COC Academy 2020

Nele De Roos (JCI Brugge) attended COC Academy this year

It all started with a dream 2 years ago at the EC in Riga. Why not organize a European Conference in Bruges. Together with Jonas Maes I then approached the necessary people so that our dream was turned into an idea. An idea that grew into a small team, with which we gave a presentation at the EC in Lyon about how we see the European Conference in Bruges in 2022. From a dream we worked on an idea, which has now grown into a concrete plan.

But how does it go now? Numerous major events are organized within the major JCI families every year, and several years ago it was decided to combine these experiences and share them with Jaycees with dreams and plans like us with EC Bruges. I therefore have no doubt that I would very much like to participate in the CO Academy in Estonia in early March 2020.

I can’t say anything about this week’s content, because just like other major JCI Academies, the CO Academy is one of the best kept secrets. In a small group with 15 Jaycees from all over Europe, we arrived in Estonia on Monday March 6. 15 Jaycees who barely know each other, but each with a dream. One wants to organize a National Congress, the other a European Presidents Meeting, and so I sat there with my dream to organize the EC within 2 years in Bruges.

During these 5 days, something special emerged, because 15 Jaycees who did not know each other are connected to the CO Academy Participants 2020, a close group of friends who have literally shared blood, sweat and tears for 5 days.

The schedule for the week was well-filled with interesting trainers, each sharing their experience within a specific domain of Congress / Conference organization. We talked about partnerships, marketing, logistics, teamwork, … One by one trainers came to speak from their hearts, you could feel the experiences they shared again.
In the middle of the week, something happened for which 2020 will be in the history books forever: Corona broke through in Europe. Suddenly it was reported that certain countries were locked, certain countries closed their airspace, companies were closed, … Despite the limited internet network in the distant forests of Estonia, the sad news also came to us. 15 Jaycees and a few trainers together at Academy, each with their story and fear of how Corona would affect everyone’s business, family, health … Saturday, March 14, everyone returned home, with mixed feelings. Because not only were we that week in the safest (Corona-free) place in Europe in the distant forests of Estonia together to share wonderful experiences and to make dreams concrete for the future, but everyone was secretly looking forward to a safe home to get to family and friends.

I can only recommend people with a similar dream to definitely participate in the CO Academy in the future. You will get a wealth of information and friends for life!

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