The History Book of AIESEC

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HISTORY BOOK Sponsored by 1

AIESEC is a global, youth-led organization focused on developing leadership in young people through facilitating cross-cultural exchanges. 2

Table of contents Message from 17-18 AIESEC Global President


Message from AIESEC Alumni International


Message from ING, AIESEC’s 70th Anniversary Partner


First Decade: 1948-1958


Second Decade: 1958-1968


Third Decade: 1968-1978


Fourth Decade: 1978-1988


Fifth Decade: 1988-1998


Sixth Decade: 1998-2008


Seventh Decade: 2008-2018


Message from 18-19 AIESEC Global President






1948. End of a war, humanity opening a new page, a group of young people came together with the hope of banking on youth to rebuild the lost human capital of trust, beyond borders, creed, or ethnicity. Fast forward to 2018, 70 years later, we are living in a hyper-connected world, artificial intelligence is not a dream anymore, the blockchain is disrupting all our old-school economics, and we can even launch reusable rockets to space and back. Over the past seven decades AIESEC members have contributed to developing leadership in more than 1,000,000 young people and have grown the network of entities to over 120 bright spots around the world.


AIESEC has made it through 70 years and we are confident it will continue to exist for many more. We are a resiliant, network of young people spanning the entire globe sharing a common set of values that binds us, a clear aspiration to bring peace and fulfill humankind’s potential. We keep our essence as we progress through a highly dynamic environment that required us to heavily adapt to be able to keep up on both a technology front, where we had to develop internal systems and platforms to meet the needs of our network, and on a people front, where we had to learn a lot to understand what skills of the future are required so that we could generate leaders with a competitive edge. In the past 5 years we have gained a lot of clarity on our unique role in society and coined that clearly through our leadership development model, and those qualities we instill in young people through which we fundamentally believe we will make the world a better place. AIESEC is at a scale currently that is probably the ultimate dream of our 1948 generation with our partners across sectors. We have gained global recognition, and are creating a measurable impact on society. The beauty of this organization will never cease to amaze the world. AIESEC remains forever young, and maintains an incredible capacity to reinvent itself to respond to the key elements of the way we create the impact to always overcome norms, barriers, and the toughest of challenges. We look forward to achieving our 2020 ambition pinning down the anchors of our youth leadership movement and flying beyond into open skies that hold unlimited possibilities to impact more lives.

Abdelrahman Ayman Global President, 2017-18 AIESEC 5

MESSAGE FROM AIESEC ALUMNI INTERNATIONAL To the world: AIESEC has always been about developing the leaders of tomorrow by providing real experiences that will shape the vision, beliefs and attitudes of young people who combine their academic knowledge with real-time opportunities to make a difference in who they were and who they were becoming. Its promise was to provide the world with generation after generation of young passionate leaders that were willing to bring their ideals to their working environments and to challenge the status quo so that there would be hope of a better society and a better global community. It was only a matter of time before AIESEC graduates started forming their own small communities of connections and friends around the powerful experience they have had in the organization with the aim of continuing the agenda of socioeconomic impact. AIESEC Alumni Associations started growing around the world and as the organization became larger and larger, more cities and countries became part of the global network, connecting with one another, discovering others like them and developing a powerful community of change agents around the world. As AIESEC evolved and became a youth leadership movement with the ambition to engage every young person in the world, this made the colors of our kaleidoscope even richer. The world has definitely changed in these seventy years and it has become increasingly easier to truly live and enjoy each other’s diversity. Seventy generations of AIESEC in more than 120 countries and territories have contributed to changing the way the citizens of the globe see the world. We can safely say that seventy generations of AIESECers taking over leadership positions in companies, governments, NGOs, startups in all walks of life have definitely contributed to an advancement in the way teams are led, values are lived and how the modern idea of corporate social responsibility was spread out around the world.


These seventy generations have now added up to a million leaders, dedicating their energy to being relevant changemakers and leave a positive footprint in their portion of the world. If we ever wondered how to measure the impact that AIESEC creates for the world, the answer lies in their Alumni, a network that carries on the learnings and spirit to work for the Sustainable Development Goals that reflects into working for a better world from whatever positions or roles they are living in their lives, and embodies the real meaning of the saying: “Once an AIESECer always an AIESECer”. AIESEC Alumni are here to continue facing the challenges of our time. Our collective philosophy is still relevant today as it was back in 1948 and is still needed in many different areas of society. It is still time to talk about integrity, diversity, sustainability, leadership, excellence, and, most important of all, participation. We aim at creating powerful hubs where determined and passionate AIESEC leaders from around the world unite with like-minded individuals and find the knowledge, ideas, connections, practices and energy to pursue their ideals and how we can achieve a better society. Understanding that if we want to go fast, we go alone. But if we want to go far, we go together. We look forward to continuing the work of having all generations of AIESECers around the world united for one purpose: Peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential. This is our vision that will not settle for less until it is achieved in all countries around the world. Sincerely, Executive Board 2018 AIESEC Alumni International Alexander Tichy: President, Marco Villa: Vice President & Events, Susanne Pfeuffer: Treasurer & Secretary, Beatrice Pesci: Head of Programs, Mariel Rivera: Head of Marketing and Communications, Anuj Khosla: Head of Membership and Organizational Development, Alberto Ziehl: Head of Partnerships, Darko Gazibara: Head of Platforms, Roger Lo: Partnership Support Are you an AIESEC Alumnus? Continue the passion and spirit on carrying ou AIESEC’s mission with our Alumni around the world. Join us on:


