Avtorica: Tanja Golčman, članica Zavoda Ypsilon
Second week in October, and there we were - in Berlin, the city that never sleeps! (Honestly? The only thing that we could think of upon exiting the plane was food and right after that our minds were in cosy beds!). HOWEVER, we didn't let our thoughts tempt us, instead we got our energy reserves up with pizza and cupcakes (way to go, international Berlin!) and went to our afternoon workshop. We had a planned visit at Social Impact Lab, organised by Zavod Ypsilon's mutual partner SAP. We got to see their co-working space where they host startups that deal with social entrepreneurship. They currently have 15 teams to which they offer free work-space, network and constant coaching plus experts for up to 8 months. They've hosted 300 start-ups since 2011!
From the two start-ups we got a chance to talk to, the first was dealing with a hot topic right now - migrants and their education, and the second one was making portable nozzles for washing your intimate parts (if you've ever been to Eastern countries, you probably know that toilet paper is expensive and sometimes non-existent ;) ) After the presentation we had a workshop on design thinking. How to look for ideas and generate them? Wild ideas! How to ask questions? Feelings! What would a child do? And making quick & dirty prototypes! We had dinner at Restlos Glücklich, a restaurant that makes meals from ingredients that markets throw away because they are considered too mushy, "ugly", out-of-ordinary. It was delicious of course, but we were too hungry to take a picture of the main meal, so there's only one of the dessert :)
We seized the next day and walked around Berlin - you can't leave without some sightseeing! History is in the past and these monuments are in every city, true, but you don't visit them daily, do you? I'm usually mesmerized by the finesse of the renaissance monuments - I mean, how on earth did they manage to make such precise engravery or phenomenal architecture and why does it feel like that art is lost? Then moments after, you're standing, words lost, somewhere in the labyrinth of huge concrete blocks that are the memorial to murdered Jews (6 million of them) wondering what went wrong and how can people be such monsters!?
It's a good reminder of what the world was like not so long ago and I don't think you can ignore the "Where are we going now" question. We say that the history repeats itself ... What are we doing so that the world won't go there again - sorry, let me rephrase that - how can we turn it around? What are you and I doing to make a change?
I've never been to Berlin so a big "Thank you" to SAP for this opportunity (a prize I got while participating in IBSS) and ofcourse to Zavod Ypsilon for organising everything. And thank you both for supporting and inspiring young people and making a change! We need more of that.