World Chambers Federation

JCI Summit highlights youth role in economic development

  • 5 August 2014
ICC Mediation Competition

More than 500 young professionals met with business, civil society and government leaders to discuss the greatest challenges encountered by today’s youth at this year’s Junior Chamber International (JCI) Global Partnership Summit.

The summit, which took place on 23-25 July in New York City, marks 30 years of cooperation between the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) and Junior Chamber International (JCI). These three decades have made intergenerational encounters possible, and have brought valuable support to the voice of young entrepreneurs.

During the event, Cynthia Duncan, USCIB Senior Vice-President for Carnet and Trade Services and Chair of the World ATA Carnet Council, spoke about the dynamic cooperation between JCI and ICC WCF on a wide range of initiatives.

Ms Duncan called on JCI members to continue supporting ICC and G20 efforts to foster education and entrepreneurship. She urged the new generation of leaders to continue engaging with business, civil society and government representatives in their communities to formulate and advocate policy proposals that will “contribute to a sustainable global economy and reduce youth unemployment.”

“As tomorrow’s business and chamber leaders, I know I can count on JCI innovation, energy and commitment to contribute towards positive change,” she said.

Mick Fleming, WCF Vice-Chairman, took the floor to speak on education and economic empowerment and its importance for the development of skills and opportunities related to economic growth, employment, gender quality and entrepreneurship.

“One cannot advance and sustain regional economies without advancing education opportunities. Long-term economic growth is intrinsically connected to human capital development and education should no longer be the sole concern of nation states,” he stressed.

“All around the world, chamber-driven programmes prove that the involvement of the private sector in addressing educational problems is not only beneficial for young professionals, but also for companies.”

Mr Fleming also underlined the importance of developing existing youth programmes, increasing the sharing of best practices ,and establishing joint initiatives between chambers and WCF to support global economic progress and empowerment. In his closing remarks, he reminded the audience that young professionals are part of the solution to achieve this objective, and both ICC WCF will be partners in this initiative.

Focusing on the role of young active citizens and their contribution to the post-2015 global development process, the conference aimed to provide young professionals with the tools and information necessary to impact their communities through targeted action and strategic partnerships.

By engaging with leaders from different activity sectors, the summit intended to increase the sharing of know-how, as well as motivate and inspire young citizens to have a sustainable impact on their respective communities.

Visit to learn how young people around the world are working to create positive change.