Junior Chamber International

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Junior Chamber International
JCI logo
Founded December 11, 1944 (1944-12-11)
Founder Henry Giessenbier, Jr.
Type Service / NGO
Focus The JCI Mission: To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.
Coordinates 38°39′48″N 90°34′28″W / 38.663263°N 90.574379°W / 38.663263; -90.574379
Origins St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Area served Worldwide
Method Community service
Members nearly 200,000 young active citizens worldwide
Key people Shine Bhaskaran (2014 President)
Dennis Lacson Cunanan (Secretary General)
Slogan Be Better
Website www.jci.cc

Junior Chamber International (JCI) is one of the biggest worldwide non-political and non-sectarian youth service organizations. It is an international community of citizens between the ages of 18 to 40[1] with the aim and purpose of creating positive change in the world. The organization believes that these changes must result from one taking "collective action to improve themselves and the world around them." While containing a religious element in their official creed, JCI neither promotes nor engages in any religious activities.


Junior Chamber of Commerce Creed Banner

The JCI Mission

To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.[2]

The JCI Vision

To be the leading global network of young active citizens.[2]

The JCI Values

We believe:[3]

That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That Earth's great treasure lies in human personality;

And that service to humanity is the best work of life.


From the YMPCA[edit]

The Young Men's Progressive Civic Association (YMPCA) was formed on October 13, 1915.[3] The YMPCA grew to membership of 750 in less than five months.

1916 saw a name change, with the YMPCA becoming the 'Junior Citizens', colloquially 'JCs' or 'Jaycees'. The St. Louis Junior Chamber of Commerce asked them to adopt the name 'Junior Chamber of Commerce', which was done.

After World War I the organization contacted similar groups in the United States. A pamphlet describing the 'St. Louis Plan' was sent in response to questions regarding the group and invitations were issued for a caucus. When the proceedings opened in St. Louis on January 21, 1920 with 30 cities represented. A provisional constitution was adopted until a convention could be held in June. With the adoption of a provisional constitution until a convention could be held in June, and the election of officers, the national Junior Chamber movement was born. Henry Giessenbier won election as provisional president of the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce (USJCC) by acclamation, and was joined by other officers from St. Louis; El Paso and Dallas Texas; Terre Haute, Indiana; and Springfield, Massachusetts. The 'United States Junior Chamber of Commerce' was established with 29 clubs from around the nation.

In 1923 the Winnipeg Junior Chamber was formed. The unofficial motto of the Winnipeg Junior Chamber, the first in Canada, has long been "We put the I, in JCI". Other Canadian chapters soon followed.[4]

On May 14, 1925 Lincoln Junior Chamber JCI UK was formed. A Birmingham branch was formed in 1927, followed the same year by a Sheffield branch and by a Nottingham branch in early 1928.

By the time officials from the U.S. Junior Chamber visited England in 1928, there were already eleven functioning chambers. In 1929, Douglas Jelley, President of 'Northampton Jaycees' visited the United States for the first time, which was followed by a visit by a delegation of three Sheffield Members led by W.G. Ibberson to the annual convention of the U.S. Junior Chamber in Brooklyn in 1930.

The first formal attempts to form an international organization came at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1932 when an International Executive Committee was formed. However the U.S Junior Chamber was not sure whether this was a separate organization or one of their own committees. The U.S. Junior Chamber official history does not record that the group evolved into anything more than a loose grouping of member nations with the U.S., Canada, England, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Colombia. In 1936, at the national conference in Liverpool representatives from several countries determined to form an International Junior Chamber, but this appears to have been overlooked when JCI was eventually formed.

In 1940, a resolution was passed by JCI USA approving a program to further mutual interests among countries in Central and South America. This led to the establishment of JCI organizations in Mexico City, Guatemala City, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama City in 1943.

A meeting took place in Mexico City in December 1944 which was billed as an Inter-America Meeting at which representatives of the U.S.A. and seven Latin American countries attended and it was at this meeting that the decision to form Junior Chamber International (JCI) was taken. It was resolved to hold a further meeting in Panama City in 1946.

In 1944, the first international conference was held in Mexico City. Raul Garcia Vidal of Mexico was elected JCI's first President. The countries that originally formed JCI were Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States of America.

