JCI Scotland National Conference 2016

Celebrate 7 Decades of Leadership With Us | 15-17 April 2016 | Edinburgh, Scotland

Inspiring leadership stories. Focused learning. Non-stop networking. Beautiful world heritage city. Join us and get the motivation, expert insights and the contacts you need to be a great leader.


Ticket options and prices

Please note - Standard rate tickets end 3rd April at 22:00pm UK time. Late Rate tickets available from 3rd April 22:00pm until 13th April 22:00pm UK Time.

Full Conference – Member Programme
Standard Rate: £135. Late Rate: £155.00

Full Conference – Senator Programme
Standard Rate: £135. Late Rate: £155.00

Friday Only
Standard Rate £35. Late Rate: £40.00

With this ticket you get access to all Friday activities, including buffet dinner, drink and nibbles at the party.

Saturday - Day Only
Standard Rate: £50.00. Late Rate: £55.00

This ticket gives you access to all Saturday day activities, excluding the tour of the Mary King’s Close and the Gala Dinner. It includes lunch, tea and coffee.

Saturday - Full day
Standard Rate: £110.00. Late Rate: £120.00

This ticket covers all Saturday activities, including the tour of the Mary King’s Close and the Gala Dinner. Lunch, tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day.

Saturday Gala Dinner only
Standard Rate £60.00. Late Rate: £70.00

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JCI Scotland National Conference 2016
JCI Scotland National Conference 2016


“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others”.

~John Maxwell

The conference programme will include workshops, motivational speakers, debating and public speaking competitions, cultural activities and entertainment. And of course, it wouldn’t be JCI without a party or two. On Friday night we have a fantastic party to mark the 7 Decades of Leadership and the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening followed by Ceilidh (Scottish folk music and traditional dancing) and Disco.

Download Member Programme Download Senator Programme

Speakers & Trainers

Cally Russell



Cally Russell is the CEO and Founder of Mallzee, a personal shopping app that allows online shoppers with a smartphone to browse over 2 million products from over 100 fashion brands around the world. The mobile app was launched in late 2013 and has since been labelled as the Tinder for fashion.

Cally was named Scotland Emerging Entrepreneur of 2014 by Business Quarterly and was recently selected by The Times as One to Watch in 2016. He is also a former Dragon’s Den contestant who rejected Peter Jones offer, and has now grown a business to serve hundreds of thousands of shoppers worldwide.

Mallzee now employs 24 staff and has raised over $5m in investment.

Susan Aktemel

Homes for Good


Susan is an award winning entrepreneur who has worked in social enterprise since 1994, when she created Impact Arts, now a leading Scottish cultural charity which changes people’s lives through arts.

In 2013 Susan founded Homes for Good, Scotland's first social enterprise letting agency, because she wanted to create an agency which met her own standards of transparency and ethics for tenants and other landlords. In 2014 she launched and raised funding for Homes for Good Investments, an ethical property portfolio of 120 homes aimed at people who struggle to access quality housing.

Susan is also a non-executive director of Places for People Scotland, and a Strathclyde University Business Fellow.

In 2011 she was named Social Enterprise Leader by the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition, and won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 in the social category. In 2012 she won the Ogunte Women's Social Leadership Award, which promotes female social entrepreneurs across the world.

John Loughton



John Loughton is a high profile and award winning global youth leader, social entrepreneur, campaigner and motivational leadership speaker. He is Founder & CEO of leadership training company Dare2Lead, which since 2011 has grown to employ numerous staff, take six-figure turnovers and engage over 21,000 people.

Growing up in a single parent family, in an impoverished scheme in Edinburgh, John had to overcome the very real impact of drugs, abuse and crime in his family. As a result, he ran his first campaign aged 11, and has went on to work in over 35 countries. In 2007 John was elected the youngest ever Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament. He was appointed by Gordon Brown as a member of the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution, served on the Advisory Council to the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Trustee of YouthLink Scotland and is an advisor to the pro-EU Scotland campaign. John has addressed global platforms including The Whitehouse Leadership Programme, the UK and Scottish Parliament's, UN Headquarters in Geneva, UN World Summit on Youth as well as delivering his own TED Talk in London. Loughton has served as Prime Minister of the Youth Diplomatic Service at the G8 and G20 Summits in Washington DC and met influencers including The Queen, UN Secretary General, President of European Parliament, three Prime Ministers, three First Ministers and numerous ambassadors, entrepreneurs and campaigners.

