Activating the Principle,” a concept focusing on developing leaders who will take action in their communities and foster personal growth in their members while promoting harmony and world peace.
Encountering A New Culture
Before the JCI Academy even began, delegates spent three nights with local Japanese families. This experience immersed the delegates in cultural traditions such as cuisine, etiquette and the Japanese language. Delegates also visited elementary or junior high schools to learn more about Japanese education and to interact with the children.
Following their daily activities, Academy participants explored the town where their host family lived. This home stay experience was eye opening and challenging, especially if the family did not speak the delegate’s native language. Living with a local family, however, was the best way to become accustomed to Japanese daily life and delegates found the experience valuable and educational. During the Academy, delegates also had time to explore Sapporo, learn more about the different cultures present in the city and how to act in an urban Japanese environment.
Collaborating to Be Better
The 25th annual JCI Academy consisted of nine modules, which included a series of trainings, seminars and open discussion used to identify the delegates’ strengths and weaknesses when working with others. Led by 2006 JCI President Lars Hajslund, the modules focused on teaching the participants how to use their strengths to form a good team and tackle challenges in their Local and National Organizations and in their communities. After exchanging ideas and discussing future goals of the organization, many of the modules concluded with a group presentation. This ability to share thoughts and help each other work through problems is essential for a successful JCI leader.
After the completion of the training modules, each delegate participated in a gala dinner and the formal graduation ceremony. Marching with their national flags, the delegates received a diploma, a pin from JCI President Bertolt Daems and recited the JCI Academy Oath.
Delegates concluded their experience at the 2012 JCI Academy with a renewed spirit of active citizenship and creative ideas on how to take action as dedicated, knowledgeable leaders.