The 20th YMCA World Council, 4-8 July 2022

Screenshot 2022-07-08 at 11.54.29

The 20th YMCA World Council of 4-8 July 2022 was one of the largest ever. It was also the most diverse, and arguably the most forward-looking in setting a decade-long direction for the YMCA Movement. A first ever hybrid event, it gathered some 1200 people in-person in Aarhus, Denmark, and as many online.



  • The adoption of a Movement-wide Vision 2030: one collective vision statement, one collective mission statement, four collective priority action areas, and 12 collective goals to turn the priorities into action at the YMCA, the community and the global level. Vision 2030 is a framework for global alignment which allows each of the 120 YMCA National Movements to go at their own pace according to their own strengths and their own communities’ needs, in pursuit of common goals.
  • The launch of the implementation of Vision 2030: 35 ‘Co-Lab’ (‘collaboration laboratory’) groups met in Aarhus and 8 met online, to flesh out the 12 collective goals. The findings of the groups are now being collated and analysed. A meeting in Geneva in September 2022 will share findings and next steps.
  • The admission of YMCA Kosovo as a full member of the World Alliance of YMCAs.
  • The election (for the first time ever, by electronic voting incorporating in-person and online official voting delegates) of: a new President, Soheila Hayek of YMCA Lebanon; a new Deputy-President, Ronald Yam of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong; a new Treasurer, Cici Rojas of YMCA of the USA; and 11 newly elected members of the 22-person Executive Committee which will oversee World YMCA activities in the period 2022-2026.
  • A chance to reflect on four turbulent years from 2018 to 2022 – a time of Covid pandemic and more – in which the YMCA Movement journeyed together and became stronger in the process: former President Patricia Pelton and continuing Secretary General Carlos Sanvee told the story in words and film.
  • A platform for addresses by keynote speaker former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and YMCA leaders from the US and Australia, as well as a forum for debate in the form of six ‘Engagement Panels’ on the topics of wellbeing, work, digitisation, climate, peace, and justice, and one ‘Engagement Plenary’ showcasing the work of the YMCA Youth Led Solutions Initiative and the Global Youth Mobilization.
  • A platform for the hosts of the in-person event – the YMCA/YWCA of Denmark – to offer great support, great facilities and great friendship.
  • An online event platform which offered delegates exclusive time with the Secretary General, the outgoing and incoming Presidents, and Youth Solutions Leaders. The online programme also offered a daily round-up show hosted both in person and online. The show presented more than 30 interviews, covering everything from the culture of Denmark, female leadership in the YMCA, Kosovo’s new membership, volunteerism in the YMCA, insights into the Co-Labs, the keynote speech of Ban Ki-moon, the six Engagement Panels, youth leadership and more. In addition, the voices of more than 50 other World Council delegates and leaders were captured by roaming reporters.
  • A moment for a global Movement to come together again, and rediscover the passion and commitment that make it unique as the world’s oldest youth empowerment organisation, with the potential to reach some 60 million people a year.



Flickr photo World Council 2022

View stream on flickr


Sunday 3 July 2022

The outgoing Executive Committee holds its final meeting – Story


Monday 4 July 2022

17 Excursions in and around Aarhus explore Vision 2030 themes – Story

The opening ceremony, and the admission of YMCA Kosovo as a full member of World YMCA – Story, Film


Tuesday 5 July 2022

Vision 2030 is adopted – Story, Vision 2030 film in 2 minutes, Vision 2030 film in 7 minutes, Film

The keynote speech from former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – Story, Film

The election of a new President, a new Deputy President, a new Treasurer – Story, Film

An engagement panel on Wellbeing – Story, Film

An engagement panel on Work – Story, Film

An engagement panel on Justice – Story, [no Film available]

The President and Secretary General look back on a 4-year journey – Story, Summary film: The YMCA journey of 2018-2022 (‘From Chiang Mai to Aarhus’), Film

Wednesday 6 July 2022

11 new members of the Executive Committee elected – Story, Film

An engagement panel on Climate Action – Story, Film

An engagement panel on Digital Equity – Story, [no Film available]

An engagement panel on Peace-building – Story, Film


Thursday 7 July 2022

Women’s Leadership Lunch – Story

An engagement plenary on Youth-Led Solutions – Story, Film

Friday 8 July 2022

A series of Movement-wide Resolutions passed – Story, Film

The Treasurer’s and Auditor’s report – Story, Film

The Co-Lab outcomes – Story, Film

New President Soheila Hayek’s address – Story & Speech, Film

The ‘endnote’ session: Y USA and Y Australia sum up – Story, Film

The closing ceremony, and a speech from Carlos Sanvee – Story & Speech, Film



Saturday 9 July 2022

The incoming Executive Committee holds its first meeting – Story

YMCA National General Secretaries meet – Story


And read some of the other stories of the week’s activities:


A series of daily Devotions – Story, Films

The exhibition space – Story

The Co-Lab discussions on implementing Vision 2030 – Story, Online Co-Lab highlights (screenshots, quotes and videos), online Co-Labs pledges and commitments (Track 1 and Track 2), Quotes & Themes from across the online Co-Labs


A Colombian volunteer’s experience (in Spanish) – Story 1, Story 2

A Danish volunteer’s experience – Story

Tom Valentine, Y USA, on global YMCA partnership – Story, Film

Victor Serbulov, YMCA Ukraine and Sasha Drachuk, YMCA Belarus, ‘old friends’ – Story, Long film, Short film clip

The World Council experience: A survey was sent to attendees following World Council. Evaluation


See some of the highlights from the Television Studio in the Music House in Aarhus, including the innovative and popular ‘Daily Show’ – a live event combining interviews and pre-recorded film pieces, presented by Mafe Giraldo of YMCA Colombia and Olly Tripodi of YMCA Australia – this is special and essential viewing!


Episode 1, Monday 4 July 2022

Episode 2, Tuesday 5 July 2022

Episode 3, Wednesday 6 July 2022

Episode 4, Thursday 7 July 2022

Episode 5, Friday 8 July 2022


See all the interviews coming out of the studio, especially the exciting work of the ‘Causenetic’ Podcast team of Rodrigua Ross and Keith Vinson from Y Dallas, USA.

Patricia Pelton, World YMCA President 2018-2022

Carlos, Sanvee, World YMCA Secretary-General from 2018

Soheila Hayek, World YMCA President newly elected on 5 July 2022


…. and more, including a series of debates themed around the four Pillars of Vision 2030.