John was named JCI Outstanding Youth of the World 2013 joining an elite including John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger. He is also known for winning the UK's Big Brother Celebrity Hijack TV show in 2008.

Mel Harris

The Performance Tree


Mel Harris is Managing Director of The Performance Tree (Learning & development) and Co-Founder of Performance Through People International (social enterprise).

After gaining a Degree in Biological Sciences including 2 years of Psychology, Mel entered the business world and gained 20 years of sales, international marketing and business development experience across a wide range of industries (food & beverage, Snacks, IT, Construction, Manufacturing, chambers of commerce, recruitment and re-employment, third sector, charities and Government pilot projects).

With a passion for learning and development, love of international travel and different cultures, Mel joined JCI, where she became local president of JCI Edinburgh and national president of JCI Scotland. With JCI Mel developed a strong awareness of being a global citizen including working on projects with United Nations. Mel became a JCI international trainer travelling around the world running leadership academies in Japan, Russia, Syria and across Europe. She won Best Local President in Europe 2005 and was a finalist at World Level, and helped JCI Edinburgh win best chamber in the world three years in a row. The Burns Gala Weekend was a project she developed and launched in 2004 as deputy Edinburgh President and it won Best project at the world awards in 2005.

Mel specialises in behavioural skills for developing individual and team performance for success. This includes working with organisations to integrate values, vision and culture to support empowered performance and happy, challenging, collaborative and innovative working environments.

Mel has worked with various clients such as the Scottish Government, Visit Scotland, Edinburgh and West Lothian Chambers of Commerce, Edinburgh University, Scottish Business in the Community, Bield and Trust Housing Associations, Cyrenians, The Rock Trust, RBS, Technip, HBOS, Cambridge Marketing College (Delivering The Professional Certificate in Marketing for the Chartered Institute of Marketing), Roche Pharmaceuticals, Vine Resourcing, ISPOT, First Port, AB Connectors, RBS. The Performance Tree delivers programmes in various countries and across all sectors.

Mel is one of the only few people in Scotland certified to run Theory U training.

Maggie Georgopoulos

Mags Inspires Ltd


Maggie Georgopoulos is the founder of Mags Inspires Ltd and the author of ‘Up the ladder in a skirt’, which will hit the shelves in the next couple of months.

Originally from Australia, Maggie has travelled extensively around the world working in training and education for the last 12 years. She is a Mechanical Engineer by trade, having started her early life working for Toyota and then moving into the Agricultural industry, designing ploughs and implementing quality process systems. She has worked in Human Resources and capped off a fast tracked career as the Chairman of the Board, in 2004. In early 2005, Maggie decided there was more to life than climbing the ladder and she decided it was time to see more of the world and experience different cultures.

She has lived and worked in numerous countries such as South Korea, Tanzania, the US, Scotland and Libya to name a few. During this time Maggie has worked in delivering leadership training to young people and worked in many more male dominated organisations. She has come out of these experiences with a burning desire to share her experiences in climbing the ladder as well as to help develop young people.

Maggie is a JCI Senator and a JCI International Trainer, having co-founded a number of JCI official courses. She is the past President of JCI Australia and has held positions on the Victorian Government (Australia) advisory Educational Advisory board, the Victorian Agricultural Industry Training Advisory Board, the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and more recently was the Chair of the Association of Scottish Business Women Operations Committee and a member of the Board of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Gillian Duncan

Live Mindfully Ltd


Why I teach mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is my anchor through life’s ups and downs. I’ve been personally practising meditation for over 15 years now and, in that time, I’ve discovered just how important maintaining a sense of well-being is to staying healthy, feeling good and performing well.