First JCI World Congress[edit]

Junior Chamber International would come into formal being at the First World Congress in Panama at the end of February in 1946. It was attended by 44 delegates from 16 different countries. Presided over by Erasmo Chambonnet of Panama, since JCI President Raul Garcia Vidal was ill and unable to attend, the delegates approved a temporary Constitution and set for themselves a list of purposeful resolutions which all in attendance agreed to follow.

Erasmo Chambonnet of Panama was elected the second JCI President at that JCI Congress, and Australia and Canada were officially affiliated.

In 1948, the JCI Creed was officially adopted at the IV JCI World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, and in 1952 a permanent JCI Headquarters was established. In 2002, after more than 30 years in Coral Gables, Florida, the JCI Headquarters moved to Chesterfield, Missouri.

Over the years, the organization developed and became known as "Junior Chamber," "Junior Chamber of Commerce," "Jaycees International," and their multiple translations in various languages. Since 2004, however, JCI organizations worldwide are incorporating "JCI" in their names.

Structure and Organization[edit]

Today the JCI Structure is standardized, yet varies from country to country. This is because each JCI National Organization has different ties to their local government and Chambers of Commerce, giving them different benefits and requirements to which they must adhere. The following is the general structure of the organization overall and within each nation in which it operates:

  • JCI World Headquarters - Located in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the World Headquarters employes approximately 20 individuals who coordinate the activities of JCI in each member nation, manage the overall organizational finances and provide resources and tools to members to help improve projects on a local and national level.
  • Area - To better organize the activities of members and provide greater opportunities for regional collaboration, JCI recognizes four major areas: Africa and the Middle East, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific and Europe. Each Area conducts its own Conference each year, uniting members to network and discuss important regional issues.
  • JCI National Organization - Every country affiliated with the international JCI organization operates a JCI National Organization to coordinate the activities of the regional, state and or JCI Local Organizations. The National Organization manages international relationships, national conventions, national finances and programs across Local Organizations.
  • JCI Regional/State Organizations - Used in the United States, Germany, Denmark and a few other National Organizations, Regional/State Organizations identify a district group and help to better organize events, activities and projects.
  • JCI Local Organizations - The grassroots level of JCI, every JCI member belongs to a Local Organization that is charged with conducting activities and projects in the local community. JCI has more than 5,000 JCI Local Organizations in more than 100 JCI National Organizations and works to find creative solutions to problems at the local, national and international level through the combined efforts of its members.

International Events[edit]

JCI World Congress[edit]

Every year in November, JCI hosts the 'JCI World Congress,' an international meeting when every JCI National Organization comes together for training, events and to cast their vote for the changes to be made the following year.

JCI Area Conferences[edit]

Every year JCI hosts regional meetings known as 'JCI Area Conferences'. The conferences are intended to give each local and national organization of that area the opportunity to participate in training, conduct regional and global business and address global issues.[3]

JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference

JCI Asia-Pacific Conference

JCI Conference of the Americas

JCI European Conference

JCI Global Partnership Summit[edit]

  • The 2011 JCI Global Partnership Summit in New York took place from June 22 to 24. The summit highlighted strategic partnerships and how they can be implemented at the local level to face the critical challenges of the world through the framework of the UN MDGs. Sessions included activities on how to incorporate the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into companies or organizations in the community. Speakers included Senior Advisor and National Advocate at the UN Foundation Gillian Sorensen, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Office Georg Kell, Special Advisor to the UN Global Compact Professor Fred Dubee, Managing Partner of the Best Companies Partnership Wayne Clark and Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Martin Rendón. The summit was chaired by Toshinari Fujii.
  • The 2013 JCI Global Partnership Summit in New York is July 24 to 26.

Programs With Partners[edit]

United Nations and the UN Millennium Development Goals[edit]

JCI has officially partnered with the United Nations since 1954. In 2003, JCI committed to advancing the UN Millennium Development Goals, a set of time-bound targets for poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women. JCI members organize thousands of projects every year committed to advancing the goals and using the UN MDGs as a framework.

At JCI’s many Leadership Summits, held in collaboration with the UN, delegates join with representatives from key partners to focus on a current issue and seek workable solutions for members to enact locally.

Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility with the UN Global Compact[edit]

The United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, engages companies to align their operations and strategies with ten universally-accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. JCI partners with the UN Global Compact to teach small- and medium-sized enterprises how to be responsible and profitable in a competitive global market. To this end, JCI disseminates key UN Global Compact tools and resources, such as its Framework for Action: Social Enterprise & Impact Investing, which guides investors, corporations and policymakers on engaging with social enterprises to create financial, social and environmental returns.

International Chamber of Commerce and Global Economic Progress[edit]

The International Chamber of Commerce-World Chambers Federation (ICC-WCF) is the voice of world business championing the global economy as a force for economic growth. Through our partnership with the ICC-WCF, JCI Local Organizations work with local chambers of commerce on projects to advance global economic progress and encourage entrepreneurship, including the JCI Best Business Plan Competition (JCI BBP). Through JCI BBP young entrepreneurs are awarded for integrating the principles of social responsibility into their business plans.

Combating Malaria with the UN Foundation and JCI Nothing But Nets[edit]

Malaria is the leading killer of children in Africa, but this deadly disease can be prevented with the use of insecticide-treated nets. Through JCI Nothing But Nets, a campaign in partnership with the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets initiative, JCI members work to purchase and distribute mosquito nets and educate families on their proper use.

Pan American Health Organization and Child Health[edit]

JCI has worked with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) since 1994 to implement cooperation agreements focusing on children in Latin American National Organizations. Enjoying international recognition as part of the United Nations system, PAHO serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization. PAHO supports JCI National Organizations in Latin America to implement projects related to MDG 4: reduce child mortality.

Encouraging Innovation with Flanders District of Creativity[edit]

The JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Award (JCI CYEA), run in partnership with Flanders District of Creativity, recognizes outstanding young individuals who have started a business using creativity or have improved an existing business through innovative problem solving. Highlighting these young innovators inspires JCI members to strive for creativity in their endeavors and prove how creative concepts can translate into practical business solutions.

JCI Programs[edit]

The JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP)[edit]

JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons (JCI TOYP) of the World program is intended to formally recognize young people who excel in their chosen fields and thus exemplify the best attributes of the world's young people. See a List of The Outstanding Young Persons of the World.

JCI Training[edit]

Providing development opportunities that empower young people is an essential part of the JCI Mission. JCI Training provides opportunities for JCI members to improve themselves and use those skills to improve the world around them.

The JCI World Public Speaking Championship[edit]

The JCI World Public Speaking Championship offers JCI’s members opportunities to exercise and showcase their abilities and to share their ideas on local, national or global issues.

National Public Speaking contest winners compete at the JCI Area Conferences. The winners from each of the JCI Area Conferences then represents their Area in the final round of the JCI World Public Speaking Championship at the JCI World Congress in November.

Topics are locally, nationally or regionally relevant, dependent on what level of competition is taking place. The 2012 topic for the finals is "Cultural diversity is a strength rather than a weakeness."

Candidates may speak in any of the JCI correspondent languages; English, French, Spanish, or Japanese.

The JCI World Debating Championship[edit]

JCI World Debating Championship is a tournament with teams of three members. A team normally represents a single NOM. The World Championship has three separate classes; English, French and Spanish. The Area Conference championships are formally separate from The World Championship. The European Conference championship has three classes; English, French and German.

JCI Twinning[edit]

The JCI Twinning Program formally links two or more JCI Local Organizations who are interested in collaborating. Twinning leverages the JCI global network to gain a deeper understanding of international cooperation.

JCI National Organizations[edit]



  1. ^ "Welcome to JCI - Young Active Citizens Creating Positive Change". Junior Chamber International. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Welcome to JCI - Young Active Citizens Creating Positive Change". Junior Chamber International. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  3. ^ a b c Clark, John (1995). A Legacy of Leadership:The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. p. 224. ISBN 0-9645456-0-8. 
  4. ^ JCI Winnipeg and Junior Chamber International
  5. ^ "JCI WC 2011 - Brussels, Belgium". 
  6. ^ "JCI EC 2014 - Malta". 
  7. ^ "JCI EC 2012 - Braunschweig, Germany". 

External links[edit]