MESSAGE FROM ING AIESEC’s 70th Anniversary Partner

“What we have in common, are our values and the partnership is successful because we are driving towards the same goal. We are always looking for young people with a global mindset to drive our future. We truly believe in the development of young people for ING and the rest of the world.” Mieke Nan, International Talent Programme Manager at ING In empowering people to stay a step ahead, in life and business, ING has found a purposeful fit within AIESEC’s vision and values. Since the partnership was formed in 2006, over 100 international AIESEC internships have been realized at ING. Today, there are over 50 employees from AIESEC that make up the global organization’s 54,000 employee base in over 40 countries. In addition to the internship program, ING has been present at AIESEC’s milestone events such as the annual Leadership Awards held every February that recognizes AIESEC national entities that have demonstrated the organization’s values and delivered exceptional leadership experiences through its exchange programs. It only makes sense that ING partners with AIESEC to celebrate its 70th Anniversary and celebrate over seven decades of youth leadership for peace. 8

In the coming years, ING and AIESEC aspire to empower, engage, and inspire youth to take actions and to stay a step ahead in life and as a society by expanding its breadth of opportunities for young people to learn and develop beyond the banking industry through the International Talent Programme. Both have also committed to further gender diversity in the workplace by providing more leadership positions to women and provide young people with the competencies to be agile, responsible, and collaborative through capacity building engagements through AIESEC conferences. ING is proud to see the progress of AIESEC during all these years and how many people you have empowered to develop leadership for peace. Congratulations AIESEC on your 70th Anniversary! We look forward to continuing to pave the way for more young people to develop themselves for the world together.


First Decade: 1948 - 1958


An excerpt from ”Obsession de la Paix“ Obsession For Peace The foundation of AIESEC, memories by Jean Choplin, co-founder compiled by Alexander Flieger and Sibylle Hecker Why I worked so hard to create and foster AIESEC?

I had the strong ‘Obsession de la paix’ Jean Choplin

What drives someone to overcome “boundaries of thought” and prejudice? Jean Choplin – Co-Founder and driver of AIESEC Albert Einstein once said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” This quote puts into a nutshell the vibrant environment in which the idea of AIESEC was born, and able to flourish in. Jean Choplin, born 1928 in Paris and raised in Cachan and Sceaux near France, had the privilege to grow up and be socialized in such an environment. 11

Jean’s father, Maurice Choplin was a stock broker, responsible for price settings on shares of companies. His mother Suzanne, born in the year 1900, had become a renowned scientist after she graduated from university “Ecole Normale Superieure Science” in Sevres, France, in 1920 already at the age of 20 accumulating three doctorates - chemistry, physics, and natural history - ranking first for each in France. Her extraordinary scientific capacity did not go unnoticed by Nobel-prize-winner Marie Curie (*1867), whom she worked for as teacher and head of the laboratory at the “Lycee Marie Curie” in Sceaux. The Curie family had drawn quite a number of scientists to the laboratory in the first part of the 20th century (Rayner-Canham, p. 5 and others). “Even though we lived in Cachan, close to Sceaux, Marie Curie convinced my mother to move to Sceaux, to be not further than five minutes from her house”, Jean remembers.

The Presiding Table at the 3rd Annual AIESEC Congress in Paris, 1951


After Marie Curie died in 1934, Suzanne Choplin continued her research work with Marie Curie’s daughter Irene Joliot-Curie. In 1939 the laboratory started to do research on nuclear energy - and clandestinely the atomic bomb. The scientific community not only did research together, but also the families had close contact. Thus the young Jean grasped the spirit of research, scientific precision, and truthfulness as well as the feeling of responsibility for others. Jean went to school and was a mere 17 when finally the war was over. “For celebrating the end of the war we had a lunch at our house, my mother, Albert Einstein and myself. From that, I remember that Einstein said: Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Jean Choplin

Finally in 1946, Jean finished school getting his baccalaureate and prepared to enter the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris“ (ESCP) in 1947 for a three year MBA programme. The idea of reconciliation between countries after the war was already in his mind. Jean remembers a telephone call of his mother with General de Gaulle around 1946: “She was asked what I as her son would like to do and she said, that I would like to work on reconciliation with Germany. De Gaulle said in his thundering voice: Tell him, to do as quickly and as much as possible.”

Within a few weeks, the UIE (Union International des Etudiants, IUS International Union of Students) got to know about the new function and invited Jean Choplin as a delegate to the international conference 1949 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The aim was to foster international cooperation among students. The head of the IUS, Joza (Josef) Grohman, wanted Jean to agree on a cooperation and become a member. “We were treated like state guests, the limousine from the airport, luxury accommodation and so on. But there was also security all around”, Jean remembers. Jean hesitated to accept the proposal for membership and connection with the IUS. Back in France, he confided with his mother about the stay and its opportunities. As Jean’s mother was working for the government, she could get information from security channels namely the Minister of Defense, René Pleven, that the UIE was steered by the communist secret service KGB. Looking back no - big surprise in the upcoming cold war. Nevertheless, Jean Choplin was convinced that international understanding by students should be promoted by a non-governmental, private and non-political organization. “I imposed that every candidate for a position had to be elected for a certain time only - not for an indefinite time.”, Jean on elections in AIESEC.

In 1948 in his second year of studies, Jean becomes involved with the UNION DES GRANDES ECOLES (UGE) (Technical Schools Student Organization) which at that time consisted mainly of students from technical schools and Jean as a business student applied for membership. Within days its president Christian Beullac appointed Jean as Secretary-General responsible for international relations. Beullac later became head of the car manufacturer Renault and held cabinet posts as Minister for Social Affairs and for Education.

Back in Paris, Jean got in contact with the “Paris Chamber of Commerce” for support. The executive body saw the value of promoting international reconciliation and understanding and offered office-space and financial means for Jean. Florian Walewski and other students to support the work of getting in contact with universities and student bodies abroad.


The participants of AIESEC-Study Tour in front of the Farbenfabrik Bayer, Leverkusen, Germany, 1953.

