Kickstart 2020

Kickstart 2020

February 7, 2020 11:44 am Published by 1 Comment

One of our first events of the year was Kickstart 2020. As it was a national event in which JCI members and non-members from around the country would be attending, we were very excited. 

On the day over 40 young professionals came together to learn more about how they can create positive change and make an impact this year. From mentoring to setting goals, here’s a run down of everything that happened during the event. 

One Million Mentors

We started the day with a keynote speech from Alveena Malik, co-founder of One Million Mentors. Alveena described the fantastic work the charity is doing and explained how mentoring can not only benefit a mentee in many ways but also the mentor. It was great to see the various case studies, but even better to hear a real life one from Shuab. His story was really insightful as he described the many ways mentors have influenced and changed his life, and when he finished by saying he’d just received a placement at GE the whole room broke into applause. 

A key takeaway from the morning session was that a mentor doesn’t have to be an expert in a particular area. It’s about providing support and offering advice to help benefit someone else’s life in some way. If you think you could do this, you can find out more about One Million Mentors and how to get involved here

Invisible Manchester

Next up we heard from Alice Sparks, founder of Invisible Manchester. Alice explained that after finding about Invisible Edinburgh, sending a ‘ballsy’ email and a few years later the company is now offering tours of Manchester that showcase historical landmarks and explore the social projects that make the city what it is. After hearing about all of their great work we then set off to experience the tours for ourselves. We had a fantastic time with our knowledgeable and charismatic tour guides Danny and Laura, and we learnt a lot more about the streets and areas many of us walk every day. 

As the theme for the event was all about positive change we had asked attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles and travel mugs to cut down on waste, especially that of single use plastic. This followed onto our delicious lunch buffet from Open Kitchen, who used food that would otherwise go to waste. 

Introducing a rubber chicken

After lunch attendees were introduced to a rubber chicken for a speed mentoring session. The idea allowed attendees to quickly share ideas, best practices and ask for advice from one another before the (slightly annoying) noise of the rubber chicken signalled it was time to move to the next person. At the end of the session individuals even shared notes of areas they could help with or areas they required help with, and some mentor and mentee partnerships were formed. 

The JCI journey

After finally getting rid of the chicken, we sat down to learn more about JCI UK events for the year and heard from European Vice President Jenni Ahlstedt. Jenni described her JCI journey and whilst listening it was clear to hear all the ways being a part of the organisation has helped her with her career and personal development, and ultimately changed her life. 

Jenni ended her talk by explaining that whilst you have to be aged 18-40 to be a JCI member, all of the training and experiences you have, are to prepare you for when you are no longer a member, and you are at the stage in life and have become the person you were aiming to be.  This led perfectly into the final session of the day about goal setting with Simon Ong.

Taking ownership of our goals

During Simon’s presentation he informed the group that a human’s attention span is now less than a goldfish, which clearly showed how easy it is for us to become distracted and lose focus in our busy surroundings. However, by setting goals, hard work and being held accountable for our own actions and what it is we want to achieve, it is possible. Therefore when setting goals you should remember three things:


  • Responsibility


You are responsible for your own goals, and so you need to work hard to achieve them as it’s only you who can stop yourself.


  • Commitment


If you really want to achieve something then you have to be committed to getting it. 

  1. Outcome detachment

Separate yourself from what you think the outcome will be and focus more on the steps to get there. 

Overall the day was a huge success and really helped us to think about the changes we can make and the impact they can lead to. We’d like to say a big thank you to the guest speakers, our event sponsors SKV Communications, The Federation for hosting and all of those who attended. 


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This post was written by Hannah Matthewman

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