How I transformed my life in 2014

365 days may not seem much, but it can be a lifetime of change and growth. 2015 is just around the corner and it’s a time to reflect and realize how much can happen in one year. Facebook has given those “year in review” posts, but I don’t think it will do justice.

Looking back can help you understand how much you’ve grown out of your year and where you’re heading next. For me, 2014 was a year of many firsts and a lot of big transformation. I grew up, explored new countries and most of all, I gained the confidence to speak, write and share my opinions without being fearful of criticism or rejection. It’s absolutely empowering.

Summary of 2014

  • Launched the new AIESEC.ca on Jan 1, 2014
  • Lived through a real Canadian winter in Toronto (-20 celsius!)
  • Had a 30 second moment with Arianna Huffington at her book signing event and then became a Huffington Post blogger :D
  • Launched the first inaugural Canada Youth Voice Survey report
  • Completed my term as national vp, marketing and communications with AIESEC Canada
AIESEC Canada executive team 13–14 on a streetcar in Toronto
  • Moved from Toronto to Rotterdam, Netherlands in June 2014
  • Started a new job with AIESEC International as global vice president digital marketing, joining a team of 24 other young leaders representing 17 nationalities to run AIESEC’s global strategy and operations for 70,000+ volunteers and employees across 125 countries and territories
AIESEC International 14–15 at International Congress 2014 in Kaohsiung
  • Published my first LinkedIn article on How Burberry Became Cool Again. 10k+ views and was featured in the marketing and retail column
  • Had the honour of writing on the Facebook wall (above Tiesto?)
  • Visited the Google EMEA HQ in Dublin to learn about digital marketing
  • Spoke in front of 800 people from 124 countries and territories at AIESEC International Congress 2014 in Kaohsiung Taiwan, and my entire computer froze midway in my presentation, all my slides were gone. I improvised the rest of my 30 min presentation. I will never forget this moment.
  • Co-hosted the closing banquet for International Congress 2014
  • Having just turned 22 on Oct 1, I was announced as the world’s youngest chief digital officer by David Mathison at the Chief Digital Officer Summit 2014 in London @ BBC Worldwide hosted by CDO Club. I was invited to speak about harnessing millennial talent for digital transformation in front of 100 leading chief digital officers and digital leaders from across Western Europe
  • Launched YouthSpeak, a global youth insight survey to help decision makers understand how to improve and align education with employment. Resulted in collecting over 25,000 responses from youth in 100 countries and territories.
  • Met Guy Kawasaki at Gartner ITXPO Symposium in Barcelona (he’s brilliant, former Chief Evangelist at Apple)
  • Lead a roundtable on millennial talent together with my colleague Gabriella Pimpao, global vice president information management for AIESEC at the Gartner ITXPO. I learned that even even business leaders have a lot to learn from the younger generation, vice versa.
  • Landed on the continent of Africa for the first time in Marrakech, Morocco. WOW!!!!!! My eyes opened so wide when I saw this view.
  • Spoke alongside leaders from the United Nations Millennium Campaign at the World Human Rights Forum in Morocco on the importance of youth inclusion — sharing YouthSpeak survey + AIESEC + MY World survey collaboration.
  • Chaired a leadership development conference for 400 youth leaders at a national conference for AIESEC in Morocco in Marrakech — it was a blessing and an honour to have been able to share my experiences .
  • Project lead & creative director for AIESEC’s new global website platform: AIESEC.org. Worked in collaboration with Homemade Digital agency in London. Marked a new chapter in AIESEC’s digital brand. Including a roadmap for our brand evolution.

4 years ago, I was in my first year of university standing at the AIESEC booth introducing myself — little did I know what was about to hit me..

Life is what we make of it. Every young person should make their twenties the most remarkable decade of their lives. Take action, now!

— Gordon Ching

Thank you to my family, friends, colleagues, AIESEC International team, and the whole AIESEC network for all of the love, support and for challenging me every single day.

What are you waiting for? Tweet me and share your stories with me: @gdondon

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