AIESEC at the 6th International Student Conference, 1957


Presiding Country Committee 1957 at work. (From left to right: Heidede Weternik, Secretary; Kurt Wohlmuth, Treasurer; Karl Fleischhacker, President; Ferdinand Fliesser, General Secretary)

Sweden at this time is in a crucial and nevertheless difficult situation – being neutral during the war, the country is unharmed by WWII and also wealthy - and other nations are envious of this. Jean gets in contact with Bengt Sjöstrand, the head of the student union of the Stockholm Business University, to invite students from several countries for a meeting on international cooperation. The basic principles of promoting international understanding by building personal trust across hierarchies are getting clearer. Bengt remembers that they initiated the principle of acquiring paid summer traineeships for foreign students - growing from just exchange between universities to a full exchange experience. Jean suspended his studies in 1949 to work full time for the development of the organization - not a new phenomenon for active AIESECers even today. Therefore he later needed to obtain a special permission to finish his studies one year later than usual, in the summer of 1951. In early 1950 the preparatory meeting for AIESEC is presided by Bengt Sjöstrand in Stockholm. The Frenchman George Maury went with Jean by plane to Stockholm for five days. “I have the memory of planting a seed”, Jean recalls from that meeting. Jean became officially Presiding Country Committee President (PCCP) - nowadays the position of PAI (President of AIESEC International). After the meeting in Stockholm, Jean started preparations for the Congress in 1951 acquiring the support of economic and political institutions. In March 1951 the 1st legislative meeting – Congress of AIESEC International – presided by Jean Choplin is held in Paris. A proposal for a “Senior branch“ aka Alumni is on the table, but not executed. Albert Kaltenthaler from Nuremberg (Germany) was invited as a representative for all international students, as there wasn’t an AIESEC organization in Germany at that time. Albert already had contact with Bengt from a university exchange between Stockholm and Nuremberg

- dating back to 1949. Also, the next PCCP is elected - Kaj Verner Slot from Denmark - with the next Congress to be held in Copenhagen. Jean’s term comes to an end with the Congress in Paris so he could take his exams and for many students with the end of their studies, their AIESEC-time comes to an end. But not so for Jean. He moves on for an exchange, as he receives a Fulbright grant as the first French student and he goes to study at the University of Kansas, USA. Jean is not able to attend the Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the German Albert Kaltenthaler is elected as PCCP for the next Congress in Nuremberg, Germany. Jean, returning from the US, is drafted to the French Military and fulfills his duties in Rastatt, Germany. With special permission, he can attend the AIESEC International Congress in Nuremberg, Germany which is held from the 15-23rd of March 1953, and the spark of AIESEC-spirit is catching fire again. “After my return from Kansas and my military service in 1953 I negotiated with Mrs. Le Verrier from UNESCO to get the cooperation status of AIESEC”, remembers Jean about his next AIESEC task - even when he started his professional career in a big textile company in 1954. Even today in the year 2018 at an age of 90 years Jean is actively promoting AIESEC’s work by consulting AI (AIESEC International), AAI (Alumni AIESEC International) and other AIESEC bodies as well as speaking at AIESEC conferences.


IN SUMMARY: When did the AIESEC idea start? The idea of student exchanges was fostered by universities in the 1930’s. Real efforts for traineeship exchange run by students started around 1948 while the first “legislative meeting” or legislation was held in 1951 during the Paris Congress. Why can we celebrate “Exchange since 1948”? Because it all started there. It doesn’t need a government paper or an official certificate to foster international understanding and personal development. A good handful of students started the idea in 1948 with the little means they had at hand. Year by year the idea, the support and the organization became stronger and more stable. Have there been seven students from seven countries? We do not know exactly, as there is no official founding document. We know from oral transmission, that at least seven students from six countries i.e. Belgium, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Czechoslovakia were involved, but there might have been others. 16

Why is it so difficult to get information about the founding years? Because it was the 1940s, just after the devastating World War II. Communication relied on letters, maybe telephone - with long waiting times and high cost. There were no smartphones, Internet or e-mail - not even fax - and the memories of the acting persons get weaker over time. As well, every year the international leadership of the organization moved to another country until 1960.

The Student Hostel “Weinstadel”, Nuremberg, AIESEC headquarters in 1952

Works Cited Historical context: Wikipedia, Dagens Industri, and others AIESEC International, General Reports 1953 -1959 Interviews with Jean and Catherine Choplin, July 2017 Interview with Bengt Sjöstrand, January 2018 Kaltenthaler, Albert: “Immer unterwegs - Erinnerungen und Betrachtungen”, 2012 Rayner-Canham, Marelene F.: “A Devotion to Their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity”, 2014. Author Authors: Obsession de la Paix - Alexander Flieger and Sybille Hecker


Second Decade: 1958 - 1968


BUILDING BLOCKS “AIESEC is an independent non-political, international student organization, which has as its purpose, to establish and promote close and friendly relations between members without regard to religion or race.” AIESEC International Compendium 1961

International Gathering in New York. The National Presidents of AIESEC Great Britain and United States, together with colleagues, meet Mr. Cortney, President of Coty Ltd., and Chairman of the U.S. Council of the International Chamber of Commerce. From left to right: Mr. Jean Millon (Vice President of Coty Ltd. U.S.A.), Robert W. Andrews (President British AIESEC), Phillipe Guignot (French trainee with Coty Ltd.), Mr. Philip Cortney (President of Coty Ltd., U.S.A), John Tuscham (AIESEC - U.S.A.), Norman Barnett (President of AIESEC - U.S.A.), Robert Jaffe (AIESEC - U.S.A.)


