The ripple-effect of Global Shapers 2014 was not just an illusion. After the success of the face-to-face meeting in Chicago this summer (end September 2014) we started making group chats on Whatsapp and Telegram, where all kinds of topics are shared and discussed, such as having fun with local colleagues and friends, or typical local culture habits (remember the debate on ‘Black Pete’), or more work related discussions (generation challenges, commitment and fields of expertise). We also started the monthly ‘Connection Calls’ – a poule of virtual team calls with changing members and topics. But maybe more important, we started visiting each other, face-to-face. The ripple-effect became physical.
Our English colleagues invited the Dutch to visit their office in London to celebrate an English-Dutch Global Shapers reunion. Of course we couldn’t refuse this offer, most of us immediately saw this as an opportunity to meet other people at the HQ of EC Harris. People within our company who we have been working with or of whom we know have specific expertise, but never got to see before. It was also the chance to meet new people at the RTKL office in London. So the visit wasn’t just fun but also became very useful to all of us!
However the fun part prevailed during our stay in London, from Thursday morning the 27th till Saturday the 29th of November. We joined the infamous Thursday afternoon office drink at the bar of ECHQ, we very much enjoyed a Beer Pong party with Beer Pong cups from the US and danced till late night in the bars of the pleasant neighborhood Angels.
The most intriguing thing was probably that this initiative started bottom-up, without any support from above. We slept at the houses of our British colleagues which strengthened the social bonds, and arranged our own Ryanair tickets – not that comfortable but very social too! These reunions can also be used for making vertical relations, with other generation Global Shapers. During our stay in London we met some of the former British Global Shapers. I noticed that we start meeting and host each other on a more personal level when we’re staying in each other cities – Jeroen Westgeest, Wietske Theloesen and I met Yoann Liu in Amsterdam at Friday the 12th of December and I will host Johannes Mähler during NYE.
Our London reunion is not the last one, but will be the first of something that will become a tradition within our company, I am sure. Thank you British colleagues for your hospitality and remember, you’re all welcome for the next reunion which will be hold in Amsterdam in January or February!
Jasper Bras, The Netherlands