Posted by: thebluemusicblog | August 7, 2012

THE FUTURE IS NOW – INSPIRING MEETING WITH Y’S MEN INTERNATIONAL IN STAVANGER, NORWAY

The 70th International Convention of the Y’s Men International took place in Stavanger, Norway, 2-5 August 2012. I was invited as key note speaker to speak to their theme ”The Future Is Now”. What an in spiring theme! This generous invitation was presented to me in Geneva 18 months ago by IPE Finn Pedersen, and old friend from Norway. At that time he was IPE, and when we met in Stavanger this week he was already IPIP, but had worked very hard all over the world as IP for a full year. Now Philip Mathai from India is the IP and Poul V. Thomsen is the IPE. With Y’s Men you have to be prepared for even more abreviations than in the YMCA, and I only focus on the top level to limit the challenge of remembering these abreviations. IP is the International President, IPE is the International President Elect and IPIP is the Immediate past International President.

I started out by telling them about the world event that took place at the Cern Scientific Labaratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland on the 4th of July this year, when they at last discovered the so called God Particle, the Higgs Boson, a vitally important discovery of a reality from billion of years back, which strongly will assist us in understanding the past and building for the future, and in this way the God Particle becomes a meeting place of the past and the future in a dynamic NOW. The Future Is Now!

IPIP Finn Pedersen in his beautiful National Costume

For a good number of delegates the experience started with a Fjord Cruise to the spectacular Lysefjord to see the famous Pulpit Rock from below. The hosts from the local Y’ Men groups in Norway, especially from Stavanger and the district around,  did their utmost to give all of us an extraordinary experience. Already on the first afternoon, after the impressive and emotional flag seremony and welcome event, I was invited to give my key note speach, and I am happy to share with you a couple of images from the presentation.

(WILL BE ADDED WHEN I HAVE FOUND THE RIGHT WAY OF INSERTING THEM INTO THE BLOGPOST – I AM TRAVELING AND STRUGGLING WITH INTERNET CONNECTION!)


I started out by telling them about the world event that took place at the Cern Scientific Labaratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland on the 4th of July this year, when they at last discovered the so called God Particle, the Higgs Boson, a vitally important discovery of a reality from billion of years back, which strongly will assist us in understanding the past and building for the future, and in this way the God Particle becomes a meeting place of the past and the future in a dynamic NOW. The Future Is Now!

It will come as no surprise to my regular readers that this speech quickly developed into a presentation of the Change Model of the YMCA, Change Agents and Youth Empowerment in Action and led to the challenge of Y’s Men International to help the YMCA worldwide to build the 200 Change Agents to help WAKING THE GIANT

In his speech the International President Philip Mathai from India gave a very promising feedback and support to the common agenda of Y’s Men and YMCA to grow together into a better future with a system of Change Agents.

International President Philip Mathai from India

An old friend from my time in the YMCA Europe, Poul V. Thomsen, is elected as the coming International President, and in his speech he stated that ”the YMCA is our main partner, and we may still develop this co-operation.”  He also said that during his many years of service to the Y’s Men, the partnership with YMCA had been like a gift from God. Poul promised that he will walk together with the YMCA hand in hand to create a better future now.

A wonderfully new idea full of hospitality was to invite all 750 delegates to private dinners in the homes of Y’s Men from the city and the district one night. It was really an experience to be welcomed to a Norwegian home and to be served an excellent dinner with Salmon and Strawberries and enjoy local hospitality. See below a photo from our hosts, Njål og Jorunn Fykse, they prepared an unforgettable evening for a big group of delegates! Thank you!

The cultural night with performances from the different areas of the world was both fun and beautiful, as the images below will demonstrate:

Area USA with dedicated song performances

Dancers from India

Total dedication from Area Asia

And behind the ladies you can see Benson Wabule and Jared Musima from Kenya, Jared is the NGS of Kenya YMCA and Benson is  a PIP

The Jazz Service one of the evenings was a superb experience and then the Convention really travelled into the blue adventures. All of us went into busses, which took us for different sight seeing exposures of Norwegian culture and landscapes, of which we truly have a lot, and then we ended up in Gloppehallen in Byrkjedal county, a good travel into the country from the coast. There we were treated to Norwegian folk dancers:

Many of them were delegates to the Convention:

And others were just waking up by all the music and commotion:

After the introduction, we were invited to the mountain hall of the Norwegian Trolls and Hulders to taste the mysteries of the fairy tales and the music and food from these fairy tales….

On our way into the mountains of the Norwegian Trolls….

eating their food…..

….listening to their music

Before I leave the wonderful memories of the Y’s Men 70th International Convention in Stanvanger behind, I must highlight the inspirational report by the Secretary General of Y’s Men International, Takao (Nishi) Nishimura from Japan. A good friend from Geneva, he gave a great overview of his work over the last two years and painted a picture of great cooperation with the YMCA and the NEW WAY of the World Alliance. Thank you, Nishi, Finn, Philip, Poul and Joar and all the wonderful violunteers and staff of the Y’s Men Movement, the finale with all the young people on stage was a worthy finale of a great event. And the last photo is from Nishi’s presentation:


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