Development of exchange was strong with an annual growth of 22%. However, there was a mounting concern for the quality of exchanges and therefore, AIESEC Summer School Training Programs (SSTP) were introduced in 1966. It was a movement of expansion from the ‘traditional’ traineeship exchange and gave more meaningful experiences to the exchange participant. It engaged a limited amount of selected trainees, each undergoing unique training and education but in a common field or topic, on a project. Every week they took time off from their firms to meet for lectures and group discussions and at the end of their traineeship period, joint and individual reports were produced. By the end of 1969, 22 SSTPs were successfully carried out in eleven different countries. AIESECers meet the Indian President V.V. Giri

Apart from the SSTP, traineeships also came in different forms. Exchanges were divided into two types; the regular (short-term) traineeships of two to three and a half months and long-term traineeships of more than three and a half months. Linked Traineeship Programs introduced later were an alternative which arranged a few consecutive traineeships for an individual in different companies of similar industries. It was especially beneficial for multinational companies which had intentions to train students in several of their national operations. Long-term traineeship programs on the other hand gave advantage to trainees who are at graduate level as well as for companies offering more intensive traineeships. These traineeships of approximately a year often offered the student future employment with the company.


At the conclusion of the 1963 IC in Princeton, USA, the delegates were received at the White House by the President John F Kennedy (left). Heather Maggs and Laura Goldsmith, organizers of “The Burning Issues”, a seminar hosted by AIESEC Oxford, receiving the awards from Prince Charles (right) as the second best European environmental project of the year.

The concept of organizing international conferences around the global issues that AIESEC was addressing materialized with the International Theme Program (ITP) ‘Education for International Business’ held in Lausanne in 1966. These conferences lead to a growth in awareness and support of global issues. The end of the decade is marked by one of the most successful and ambitious projects for AIESEC at that time – International Transfer of Management Skills (ITOMS); a synthesis of ideas generated in regional conferences held in Japan, Switzerland, the United States and Ghana. After three years of work, the world conference on ITOMS was held in the International Labour Organization in Turin, Italy from November 17 to 21, 1969, bringing together over 200 delegates from 40 countries. ITOMS was intended to be AIESEC’s agent of international skills transfer as well as a bridge between academic and business communities. AIESEC assembled input of experiences, problems, possible solutions and the possibilities of 20

transferring management skills such as one on “Cultural Differences: How much a Problem?” which was presented and discussed during the conference. Through development programs created afterwards, ITOMS also helped to maintain high activity of AIESEC member countries. International themes have from then on continued to provide a strong sense of direction for AIESEC.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS Abolishment of the rotating system in AIESEC’s organizational structure from Presiding Country Committee to establishment of an International AIESEC Secretariat with a Secretary General (SG) in office in the year 1960 gave room for a base for the development of an information management system. In 1967, work began on a program dubbed Student Traineeship Exchange System (STRES) for an effective and fair approach to facilitate flow and standardization of information. Exchange numbers have already reached the 4500 mark and matching that large group of students to the diverse array of traineeships was stretching the capacity of AIESEC. To meet this need, an international committee of Electronic Data Processing (EDP) made up of AIESEC members was put together to create and implement a new computer matching program. As a result from that, STRES was developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the help of IBM donated computers. They undertook a great task of translating forms into something the computer could understand while enabling exchange controllers to familiarize themselves with the codes and procedures involved. The Paris International Congress in 1969 saw people for the first time, anxiously waiting until the wee hours of the morning for matching by the mainframe computer with punch cards in deciles. 21

Third Decade: 1968 - 1978


WE WILL CARRY ON The world was undergoing an all time low economic performance since the Great Depression but AIESEC remained steadfast in its aspiration to create impact in AIESEC’s own unique way and provide students with a better understanding of society’s problems.

EXCHANGE After two decades of stable improvement, external factors such as the global economical stagnation and political tensions caused AIESEC exchange statistics to drop for the first time in 1972. There was however an increase in expansion countries and activities of strengthening these expansions through Extension & Consolidation (E&C) Programs. The Leadership Development Seminar (LDS) and Executive Envoy Program (EEP) were parts of this.

executives which affected several business industries. These traineeships taught the students about the importance of human relations via personal exposure to working conditions of labour force, workers’ life as well as work conflicts. There was also cooperation between two local committees (LC) known as the Twin Committee Project. The two LCs communicated directly on studies and common topics. The first twinning was initiated in 1975 between University of Alberta, Edmonton (Canada) & Helsinki School of Economics (Finland) with the exchange of two students in the summer.

Improvements to exchange quality were continuously implemented throughout the decade. One of the many examples was the motion to increase the minimum allowable length of a traineeship to six weeks at the International Congress (IC) in 1974. Also, a Local Committee Survey conducted in 1978 reported that there was an increase in the number of complaints received from foreign trainees which sparked the need for screening procedures for trainees that were known as Review Boards. Methods of facilitating exchange never ceased to diversify. Industrial Relations Traineeships existed to address social problems and workplace conflicts between workers and

Opening Plenary Madrid Congress ~1970


INTERNATIONAL THEME PROGRAMMES A shift of focus to member education and talent development to prepare AIESEC members for a future in the business environment occurred. Alignment of the global association as a whole led to the emergence of International Theme Programs (ITP). Henceforth, these became a formal part of AIESEC. Pioneers to this new initiative were “Management Education in the 80’s” (1976-1978) and “International Trade” (1978-1980). Under the ‘umbrella’ of the international theme, projects were run independently in a local, national and regional level in recognition of the rapidly changing world. However, these themes still left much to be desired such as a truly international theme with involvement of all committees including those involved in researching the theme.

Patricia Ralston, National Committee President of Peru receiving one of the three Project of the Year awards.

Nevertheless, awareness across nations was attained through the engagement of students, business people, academia and the community.

