Junior Chamber International is a membership based non-profit organization of 200,000 young people ages 18 to 40 in 5,000 communities and 120 countries around the world. Founded in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA by Henry Giessenbier, the movement spread, and Junior Chamber International was founded with eight other countries in 1944.
The young active citizens in JCI share the belief that in order to create positive change, we must take collective action to improve ourselves and the world around us. Engaging in activities ranging from community development to international projects, members demonstrate their social responsibility and improve themselves through participation, leadership and action.
To provide development opportunities that empowers young people to create positive change.
To be the leading global network of young active citizens.
- That Faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life
- 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
JCI members constantly seek ways to live JCI slogan: Be Better. They not only believe that improvement is possible, they believe it is their responsibility to initiate positive change both in themselves and in their local community. All members around the world share this sense of social responsibility and the initiative to take action to create a better future for all.
Our global organization of nearly 200,000 young active citizens grew out of the vision of one man almost 100 years ago as a constructive approach to civic problems. Henry Giessenbier, Jr. decided to take responsibility for the progress and welfare of his community by helping tackle difficult problems around him. Together with 32 other young men, Giessenbier established JCI’s first Local Organization, in St. Louis, USA, in 1915. The members of the first Local Organization dedicated themselves to bringing about community improvements and empowering young people to create positive change.
By 1944, the movement had spread through eight countries. When delegates from these countries met in Mexico City at the Inter-American Conference that year, they agreed it was time to officially form Junior Chamber International. This deep-rooted tradition of bringing together active citizens from diverse backgrounds remains alive today in our international events. They fuel the JCI movement and lay the groundwork to create positive change that transcends boundaries.
As global citizens, we all have rights and responsibilities, as well as shared goals. Through active citizenship, we embrace social responsibility and work towards goals that benefit communities worldwide. JCI members embrace new ideas, collaboration and diversity. Guided by the vision and initiative to transform their lives and the world, JCI members have the courage to address the great challenges of our time.
A Framework for Results
The JCI Active Citizen Framework provides a methodology for running sustainable, needs-based projects that create measurable results in communities. The process starts with assessing community needs in health and wellness, education and economic empowerment, and sustainability. By engaging partners and evaluating results, JCI members ensure their projects deliver effective positive change.
JCI Around the World
With around 5,000 JCI Local Organizations in more than 100 JCI National Organizations, JCI forms a vibrant global community of nearly 200,000 active citizens. All members belong to a JCI Local Organization where they focus on finding solutions to problems in their local community. Local Organizations are affiliated to National Organizations. This structure forms a global grassroots movement, empowering members to run international projects, exchange ideas and work together to develop new ways to create positive change in their communities.
Every year, JCI members unite at JCI international events to foster cooperation across boundaries, engage in dialogue to ignite global development projects and unite the JCI global network.
JCI World Congress
Every November, members from across the globe come together for the peak of the JCI year at JCI World Congress. At this global forum, delegates elect the next year’s officers, meet JCI members from more than 100 countries, find new ways to create positive change and magnify the positive impact of the JCI movement.
JCI Area Conferences
Every year in April through June, JCI members unite in their regions for JCI Area Conferences to exchange ideas, learn how to maximize their local impact and collaborate with other National Organizations in their Areas. The four Area Conferences – Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Europe – give members a chance to take advantage of JCI’s international network while enhancing their National Organizations.
As young active citizens, JCI Members join the global dialogue of the day through JCI Summits in partnership with the UN Global Compact, the International Chamber of Commerce, the UN Foundation and other key partners. Each year, members gather with leaders of government, civil society, business and United Nations agencies to debate, learn and transform vibrant ideas into concrete action. Previous Summits have focused on global partnership, the UN Millennium Development Goals, Corporate Social Responsibility and climate change.
JCI Programs, offered locally, nationally and internationally, provide members opportunities to learn, achieve and inspire active citizenship while engaging their communities in new and innovative ways.
The JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP)
Every year, JCI selects 10 outstanding young people under 40 who live the JCI Mission in extraordinary ways. The accomplishments of these young active citizens in a variety of fields inspire us to be better and realize our full potential as active citizens. JCI TOYP is run locally, nationally and internationally.
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. Currently, JCI Trainers are working with UNESCO to develop tolerance and cultural awareness training programs to teach young people to value diversity.
The JCI World Public Speaking Championship
Public speaking is a critical skill for leaders to motivate others toward positive change. At the JCI World Public Speaking Championship, members face the challenge of expressing creative ideas in a clear and captivating manner. National Public Speaking contest winners compete at the JCI Area Conferences, then the winners for each Conference go on to represent their geographical area at the JCI World Congress.
The JCI World Debating Championship, Sponsored by 1963 JCI President Eric H. Stevenson
Debating skills equip members to resolve conflicts, respect differences and overcome obstacles. Discussing relevant current topics, contestants support their perspective with compelling arguments. Capacity-building events like this build a foundation of teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving that members use to address issues in their local communities.
The JCI Twinning Program formally links two or more JCI Local Organizations who are interested in collaborating. Twinning partners learn, exchange ideas, forge diverse connections and gain a unique perspective on the world as they participate in joint crosscultural projects. Twinning leverages the JCI global network to gain a deeper understanding of international cooperation.
JCI Operation Hope
Every day, JCI members take action to create sustainable positive change in their communities. But when natural disasters strike, members go above and beyond to respond
to the communities in distress.
Through JCI Operation Hope, JCI members unite to take action in the aftermath of tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, reaching across the globe to sustain recovery initiatives and rebuild communities. JCI officially launched JCI Operation Hope on January 1, 2005 to empower members to take action in the face of natural disasters. Recent disasters assisted by Operation Hope include the earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Haiti and the floods in Pakistan.
Visit www.jci.cc to learn more about how JCI members around the world are working to create positive change.