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History and Background


What began in 1948 as an organisation to help develop "friendly relations" between member countries is now a global association with activities in 89 different countries and territories.
The founding members of AIESEC started to build the organization between 1946 - 1948, but a clear identity was defined in 1948 and later in 1949 at the Stockholm Congress.

89 students participated in the Exchange Program in 1949 and Exchange was defined as the core activity of the organization. In the coming years more and more countries joined the network and AIESEC became global in a very short period by being present on all the continents.
The number of students and organizations involved in the exchange program grew rapidly and constantly, reaching 2467 exchanges by the end of 1960 and 4232 by the end of 1970.
Seminars were first introduced as part of trainees'' reception experiences, in a proposal from AIESEC in Germany in 1961. It was well received by other countries, and a general set of seminar topics to be addressed was proposed and accepted. They were mainly economic in nature, and for the first time AIESEC was addressing specific issues in its activities-stated clearly in a non-political way.
At the 1974 International Congress in Bordeaux, an important motion was passed: the minimum length of an Exchange traineeship had to be 6 weeks. This measure improved the quality of our Exchanges.
In 1976 an International Theme Programme was established that focused all international, regional, and local seminars on specific topics. This idea continued and grew through various stages.

After this the focus of the organization was on addressing global themes besides the traditional Exchange Program. Themes like International Trade, Management Education, Sustainable development, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Responsability were discussed at local, national and global seminars.

In the late 90''s the discussion about the relevance of the organization brought the Exchange Program on the main agenda and more and more effort was put in ensuring growth in this area.
Information systems were developed to make the process faster and easier. Insight I was launched in 1997 and Insight II in 2001. As the focus of the organization was the eXchange program again, the number of exchanges started to grow.
Looking for more relevance, nowadays AIESEC is the international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential. Our  innovative approach to developing young people focuses on taking a proactive role, developing self-awareness and a personal vision, building networks, and developing capacity to drive change. We do this through an international platform of opportunities that provides over 5,000 leadership opportunities, 3,500 work abroad opportunities, 350 conferences, and virtual tools to build networks.

What is AIESEC?

AIESEC is a global, non-political, independent, not-for-profit organization run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education. Its members are interested in world issues, leadership and management. AIESEC does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, creed, religion, national, ethnic or social origin.

What We Envision

Peace and fulfilment of humankind''s potential.

Our Impact

Our international platform enables young people to discover and develop their potential to provide leadership for a positive impact on society.

The Way We Do It

AIESEC provides its members with an integrated development experience comprised of leadership opportunities, international internships and participation in a global learning environment.

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