AC Thibaut facilitating a training to AIESEC members in Ivory Coast


INFORMATION SYSTEMS Personal Computers were becoming more powerful and eventually STRES became obsolete due to software incompatibility. Thus, endeavors to create STRES II were initiated through the launch of STRES Development Program. Subsequently, work on MATCH kicked off in 1975 and it was implemented in 1979. The change in systems affected exchange whereby more efficient tools facilitated the statistics of exchange numbers, general tracking and smoother matching during congresses. MATCH was an improvement compared to STRES because it was more flexible and adaptable in sorting out the personalized forms. “We were just on the cusp of the computer explosion. For example, we were still typing cards to input the data, a very time consuming process which opened up more possibilities for errors. Yet we were very excited and felt we were on the cutting edge of a phenomenon.� Robbie Lipsman, Assistant Secretary General 1974/75 and Exchange Committee Chair 1975/76

The experts, led by XC Kris Kuse (3rd from left), help out in the consulting room.


Fourth Decade: 1978 - 1988


CONSTANT CHANGE The management of AIESEC was abuzz with words like service and quality. Many activities of continued consolidation were ccarried out to improve members’ capacity to deliver and regionalization was adopted. Even so, exchange remained as a central focus throughout the greater part of the 80’s.

EXCHANGE The 1980’s was the start of year-round exchange in order to broaden AIESEC’s services to meet the needs of students and companies. Amongst the issues to be addressed were the efficiency of delivery time of trainees which were only confirmed once a year during IC. Going on a traineeship was also a challenge for students from countries other than Europe that did not graduate of have summer vacation in June or July.

Geo-political situations such as the Cold War also contributed to a down-swing in exchange growth. Nevertheless, exchange numbers in 1989 marked the highest exchange in all of AIESEC’s history up to that point.

As a result, the idea to set up additional matching in October and November was accepted during IC 1980. An After Congress Procedures Analysis Chat (APCAC) was also executed in order to control the exchange program and its procedures. Towards the end of the 80’s, there was a 54% drop in results from 7029 exchanges in 1989 to 3825 exchanges in 1990. A combination of three factors were identified as a cause for this decline: the introduction of TARGET, the adoption of Global Theme Programs that was taking focus away from exchange and a growth at an overwhelming pace which we were unable to keep up with. Congress Committee Heads - 1981


GLOBAL THEME PROGRAMMES “Just try to close your eyes and imagine what these countries would look like without AIESEC – unfortunately, it would not be different.” Athos M. Staub, President of AIESEC International 1985/86 The above words were used to address an ongoing issue: AIESEC’s relevance. In his statement, Athos also referred to the fundamental part of AIESEC at that time that mainly involved sending students abroad and organizing interesting topic seminars; which were insufficient in creating an impact in society. This was a call for AIESEC to meet the challenges of tomorrow head on and become a change agent. Thus, in the attempt to do so, AIESEC Global Seminar Series (AGSS) was initiated in 1988. Similar to ITOMS, AGSS at the end culminated to a World Theme Conference (WTC) event. These series of seminars were conducted with the objective of educating youth and gathering their opinions on issues related to sustainable development such that they would be able to have an impact on society now through their combined voice, and later in life as leaders. At the end of this decade, AGSS and ITP merged to become the Global Theme Programme (GTP). GTP has an equally similar aim with AGSS but with a more proactive approach. An example of a GTP theme is “Entrepreneurship and Corporate Responsibility: 28

New Opportunities for Global Development”. The program at a point was functioning almost as a separate entity within AIESEC itself.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS In order to deal with the implementation of year round exchange, legislation made it mandatory to conduct Post Congress Exchange Meetings (PCE) four times a year and AIESEC members used fax machines as the primary tool for communication. Management of the bulk of exchange forms with data input into costly mainframe computers through punch cards was becoming obsolete, and a new matching system was needed. Although MATCH was a better system in terms of flexibility, problems that exchange managers began to face became more and more evident. It was too technical and needed a full time programmer. The matching system was unfair as it did not take into consideration all variables and did not provide equal opportunities in the international arena. There was also a poor realization rate (only 60% of those matched). Therefore, MATCH Development Group was set up during IC 1989, TARGET was formally introduced. There was were great improvements in this personal computer (PC) based system as it could provide more frequent matching to six times a year and with simple mechanisms. Even though, it was a difficult transition over from MATCH due challenges with training members across the global network on using the system.


Fifth Decade: 1988 - 1998


“Let us be synergistic about this, combining proven methods of the old with the promise of the new. At the same time, if we want changes in man then let us tackle instead the issue of Organizational Culture. In doing so, we provide for the ultimate opportunity we can give – that of giving our countries leaders with both knowledge and values.” Letter from an AIESEC member, Vic Macasaet Jr., to the President of AIESEC International.

EXCHANGE The momentum from AIESEC’s desire to have a more prominent impact on society from the 80’s strongly influenced the organization’s strategy and approach in this decade. Exchange took a backseat as AIESEC gained recognition with invitations to important world summits and seminars namely the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992), World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen (1995) and World Habitat II Meeting in Istanbul (1996). It all seemed well that AIESEC had managed to tap into the needs of the external environment. Unfortunately, this lead to an overall downhill trend for exchange as shown by the decrease in growth and exchange numbers. In 1994, Programs and Projects (P&P) was advocated. Through P&P, local committees and individuals were given free run to organize events which could initiate change in their own environment and surroundings. It was a new approach to achieving ideals of making a better world with the intention of integrating exchange into other activities. However this was causing AIESEC to lose track of its’ fundamentals and unity as there was a boom in different management structures and focus areas. Finally in the second

half of this decade a decision was made to reunite AIESEC activities in a common direction once again through indirect impact with focus on the development of individuals. The “Exchange Process” formed in this decade was truly unique; not only did it involve management experiences and cultural exposure but it also included a community involvement aspect. With the return of focus from projects back to exchange, AIESEC lost many of its members and partners who did not see the relevance and impact of exchange.

