AIESEC is the world’s largest youth run organization aiming at developing leadership qualities and other potential in youth through engaging in projects focusing on a variety of fields. This is probably the unanimous answer, or rather the definition, which a person might get on approaching any AIESECer or any other online source, but it barely does justice to what it actually is. It is so much more than what the insights of above statement deliver. Perhaps a glimpse of rich AIESEC history might clear the fog a bit.
Post World War 2, all the countries, rebuilding from ashes, while another war was near the horizon, evidenced by the unrest between US and USSR in the form of cold war. This led a bunch of students from 7 different nationalities in the Europe region to come together with the common goal of promoting peace. AIESEC was formulated in 1948, in the wake of this war stricken world, to promote peace and cooperation, through student exchanges, which consequently, as envisioned, would lead to exchange of ideas, views and ultimately lead to better understanding. They aimed to establish peace by changing one person at a time. AIESEC grew fast reaching new heights as well as new regions. Near the end of 1949, first AIESEC conference was held at Stockholm with 89 delegates. Within the next decade, this growing community reached across the Atlantic to US, the first intercontinental expansion. Along with the growth, even the organization in itself developed with proper layout being formulated in a meticulous manner for efficient functioning, all the while expanding the agenda to include new areas of concern. In 1960, first secretary was elected along with the establishment of headquarters in Geneva. Within the first decade of its establishment, the number of exchange programs had grown from fifties to a number over 2 thousand, which almost doubled by the end of 1970. Various new disciplines and sciences were incorporated into the arsenal of fields for exchange program opportunities. By 1992, AIESEC was involved in almost every UN conference as a youth representative body.
AIESEC as of now has footing in 110 countries, with the active body consisting of over 65,000 students. Vision of AIESEC remains what it was over half a century ago, and that is ‘peace and fulfilment of humankind’s potential’.
Quotes about AIESEC
Former Secretary General of the United Nations
"The United Nations has long recognised that the imagination, ideals and energies of young men and women are vital for the continuing development of the societies in which they live. And since its inception in 1948, AIESEC has contributed to this development by serving as an agent of positive change through education and cultural exchange."
Former President of the Republic of South Africa
"I commend AIESEC's continuing efforts to develop the future business leadership of our countries."
George Bush Senior,
Former President of the United States of America
"I commend the members of AIESEC for working to help our country maintain its competitive edge. I salute your efforts to promote greater international understanding and cooperation."
Former CEO PwC
"PwC and AIESEC, with a common philosophy and view of the future, have worked together for many years. We advise today's global business leaders; you are developing those of the future. We both share our knowledge, and in so doing multiply it. We both pursue cultural and professional diversity, achieving the blend of perspectives that leads to innovation."