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World Council News #8, 22 June 2022

Français & Espanól

World YMCA Secretary-General Carlos Sanvee writes:

Only 11 days to go until we welcome you to World Council, either in-person in Aarhus, Denmark, or online in our first ever hybrid programme. We have just concluded a series of five information webinars, and are now putting the finishing touches on an exciting programme. We hope our newly released Guidebook (see below) will be a useful resource for the week, for both in-person and online participants. It includes information on everything from speakers, panels, and Co-Labs, to practical details for those joining in-person and online. With more than 2,000 people registered in-person and online, this is set to be our largest – and most inclusive – World Council yet.

This month we also marked an important milestone, as we celebrated the 178th anniversary of the day in 1844 when the 22-year-old George Williams assembled a group of young men in London for prayer and fellowship. From that meeting, the YMCA was born. As we reflected on that modest beginning, we celebrated the present, where collectively the YMCA impacts over 60 million people each year. And we looked to the future: Vision 2030, our Movement-wide Vision and Mission statement that serves as the strategic centrepiece of World Council.

Although this is our final monthly World Council newsletter before the event begins, stand by for daily updates on 3-9 July. Keep following us on the World Council website and social media, and we look forward to seeing you very soon!


 Yesterday we wrapped up a series of webinars providing full details on both the in-person and online programmes. The recording of the 21 June webinar held for online participants is available here, and you can already watch the recording of the 14 June webinar held for in-person participants below or on our website. 

The following resources will be invaluable before, during and as you depart World Council. 

GUIDEBOOK: Newly released (today!), we hope the Guidebook will be an invaluable resource for all aspects of the hybrid programme. Designed to be easy to navigate and including links to important information, the Guidebook provides complete information on programmes, activities, meals, practical information and logistics. Keep the link handy for quick reference throughout World Council.

EVENT PLATFORM and APP: The platform and the app will provide complete programme information. Online delegates will follow the event on the ‘Attendee Hub’ on the event platform, while in-person delegates can download to their mobile phones an app to help them navigate the live events. In addition, the app has push notifications for real-time information flow and announcements; we hope to have it available to download from 27 June.

From transport to meals to having the correct electrical adapter, there's a lot to consider when travelling to World Council. While the Guidebook includes the information you need to navigate World Council successfully and safely, here are a few important points:

  • Arrival & pick-up: We must know your arrival details in order to pick you up!  The deadline for telling us was 13 June, and not all of you have given us the required information. But we can still accept your details: you do this on your own personal registration page on the event platform. Thank you.
  • Registration: we look forward to seeing you in the foyer of the Music House: 12:00 to 20:00 on Sunday 3 July, and 07:30 to 18:00 Monday 4 July. (Monday is Excursions day, 08:30 to 17:30.)
  • Internet access: Free Wi-Fi will be available in the main conference areas. The password will be visible at each location.
  • Meals: Breakfast is served in your hotel. Lunch and Dinner are provided at the Godsbanen Restaurant behind the Music House (the main event venue). Morning and afternoon refreshments will be available.
  • Dress code: Think casual and comfortable. Participants may wish to dress smartly or choose traditional/cultural dress for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. See the image above on average temperatures - and bring a waterproof jacket!
World Council website

With World Council just days away, we are finalising all aspects of an excellent programme. The latest In-Person programme is here and the Online Programme is here. On each, ‘hybrid’ events available to both In-Person and Online audiences are marked with a red circle 🔴.
Please visit the new 'Online experience' page on the website housing the Online programme and descriptions of its main components. 
SPEAKERS (In-person, online)
We have confirmed a programme of expert keynote speakers throughout World Council.

Keynote, Tuesday 5 July
Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens
Endnote, Friday 8 July
Tal Karp, CEO of Y Australia
Suzanne McCormick, President/CEO of YMCA of the USA
Jan-Hendrick Meier, strategic adviser (Zurich)

Engagement Panels, Tuesday 5 July and Wednesday 6 July

Community Wellbeing and Mental Health
Matias Irarrazaval, Regional Director for Mental Health, World Health Organization

Meaningful Work
Kevin Frey,
CEO, Generation Unlimited

A Just World
Ryan Bean, Reference and Outreach Archivist at Kautz Family YMCA Archives, University of Minnesota,

Climate Action
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Global Leader of Climate & Energy, Worldwide Fund for Nature

Digital Equity
Sylvia Poll,
Head of Digital Society Division, International Telecommunication Union

Dr. Emma Leslie,
Director, Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies
Engagement Plenary, Thursday 7 July
Sam Williams, Project Co-Lead, Global Youth Mobilization 

Also running throughout the week are Devotions and Co-Labs: both are integral parts of the in-person and online programmes. 
Devotions will take place for half-an-hour each day Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 July. They will promote reflection on the spiritual values linked with the four pillars of YMCA Vision 2030, with focus on ‘Wholeness’ (for Community Wellbeing), ‘Hope’ (for Meaningful Work), ‘Responsibility’ (for Sustainable Planet), and ‘Dignity’ (for a Just World). All are welcome and encouraged to attend, whatever your faith background.
CO-LABS (in-person, online)
Co-Labs are at the core of World Council, and World Council News #7 provides detailed Co-Lab information.