AIESEC being featured in The European newspaper on 10-16 June 1994


GLOBAL THEME PROGRAMMES In order to counter act on the trauma the organization faced with membership retention and organization synergy, Global Theme Programs (GTPs) were introduced. These were core focus areas serving as a guide for issues for the membership to focus on. The focus areas were corporate social responsibility, information and society, higher education and learning, cultural understanding, and entrepreneurship. GTPs continued and the theme chosen for 1996 until 2000 was “Interdependence: Learning and Acting for a Shared Future”. The theme was used as an aligning force for consideration when identifying results of projects, activities and interaction. Main activities around the GTP besides projects and activities were the Global Theme Guide and Youth Acton Guide. AIESEC published a few books from outputs of these themes such as the Youth Action Plan – Education and the 21st Century Citizen.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS There was a short period of return to the MATCH system in August 1990 due to the lack of confidence in the new TARGET system because of a lack of documentation and numerous programming bugs. Throughout the presence of TARGET as the information system for AIESEC during the early 1990’s, loss of focus on the relevance of exchange brought mindsets away from its development. 32

TARGET underwent many diverse and radical changes with at least three new versions. A prominent one was TARGET 96 which worked towards paperless administration with the use of diskettes containing data files. Henceforth, matching runs were reduced from days into a matter of hours. Almost simultaneous with TARGET 96, a move of the exchange system throughout 1995 and 1996 from TARGET to AIESEC Global Information Systems (AGIS) to embrace the internet technology was successful. For instance, the use of File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to retrieve materials, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to run real-time online meetings and open access to the international website to 70 countries were achieved. Aside from AGIS becoming the way we manage the International Traineeship Exchange Program (ITEP), a large sum of Local Committee (LC) budget usually went to expenditures for communications email, telephone and fax therefore justifying this move. Later on, the name AGIS was changed into Insight. Insight had the main advantage of data sent through internet and continuous matching took place unlike with TARGET where the match was made at specified periods. Yet, the achievements of Insight were short lived and overshadowed by a lot of bugs, questions and mistakes. Thus, it soon developed into Insight II at the end of the decade.

AIESECers meet the President of Iceland Mrs Vigolis Finnbogadottir (above).


Sixth Decade: 1998 - 2008


THE NEW MILLENNIUM A time for breakthroughs. A time for constructive strategies. The year 2000 onwards brings forth endless possibilities as AIESEC continues in its constant strive for peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential.

EXCHANGE Similar to what occurred in the 70’s when exchange numbers were also decreasing, AIESEC turned back to member development within the organization. But this time, the AIESEC Experience took centre stage. The unique platform of learning, exchange and leadership experiences that consisted of five stages was presented at IC 2001 in Switzerland. It was formally introduced during IC 2005 in Agra, India. To help with the implementation of the ambitious AIESEC 2010 vision, a strategic framework was designed, and AIESEC was introduced to the Balance Scorecard. The Balance Scorecard and new organizational strategy defined AIESECs product strategy as product leadership, with its product being the AIESEC Experience. The AIESEC Experience supports the advanced development of AIESEC members by bringing forth more results and impact into communities. This is happening because more AIESEC interns are actively involved in AIESEC and more leaders go on an AIESEC exchange, before or after their leadership role which is encouraged by the AIESEC Experience.

AIESECers visit the world EXPO 2000 in Hanover, Germany

AIESEC members identified their personal goals and linked them to AIESEC’s goals and stakeholders had opportunities to connect to each other over common interests. AIESEC members were also shown to be more self-driven in being active change agents in society. Exchange is currently divided into four pools: Management Traineeships (MT), Technical Traineeships (TT), Development Traineeships (DT) and Education Traineeships (ET). ETs were added as a separate pool to respond to increasing demand for short term teaching internships and to differentiate them from DT’s that were often with NGO’s for value or issue based internships. A study of current realities of exchange performance also reflect that all regions, member committees (MCs) and local committees (LCs) were strongly contributing according to their capacity. Countries were implementing the structured learning process according to their needs and realities. Measurement tools employed also show an increase in the overall satisfaction of organizations taking on interns (trainee nominee or TN-takers), members and trainees about the AIESEC traineeship experience. 35

INFORMATION SYSTEMS As the AIESEC network continue to expand, and Internet speeds and usage becomes faster and more accessible, there was a growing need to develop information management systems that would connect the network. Development of Insight into Insight II happened in a year, accompanied by a complex data migration process and bug fixes into in house server hosting. was also launched as a membership portal along with Insight II during IC 2000 in Scotland. In 2003, on an average day, had over 2500 users using the platform, reflecting the need for such a resource. Insight II then underwent continuous enhancements in providing a better interface for its users including those with less infrastructure to have better access. Examples were the new functionality of ‘on hold’ forms meant to reduce the time and communication effort to complete exchange procedures as well as files which enables users to obtain updated information on global data and their exchange performance. In 2004, the system migrated into and developed into InsightXP. One of the biggest changes the Global Information System had apart from its constant improvements was a decision taken to invest heavily to provide for the needs of AIESEC as part of a long-term Information System (IS) plan. This plan included; an evolution from a community-based system to what is called a user-centric system because it is designed specifically for the users’ requirements., was launched in December 2007. 36

International Congress India 2005

ISSUE BASED AIESEC EXPERIENCE In 2004, a focus on the need for growth drove the geographical make up of the network into clusters of countries based on social and economic trends and opportunities between them The initial five Growth Networks were Western Europe and North America (WENA), Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Asia Pacific (AP), Africa, and the IberoamĂŠrica Growth Network (IGN (Latin America, Spain and Portugal). In 2006, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) joined the list.

More than 1600 Exchanges per year in more than 40 countries and six continents gives confidence to AIESEC that it is providing a network of change agents around these key topics.

