What is the JCI International Crayfish conference about? If you would have a look at the name, you might be tempted to think it’s all about crayfish. And while there are plenty of crayfish around, either on bow ties, decorations, and of course on plates waiting to be devoured during the crayfish parties that are the highlight of this conference, I would dare to say that crayfish are not the centrepiece of this conference.
Might it then be that the crayfish conference is about drinking schnapps, while wearing silly hats with crayfish motive and singing Swedish songs, with the occasional breaks that allow people to indulge in the aforementioned crayfish? I have to admit that this is what I thought after I returned from my first crayfish conference last year. And while schnapps-fuelled singing is definitely a highlight of the conference, after this year’s visit I don’t think this is what the crayfish conference is about.
After arriving at this year’s conference, I quickly discovered that I was the whole UK delegation. And given that there were not that many familiar faces, I made it my goal to extend my comfort zone by talking to people I didn’t know. And reaching for that goal, the real purpose of the crayfish conference might have appeared to me. And that is to get inspired by and learn from people who share the JCI mission and values. The conference allows you to meet passionate people from many different countries at various stages in their JCI journey, and to bring that passion back home.
In addition to all the social events, there was also a short serious program. For me its highlight was Jon Kjær Nielsen, with a talk ‘How to love your job, or die trying’. If you want to improve your happiness at work, you should definitely check out his website and his podcast at http://www.happyways.com .
I hope I’ll be able to return to Halmstad next year for the next crayfish conference, this time with the explicit goal to learn from others, and to share my own experiences, knowing that schnapps and crayfish will create a conductive environment. And I hope some of you will be there to join me during this quintessentially Swedish experience.
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