Last updated on June 17, 2021
I vividly remember March 13, 2020. The weekend after, I had planned to go to London for a week, taking with me my youngest daughter. Because I had promised her, that – should schools ever close due to COVID-19, which was a ridiculous prospect – we would go away and have a good time. I didn’t take this seriously, at all. On March 13, however, the situation escalated dramatically, and we stayed at home.
Just a little later, someone posted a message in a design thinkers group chat, describing the situation in northern Italy. And the community reacted strongly: People brainstormed what could be done, and everybody freely shared resources and experiences in order to ensure cooperation and collaboration online. And then, Arne van Oosterom invited people to a webinar on leadership and design thinking. It was on a Wednesday, and over 700 people tried to participate. The week after, the webinar had already turned into something a lot more participatory, a jam, which aimed at “Getting the most from live online sessions”. I’ve been a participant from day one. I happily experimented with all the others, learning to gracefully #failforward. And I was positive that this was what I wanted: a friendly international network of like-minded people who would explore the world playfully.
In the meantime, I’ve made it into the curators’ team. I am in awe when I reflect the group dynamics, observing how this bunch of people has grown into a community – still open enough to admit newbies, welcoming every new member. I admire the boyz who created this formate and have, quite unpretentiously, admitted members of the community to be part of the team. The jam will celebrate its first anniversary soon. It is alive, and whatever people contribute, they contribute for free. This is a new way of working: hybrid, non-hierarchical, across the world and different time zones. I love it.