Growth Networks have enabled AIESEC countries to establish programs to better capitalize on opportunities and trends present in our economy and society. These programs are designed to provide leadership and exchange opportunities connected to relevant issues and themes present in our local, regional, and global communities. The introduction of issue-based AIESEC Experiences (IBXPs) began as a way to ensure that young people who have identified a passion for a particular issue have the chance to live an experience that not only enables them to gain general leadership skills but also expertise on a particular issue. The running of IBXPs also supplements what AIESEC gives to its stakeholders. Summarized under the concept of T-Leadership – a person who has both the needed competencies to lead positive change and a strong interest and knowledge in one of the key topics of the world that needs positive leadership. AIESEC Learning Networks (LNs) are part of the IBXPs and they are namely: Finance, Education, HIV/AIDS, Corporate Responsibility, and Entrepreneurship. AIESEC members get the chance to lead teams and go on international internships while the organizations benefit from access to partner with these teams in common activities or by hosting an intern.

Global Annual Report Cover 2004-2005


Seventh Decade: 2008 - 2018


As AIESEC reaches it’s seventh decade, each year in this decade has posed a unique opportunity for the organization to further its mandate and vision. Here is what each Global President can say about the generation of AIESECers that have made an impact to this world: The financial crisis of 2008 unleashed a wave of unemployment, intolerance and conflict around the world that we are still suffering from today. Our generation was a light through the storm. Despite all odds, we connected and delivered on our promise to enable thousands of young people to become a better version of themselves while clearing the path to achieve the 2010 goals. I hope our endless search for purpose has made us realize that it is the change from within that makes the world a better place. Juan Cajiao - AIESEC Global President, 2008-09 Impact.Gen2010 - this generation was characterized by smart, savvy, strong, fast, young professionals. This was a year when sharing and making decisions in a virtual context became a reality - as AIESEC hosted a virtual legislation meeting. Discussions about linking Exchange and Leadership (X + L) experiences, and reinforcing the importance that the organization had a role in creating leaders the word needs. This was a time when society faced several global issues that highlighted our interdependence, such global health outbreaks (swine flu crisis). A time when the AI team faced challenged around the website crashing, office tiles falling, visa delays and denials, Bangladesh-Syria border crossing and the Tunisia bus crash. It was also a time when the team came together and bonded at events such as international women’s day, Friday 5, and a memorable team transition party.

Aman Jain AIESEC Global President, 2009-10 “Fulfilling the promise, Unleashing our future” - the stand that guided thousands of AIESECers during 2010-2011. It was a year of improving & inventing; a year of closing & starting new chapters. A term where we celebrated the achievement of 2010 goals, backed by a strong financial & growth performance. A sense of achievement that empowered the network to cocreate not only a new ambition towards 2015, but also a BHAG (Big Hairy Ambitious Goal) to engage and develop every young person in the world. This has set the path for millions to embody the AIESEC values and become agents of positive change. Hugo Pereira - AIESEC Global President, 2010-11 It was the year where we boldly started walking towards 2015 ambition. It was a year to challenge the status quo, simplify and excel towards new goals. In one year AIESEC hit yet another milestone providing over 20,000 young people opportunities to live the culture and make the impact through AIESEC various exchange programs abroad. It was a remarkable moment for all of us to witness. Tetiana Mykhailiuk AIESEC Global President, 2011-12 39

The year 12/13 was about “Believe” and “Achieve together”. The whole network re-installed the clarity of the “Why” of AIESEC at the center of the organization while embarking on a journey of massive growth with a dedicated quality measurement system and a much more engaging brand to offer leadership development experiences that can change new generations of young people for the better. And to me personally, the year 12/13 was about people who made the journey worthwhile. Florent Meiyi - AIESEC Global President, 2012-13 Own our Promise, Break Through Limits: Lessons in Leadership Our ambition to become AIESEC 2015, turned into lessons in leadership for our generation of AIESECers. Start with yourself. Own your promises and break through your limits. In 2013/14 we were proud to have grown AIESEC while focusing on quality and leadership development in every experience. And somehow managed to leave AIESEC bigger and better than we found it. Rolf Schmachtenberg - AIESEC Global President, 2013-14 In the final sprint of 2015, we knew that we needed to be united as ONE network, always guided by our PURPOSE, in order to take BRAVE ACTIONS across the globe. We unlocked the best out of our people and reinforced their pivotal role to AIESEC’s success. New programs introduction, partnerships, branding, information systems, and specially significant growth in our impact were some of the brave achievements we had. Vinicius Tsugue - AIESEC Global President, 2014-15 Focused on achieving the last sprint of AIESEC 2015, this generation gave birth to AIESEC 2020 to build a youth leadership movement. The first-ever AIESEC Youth Action Summit at the UNHQ launched the commitment of AIESEC towards the SDGs and it later ignited the launch of Youth4GlobalGoals. 40

This year also saw the implementation of a new system, the refreshment of the AIESEC XP, and a significant internship growth while ensuring financial sustainability. The generation 1516 was able to transform the movement of AIESEC, by focusing on achieving every day. Ana Saldarriaga - AIESEC Global President, 2015-16 Fearless! A year of bold moves that put the organization first and brought clarity to WHAT we do- Enabling Leadership and designing the rest of the organization around it including a new measure of success and standards, user-centered digital platforms, building capacity in our people and financially sustainable entities, value-based partnership and initiatives like Y4GG with like-minded organizations and a strategic roadmap to bring innovation and expansive thinking to move forward together towards a Youth Leadership Movement with one cause- Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s Potential! Niels Caszo AIESEC Global President, 2016-17 We are who we are today because of the work of 70 generation of AIESECers before us. This gave us clarity on our why, how and what. We are always true to WHO WE ARE, embodying what it means to be a REAL AIESECer every single day. We foster an organization where every failure is an opportunity for learning. Accountability to delivering what we promise is our commitment. We look beyond our current moment, balancing short-term impact and planting seeds whose trees we may never get to see. We believe we can do more, and be more through being One. - GEN 1720 Abdelrahman Ayman AIESEC Global President, 2017-18


On our way to become a

YOUTH LEADERSHIP MOVEMENT AIESEC 2020 is the organization’s 5-year strategy, created in 2015 with a purpose of being a milestone towards the achievement of the mission of Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s Potential. This mid-term ambition aims to show a clear strategic direction with measurable progress, to challenge AIESEC, refresh the ambition and excitement in the organization, and align what we do with the worlds needs. As a part of creation process, in 2015, leaders in the organization, using the Future Search method adapted to the AIESEC reality answered a question “what should AIESEC become by 2020 to one day engage and develop every young person in the world?” This is how four ambition statements were created. 42

STRATEGY To make those statements come true, AIESEC began to implement 5 strategies organized in 5-year action plan, called roadmap.

