2013 JCI Global Partnership Summit: Planning for the Next Stage in Global Development

August 9, 2013

JCI members from all over the world united in New York City, USA from July 24 to 26 to meet with business, government and civil sector partners and experts to further discuss ways to begin solving global issues. 

179756_10152928742175475_1949611740_nThe 2013 JCI Global Partnership Summit focused on how sustainable impact is achieved through the collective action of young active citizens from all sectors of society within local communities. Summit delegates, JCI partners and experts gathered in New York City to discuss the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the state of our progress in reaching these goals on the local, national and international level. These dynamic discussions led to new ideas, new partnerships and new ways to take action to advance these goals as the 2015 target deadline approaches. Held at the historic Roosevelt Hotel and the United Nations Headquarters, this year’s Summit inspired delegates to return to their homes with a renewed sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of their communities and their world. Each delegate took full advantage of the great opportunity to share ideas and best practices with leaders from some of JCI’s most exciting and passionate partners. Engaging thoughts, tools and resources from every sector of society allows JCI members and other likeminded young people to harness their energy to take action for a better world. 

Conversations to Establish A Lasting Impact 
The Summit delegates learned how to address the future of their communities with concrete, sustainable actions through a series of unique panel discussions, breakout sessions, and a community outreach project. Delegates attended JCI Active Citizen FrameWorkshops, where they focused on partnerships regarding their community’s stage of development: health and wellness, education and economic empowerment and sustainability. Other breakout sessions focused on creating shared value through business partnerships, ways to solve global poverty and sharing your voice in creating the post 2015 global development agenda. Each of these sessions featured experts in the field, giving delegates a chance to interact with and learn from them in a smaller group setting. 

Notable guest speakers included Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson, UN Foundation Senior Advisor Gillian Sorenson, UN Millennium Campaign Director Corrine Woods, Founding Partner of The Global Growth Institute Wayne Clarke, UN Global Compact Senior Advisor Fred Dubee and UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. 

UN Global Compact Senior Advisor and JCI Ambassador Dubee called the delegates to action to address the problems in their communities with concrete solutions and spoke about our society’s changing attitudes, “The world is changing, we are no longer content as spectators.” UN Foundation Senior Advisor and JCI Ambassador Sorensen spoke about citizens expressing their needs and creating solutions to meet those needs through the UN MDGs.  “NGOs are [the United Nations’] essential partners. We need to think about what can be done now, what comes first and how can we address that?” UN Foundation Senior Advisor and JCI Ambassador Sorenson said. Founding Partner of Global Growth Institute and JCI Ambassador Clarke explained the fight against global poverty from a business perspective and shared his vision that smaller companies can actually have a greater impact than larger corporations. 

Outdoor Action and Advocacy in Central Park
On Day two of the Summit, attendees met in Central Park and split into teams either playing a teambuilding game of kickball or spreading advocacy about malaria through a scavenger hunt on the streets of the Big Apple. GO Kickball, a new partner of JCI USA, provided the equipment and necessary education on how to play kickball, and teams placed bets for nets on who would win. 2013 JCI President Chiara Milani delivered the ceremonious opening kick of the kickball tournament. UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Deputy Director Margaret McDonnell dressed up as a mosquito to add some fun and educate visitors of the park on the dangers of malaria and the importance of life-saving bed nets. This event was also a stop on the JCI USA BzzzTour Across America. JCI USA National President Chrystal Ramsay-Dyess helped lead the scavenger hunt team. Participants of the project raised more than US $700 to send nets and save lives. 

Entertainment in the Big Apple
Summit attendees took the chance to relax and celebrate on Wednesday and Thursday night of the Summit. JCI Japan hosted the Chairperson’s Reception at the beautiful Gotham Hall on Wednesday evening. Guests were treated to an extravagant evening led by Masters of Ceremonies JCI Japan Global Network Committee Members Tatsuhiro Yasumoto and Mamiko Mizuta. Opening remarks were given by 2013 JCI Global Partnership Summit Chairperson Keita Endo and JCI President Chiara Milani. Specials guests Ambassador of Japan to the UN H.E. Kazuyoshi Umemoto and Special Advisor of the Deputy Secretary of the UN Kim Won-soo also shared a few words. JCI Secretary General Edson A. Kodama closed the reception after a band performed, urging the delegates to enjoy the music and celebrate being young active citizens. 

Thursday night proved to have perfect weather for the Disco Deck, a boat cruise around the Manhattan harbor. Delegates and partners enjoyed stunning views of the NYC skyline, including the new World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. Appetizers and drinks were served as a DJ played music for everyone to dance to. It was a wonderful opportunity for delegates to interact with fellow members, partners and new friends. 

A Resolution for Progress at the UN
The final day of the Summit provided a special experience for delegates as they gathered in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN Headquarters. Guests and delegates started the day by learning about the work JCI members have done to advance the MDGs during a project showcase, featuring detailed project posters and a series of videos. Following the showcase, UN Global Compact Senior Advisor and JCI Ambassador Dubee and UN Millennium Campaign Director Woods led the discussion for the closing plenary, giving a look at the post 2015 global development agenda. Woods focused on the fact that young active citizens have the ability to do everything in their power to make sure every single person in this world lives a life of dignity. At the end of the plenary, JCI Secretary General Edson A. Kodama presented UN Millennium Campaign Director Woods with a letter of intent for a partnership between the two organizations. They both signed the document and formally started our next JCI partnership, confirming our dedication to continue advancing the MDGs and take part in creating the post 2015 global development plan. 

After the motivating plenary, the JCI Japan UN Youth Ambassador Program Presentation gave hope to the delegates seeing youth so active and involved in the MDGs. These primary school aged international children stole the spotlight as they presented their projects on how to make the world a safer, healthier and better place. 

The closing ceremony included a special keynote address by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson focusing on sustainability. “There may be a ‘Plan B’ but we don’t have a ‘Planet B'”, UN Secretary General Eliasson said. JCI President Milani gave closing remarks thanking the delegates, partners and special guests for a productive Summit. 

To conclude the Summit, 2013 Summit Chairperson Keita Endo, joined by JCI President Chiara Milani, JCI Secretary General Edson A. Kodama and the UN Affairs Commissioners, presented the 2013 JCI Global Partnership Summit Resolution. Through exchanging best practices and engaging experts in exploring innovative solutions, the panels, discussions and workshops between Summit delegates and JCI partners motivated delegates to recognize that the time is now for young people to share their voice in creating a better world. The Summit Resolution expresses two commitments for JCI members around the world:

1. To mobilize and engage 10,000 young people across every JCI community to share their voices as part of the MY World 2015 Campaign – a global survey asking citizens to choose their priorities for a better world – in an effort to shape the post 2015 global agenda.

2. To commit to active participation in developing a post 2015 global agenda by conducting forums in a minimum of 60 countries between now and next year’s summit and sharing the feedback and ideas with JCI World Headquarters.

JCI members can start implementing these commitments now, preparing our organization and our communities for the next phase of global development.

Followed by a closing reception in the UN Delegates Dining Room, attendees said their goodbyes and made plans to attend next year’s Summit while enjoying another stunning view of New York City. 

Start thinking now about what project you can create to address the UN MDGs in your community. Upload your current projects to the JCI Project Gallery to share your initiatives with and provide inspiration to your fellow members. 

Catch up on all the exciting events from the 2013 JCI Global Partnership Summit by watching the JCILive UStream videos

Share your photos and memories from the Summit on the JCI Facebook page.

Stay tuned for upcoming tools to host a MY World forum and encourage your community members to have a voice in creating a better world for post 2015 and beyond. Take the MY World survey today.