Junior Chamber International (JCI)
First local chamber founded on: 13 October 1915; 107 years ago
Founder: Henry Giessenbier
Founded at: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Members when founded: 32
Members next year: 750
First National Organization founded on: January 21, 1920; 102 years ago
Founded in: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Members: 30 Local Organizations around United States
Junior Chamber International founded on: December 11, 1944; 78 years ago
Founded in: Mexico City, Mexico
Members: 8 National Organizations around Americas
Headquarters in: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Meeting ratifying female membership: 1984; 38 years ago
JCI’s story begins with Henry Giessenbier Jr., a young man living in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, during a time of incredible growth and expansion, when on 9% of the youth were given the chance to graduate from secondary school. Giessenbier recognized the talents and passions of the young people around him, and envisioned the positive and sustainable change they could create if only they had the right opportunities given to them. To provide these tools, in 1915 he founded the first JCI movement in the St. Louis area.
Giessenbier saw JCI as an organization that could harness the energy of young leaders to overcome a variety of civic challenges. JCI members would have the opportunity to develop as individuals, contribute to the prosperity of economic infrastructure through leadership and/or entrepreneurship, understand and appreciate the social dynamics that enable community problem-solving and promote goodwill, cooperation and understanding amongst all people. That enduring vision lives on through the organization today.
Junior Chamber International – as all organizations that want to stay relevant in the changing world – renew their strategic plans every now and then, most commonly used strategic period probably being 4-5 years. Most of course do not fully change their vision, mission and especially values every time, as did not happen for JCI either. The changes were subtle and brought us back towards the original JCI direction of leadership development while creating sustainable change. In World Congress 2022 the General Assembly ratified a new strategy for JCI for 2023 – 2027
Original JCI strategic plan in Giessenbier’s time
Vision: From within the walls of the soul of this organization wherein the foundation of character and good citizenship are laid, I hope a message will come in the sometime of tomorrow that will stir the people toward the establishment of a permanent and everlasting world peace Mission: To contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for young people to develop the leadership skills, social responsibility, entrepreneurship, and fellowship necessary to create positive change.
JCI Strategic Plan from 1.1.2023 onwards
Vision: To be the foremost global network of young leaders.
Mission: To provide leadership development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change
Read more about JCI:
Text: Mari Männistö