Constantly improve current products and invent new ones to become more relevant to the markets and accessible to young people, and to provide more and better experiences.

AIESEC being accessible in all the territories, be it physically or virtually, directly or indirectly. Growth and support for current expansions, suitability, and fast growth in future expansions.

Evolving the way we run AIESEC to become fast, agile, and empower our members to find solutions on an everyday level.

Being ahead of the curve in the way we acquire, service, and deliver value to all our customers.

Ensuring that we are 100% legal and sustainable in our operations at all levels.



YOUTH FOR GLOBAL GOALS The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a longterm framework of 17 objectives to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Adopted by 193 member countries of the United Nations in 2015, this is the first development agenda which requires strong engagement not only from the governments, but also the private sector and regular citizens. Young people, representing a quarter of the world’s population, need to be strong partners in the achievement of the SDGs. AIESEC was the first youth-led organization to align its operations with the Agenda 2030 and create its own SDG initiative during the Youth Action Summit that AIESEC hosted at the United Nations Headquarters in December 2015 - Youth 4 Global Goals. Youth 4 Global Goals aims to mobilize youth towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our initiative aims to educate youth about the SDGs and provide practical volunteering opportunities to unleash their potential while being active world citizens. We focus on developing their leadership skills and providing a platform to act towards issues they are passionate about. Since 2015, Youth 4 Global Goals has built a strong network of young people passionate about making a positive change. Our simple Awareness - Understanding - Action framework allows us to engage with youth in different ways. As of August 2018, Youth 4 Global Goals achieved the results listed to the right: Youth 4 Global Goals has also managed to foster significant partnerships with governmental organizations, international and public partners, as well as with private sector. Examples for partnerships at the global level include PwC, Electrolux, Asian Development Bank, Yidan Foundation, OPEC Fund for International Development, UNIDO, UN Habitat, Plan International, and Project Everyone among many others.


Awareness 25,000,000+ people Reached through digital campaigns and the advocacy work

Engagement 162,168 participants Of Youth Speak Forums and World’s Largest Lesson activations

Action 92,733 volunteers In social projects through international and local volunteer programs 45

MESSAGE FROM 18-19 AIESEC GLOBAL PRESIDENT For the past 70 years, AIESEC has been carrying forward a legacy. A legacy of peace building throughout generations and across borders. It has done so through its young people who have dedicated and devoted themselves to develop a better world - one that we see today, 70 years later. Since 1948, we have believed that peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential is our driver and is our ambition and today, it keeps on proving its relevance as much as it did in every one of those past 70 years. We will keep striving for it for the next 70 years to come, with the hope of one day achieving it, for the betterment of our world. AIESEC was created to make a difference and it continues to do that each day. Through enabling young people to experience cross-cultural exchanges or through facilitating those experiences, we are developing culturally sensitive and competitive leaders who are empowered to stand up for what they believe in and to make a difference through their everyday actions. Young people deserve a chance to explore themselves and their leadership and we need to keep striving to engage and develop every young person in the world. This way, we believe we will be able to live in a world where people can work toward their own understanding of peace while respecting and understanding the view of others and the world, where people can be the best versions of themselves.


The term of 2018-19 is a year of growth by design where we dare to be the generation 2018-2020 that will serve not just today, but all the tomorrows of AIESEC: - We will be as committed as ever to our organizational mission while embracing a need for evolution and innovation inside the organization. - We have introduced a structural change to the global office that will allow us to allocate our resources in a way that will make our key priorities successful. - We continue to prioritize our exchange programs, nurturing their growth and also considering product evolutions, with a dedicated Product Strategy Department. - We are capitalizing on the innovations that have been emerging within the organization over the past few years, such as the Youth for Global Goals initiative, and actively pursuing further innovations with a dedicated Innovation Department. - We are committed to the future of AIESEC as a modern, digital platform accessible to everyone, everywhere so we have brought together two critical areas, Brand & Customer Experience and Information Management, into one dedicated Platforms department. - We have also acknowledged that none of this is possible without the people that push AIESEC forward so we have established a new department, Talent Management, to prioritize our most valuable resource, our members. Along with all of this happening, we have relocated the global office of AIESEC from The Netherlands to Canada. Looking ahead - 70 years from today - I see an AIESEC that maintains its essence and remains coherent to all that has been set since its inception. I see an AIESEC that acknowledges the beauty that exists in today’s world and strives to negate and abolish all its shortcomings. I see an AIESEC that puts forth and gives birth to leaders who foster a generation that believes that peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential is possible, and they make it happen. Finally, I see and believe in an AIESEC that 70 years from today will have engaged and developed every young person in the world, getting us one step closer to our ambition and making why we do what we do a reality. Mohamed Fadel Global President, 2018-19 AIESEC 47


Copyright © 2018 by AIESEC International Inc. All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Published by AIESEC International Inc. Suite 208, 5605 Avenue, De Gaspé, Montreal, H2T 2A4, Quebec, Canada Web: Designed by Dascăl Adrian 49

The History Book of AIESEC captures the story of an organization with a 70 year legacy of developing young leaders. During the last seven decades over 1 million youth have been united with the vision of striving to achieve the peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential.


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