What an amazing experience it was, the S2M Global Meetup 2016! We kicked off on Sunday night with our group of international guests in a bar, to welcome them in The Netherlands. Most of their faces were familiar to me already as we talked on Skype before about what the S2M ecosystem can do for them and what they can contribute to the S2M community. But of course technology will never replace the pureness of being in touch in real life.

Mariëlle Sijgers picked up the mic on Monday morning to introduce all 14 nationalities within the group on stage. People coming from different cultures, with different backgrounds, different ages but all united by one thing: the ambition to create another type of world together. A better world, another lifestyle, other ways of work. Building communities, facilitating the basic need of people to connect. And triggered by the S2M concept of course, their main reason to attend the S2M Global Meetup in the first place! In a short, hilarious story about his life as a digital nomad, S2M Ambassador Mike LaRosa from the US immediately underlined the importance of accelerating serendipity.

Sketching the context for us all from his role as a trend strategist, Ronald van den Hoff then took us on a fascinating journey through the world that is changing so rapidly because of current technologies. The world he gave the working title ‘Society 3.0’. Lenneke van Rossum and Vincent Ariëns elaborated a bit more on what this means in daily practice using the S2M software. In the afternoon ‘experience’ was the magic word! The hosts of the S2M locations in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Amersfoort did a great job in organizing visits to other types of S2M locations, organizing S2M Safari’s (brainstorms), inspiring talks by people from the community, boat and train rides, climbing towers, and excellent dinners.

After sleeping in, the stage was for Cees Hoogendijk on Tuesday morning, doing a mini Appreciative Inquiry session with us all. Great tool to use for community building, one of the main aspects of co-working in any way. Interviewing each other, really connecting, listening to the other person and retelling his or her story. Trying to find the common denominators to come up with one shared dream as a team. Not easy, but a great challenge! Interesting workshops on teambuilding, bitnation, happiness, artificial intelligence and S2M were scheduled late afternoon. One of the highlights definitely was the dinner that evening cooked by the mama’s of Mama’s Koelkast (Mama’s Refrigerator). From Italian to Chinese to Surinam, which went pleasantly well by the way with the extraordinary gin-tonics of Marloes den Engel from De Gintonnerie.

Not having a program is the best thing sometimes, which was proven on Wednesday morning, when we sat down in a small circle to discuss how to make the S2M ecosystem even stronger worldwide. It was wonderful to see that over the previous days, enough trust was build up already within this group to have a real open discussion with great, concrete outcomes. Miroslav Mijatov, S2M Ambassador from Serbia, concluded the morning by saying that he was very thankful for the opportunity, that S2M030 was the best example of a co-working environment he had ever experienced and that he would always be a S2M ‘soldier’. Amen :). Let’s keep on building Society 3.0, together!

Want to build with us? Have a look here to see how you can contribute as an S2M Host or S2M Ambassador yourself.