For in-person participants: over three days, about 30 groups of 30 people each will debate the ways in which we will bring YMCA Vision 2030 to life through our practical actions to benefit YMCAs, the communities they serve, and the world.

For online attendees, there will be three 90-minute sessions run twice to allow every time zone to participate. Attendees select the track that works best for all three sessions.  
  • Track 1: held 5-7 July at 20:00 CEST/Aarhus time (translation available)
  • Track 2: held 6-8 July at 09:00 CEST/Aarhus time (no translation available).

Elections will be held over two days, 5-6 July. We have received:

  • two candidatures for the position of World YMCA President
  • two candidatures for the position of World YMCA Deputy-President
  • two candidatures for the position of World YMCA Treasurer 
  • 19 candidatures for the 11 available positions of World YMCA Executive Committee member. 

Already sent to all YMCA National Movements, the Nominations Book includes biographies, photos and short videos recorded by each of the candidates. We present the Nominations Book here.

Earlier this month we ran two ‘Meet the Candidates’ webinars. Click here to view the recording and learn about the Officer candidates (webinar, 7 June), pictured below, left; and here to meet the Executive Committee Member nominees (webinar, 8 June).

There are 163 official Voting Delegates at World Council, and they will vote electronically whether they are in-person in Aarhus, or online. We are running an information webinar to explain voting procedures on Tuesday 28 June at 15:00-16:30 CEST/Geneva time. The Zoom link is here.


We are honoured to be hosted by YMCA Denmark and YMCA Aarhus. “The past four years, we've been looking forward to welcoming the world to World Council,” said Christine Ravn Lund of YMCA-YWCA Denmark. "We are looking to bring the YMCA family together after two years of Covid.” Learn more about their organization and its work on their World Council page.

From the first day of World Council to the last, there are numerous opportunities to experience Danish culture and cuisine:
  • Aarhus walking tours, 3 July, 16:00 - Explore the vibrant city on foot.
  • Welcome to Aarhus, 3 July, 20:00 - Join us in the 12th Century Cathedral in the centre of the city, where the Danish YMCA-YWCA will welcome you with music and share traditions.
  • Excursions, 4 July, 08:30 - The 17 day-trips provide a close look at the work of the YMCA-YWCA Denmark. The trips required pre-registration; Excursion group numbers are on the back of your badge. 
  • A Danish evening, 6 July, 18:00 - Explore the Old Town in Aarhus; includes dinner.
  • 'Dinner with a Dane', 7 July 18:30 - For those who selected this option at registration, experience hygge (pronounced 'hoo-gah') or cosiness as you dine with Aarhus locals. 
Throughout World Council, enjoy meals and the bar at the Godsbanen, a 5-minute walk from the Music House, and Danish craft beers at the YMCA Fairbar. 

Meet Julian Momoh of YMCA Sierra Leone, who attended his first World Council in 2018 and is looking forward to Aarhus. A YMCA member since he was 12, he believes in the YMCA commitment to  'youth empowerment for good'.

The YMCA has given me the 'confidence and voice to talk about issues relating to young people'More


Keep following the World Council website and the World YMCA TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn channels.

Whether in person or online, let the world know you are at World Council! Always use the hashtag #YMCAignite2022 as you post about your experience with the global YMCA. Feel free to use the logos and 12 official World Council images here.

DID YOU KNOW?: All YMCA communicators will have access to a fully-equipped Studio at the Music House in Aarhus, allowing live and recorded filming. YMCA National Movements are welcome to make use of the facilities for their own recording. Contact John for more information or to make a reservation. 

An exciting innovation coming out of the Studio: the 'World Council Daily' chat show will be available live and exclusively to Online participants at 19:00-20:00 CEST from Monday 4 to Friday 8 July, and to all audiences thereafter. Enjoy daily summaries, interviews, stories - and previews of what's to come.


As we prepare for the 20th World Council in Aarhus, Denmark, it's fitting that we look back on that very first worldwide YMCA gathering in Paris from 19 to 24 August 1855. All that was accomplished 167 years ago built the foundation of where we are today. 


We’re here to help:

Although this is our last monthly World Council News bulletin before the event, look out for the daily bulletins we will publish during the event, 3-9 July 2022. 

World Council News #7 (25 May 2022) – English, Espanol, Francais 

World Council News #6 (25 April 2022) – English, Espanol, Francais 

World Council News #5 (22 March 2022) – EnglishEspanolFrancais

World Council News #4 (18 February 2022) – EnglishEspanol , Francais

World Council News #3 (19 January 2022) – EnglishEspanolFrancais

World Council News #2 (16 December 2021) - EnglishEspanolFrancais

World Council News #1 (12 November 2021) - EnglishEspanolFrancais


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