I’m passionate about sharing the tools and techniques of mindfulness that create that feeling of well-being with as many people as possible, encouraging them – person by person, breath by breath – to cope with whatever life brings and live from a place of awareness, peace and joy. In my experience mindfulness helps you to ride life’s waves instead of being swamped by them!

How did I get here?

I worked in the corporate environment for over 20 years as a customer research and insight specialist, helping organisations develop a deep understanding of their customers. While still working in the corporate sector, I completed my Mindfulness Association teacher training at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre and, in 2011, began teaching mindfulness meditation. Since then I’ve completed my compassion teacher training and I’m also a Mindfulness in Schools accredited teacher, trained to deliver the .b (dot-be) Mindfulness in Schools programme for students. I set up The Moment is Now – www.momentisnow.co.uk – offering mindfulness coaching and mindful therapies so that I can share the benefits of mindfulness meditation with as many people as possible. I also run mindfulness courses and mindfulness training specifically for the corporate sector for Live Mindfully Ltd – www.livemindfully.co.uk

Apart from mindfulness, what else do I love?

I love the outdoors and spend most of my free time and holidays in the mountains – hill walking, rock climbing and ski mountaineering. I love exploring the outside world, as well as the inner world. In Scotland I have climbed all the Munros and Corbetts, and have also travelled to many of the mountainous countries in the world, including Mongolia, Greenland, Iceland and Norway.

Aleks Tomczyk

Arum and Arum Software


Aleks is the CEO of Arum, a growing boutique consultancy headquartered in Edinburgh. He is a transformation and technology specialist who has worked with SMEs and large blue-chips. Since Aleks took over Arum the business has grown both revenues and employees by more than 10 times whilst developing a strong reputation in its key market segments.

Aleks began his career as an engineering consultant working at the cutting edge of materials and analysis. In the late-90s he set up the UK’s first corporate venturing scheme for a FTSE100 plc, then worked as a project manager for their oil and gas business developing new technology solutions for offshore environmental remediation and decommissioning.

Aleks made an exciting switch to the IT technology space in 2000, joining Scotland’s biggest ‘dotcom’ era start-up where he was responsible for delivering the technology platform; then enjoyed working on new technology projects including what was known as ‘web 2.0’ before taking over Arum in 2006.

Aleks was born in Edinburgh and now lives there again with his fantastic wife and three kids. He enjoys many sports, especially rugby, and has just retired as an officer in the British Army Reserve after 25 years’ service.

Useful Information


We have secured a special rate of £89/room/night (single and double occupancy) with Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor, breakfast included. JCI delegate can book directly with the hotel Here

Travel Information

RAIL: Haymarket Train Station, 5 minute walk. Waverley Train Station, 20 minute walk

AIR: Edinburgh International Airport (EDI), approximately 25 minutes by taxi or Tram or Public Airlink Bus, which departs every 10-15 minutes and stops at Haymarket Train Station.

CAR: SAT-NAV: EH12 5EF. 20 minutes from the M8. Onsite car parking not available. On street car parking is available and the pay machines are located on Grosvenor Street. Alternatively, an NCP Car Park is available at Castle Terrace (EH1 2EL) for longer periods of parking. The discounted rate for Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor guests is £10 for up to 24 hours and £8 for up to 6 hours.

The Conference Team

Roxana Ghita

Conference Director

Patrick Hughes

National President

Stuart Bradley

JCI Edinburgh President

Olivia Dunnett

Web Developer

Lesley Fowler

Senate Programme Organiser

Katy Sandford

Team Member

Henrica Blomqvist

Team Member

Erin Savage

Team Member

Paul Stretton

Team Member

Bonnie Auyeung

Team Member

Lisa Macareiu

Team Member

Sponsors and Partners

Philippe Monthoux

Edinburgh Based Photographer

Highland Experience Tours are offering attendees of the conference a fantastic 10% off all tours. To book call 0131 226 1414 and quote 'JCIEDINBURGH2016'

Visit Highland Experience Tours