Che Amigo Playground Event @ Knowmads Creative Business School

Che Amigo Playground Event @ Knowmads Creative Business School

Che Amigo Playground Event in writing
Dec 2015
By Liselotte Vaessen

Knowmads Business School in Amsterdam; our playground. The place where living with your heart, head and hands are key elements. Pieter Spinder, the founder, points out that the biggest learning experience is about feeling ownership. If you own something, you feel responsibile. For students the key words are openess, appreciation, stepping out of your comfort zone and work in a group.

This Playground Event is all about social entrepreneurship and making the world a better place. Discovering your talents, meet like minded people and turn your dream into reality. The attendance is high, around 60 inspiring people join today’s event. The vibe is pure. The atmosphere is living room like, even the cat is present. DJ Lisette is playing music, simmering casseroles in the kitchen managed by Titia, and all beautiful moments are captured by photographer Jerina.

12308210_1091566850862511_6050999474889468246_o We kick off with imagining we are living in a bee hive  where the queen bee is surrounded by worker bees to meet  her every need. Worker bees are swarming in the crowd to  collect as many business cards as possible for their queen  bee’s wish to come true. The first contacts are a fact.

Elena Simons, founder of Stichting Wonder, starts sharing  with us that she is stuck at the moment. Her aim is to make  a better world, by helping tens of millions of people. A few  projects; thanking tax payers, fun with muslims, all about  mobilizing societies. After years the figures tell a different story, that makes her sad. She creates a vibe of vulnerability on stage. People wonder if her goal is realistic. She wants to stop the negative thoughts that she achieved less than other people. Stop comparing yourself with others is her advice.

Johan Noorloos, founder of De Nieuwe Yoga School, takes us along his path in life. He shares a mythical story about Krisha and Arjuna. He wrote a book about Anicha, which implies transience, nothing remains, everything passes. We have 60.000 thoughts a day, with meditation one learns not to respond, but just to observe from a distance. Yoga is all about stillness, reception, feel what there is to feel and let go. Get out of your comfort zone. One cannot invent passion, that’s only to feel. Questions to ask yourself how to achieve your dream come true: who am I, what am I good at, why did I become good at it, if I know what I want how do I get there. Cross your boundaries. By creating distance, talents and dreams arise. Do what you love to do is not selfish. Become who you are. Yoga starts when getting off your yoga mat.

12314501_1091566514195878_5614884404157590121_oIn small groups we start meaningful conversations about what touched you so far, what do you need and which small step do you like to take next. Some were touched by the vulnerability of the speakers. Others were pointing out that people in The Netherlands are trying to make a living, instead of a life.

Jop Blom, founder of Behold Rainbow Collection, works in fair trade, not in aid, he underlines. He came up with the idea of the beaded bracelets during the World Cup, to empower communities in South Africa. We all received a ‘shake the world’ bracelet, as a gift.

Janne Willems talks about ‘seize your moments’. Life is about beautiful moments. By writing down or drawing beautiful moments, they are relived. During a workshop we all draw our beautiful moment in small groups and share them. It brings people together. Getting instead of giving is wrong. Let go of the goal, be flexible. Let go of prejudices. Janne travels the world to collect beautiful moments of others and she collected them in a book, that’s for sale now: ‘Seize your moments’

12307306_1091566430862553_6444786197461429048_o Doekas Prakken, founder of Kickstart your Social Impact,  shares his difficulties with us. It is not easy to follow your  dream. It is hard work and dealing with setbacks is part of  fulfilling your dream. A group of refugees tell us their story  of the project ‘Can you see me’ by Beyond Refugee in which  they are involved. They use a photo camera made out of a  can to share stories from within their point of view. It’s all  about: What do you want from life? They talk about there is  no final destination and that’s what makes one vulnerable.  They point out the importance of being raised by both parents. They love the project and have a whole new network because of today’s event.

Mathijs Vaessen, one of the founders of Spin Remote, tells us about how to finance your dream. He shares tips about crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and the market launch at Symbid. Kickstarter is all or nothing. There is no safety net. Action is reaction. When you put the targets low, the more successful it is. Important to mobilize your own network first, so you make sure you have 20% of the finances in the pocket when you start on Kickstarter. People like to hop on a moving train, this is when they see the potential. It’s not easy to give up your job and tell your family your financial situation is going to change during the start up. Mathijs shares with us it’s worth it and it’s a great adventure.


After the wonderful vegetarian dinner made by Titia, we let out all our creativity. The artist Jouke Kruijer teaches us the rules of painting. What makes it interesting is: the layers and levels, color does not follow line, two structures and a distinctive voice, less is more. We have to listen to our hand, not to our head to paint the world of Anicha, on a big white paper where we can paint simultaniously. In the end we rip a piece of paper we love and glue this to a small canvas to continue painting our colorful dream. When done we collect all individual canvasses to create one painting without talking to each other, just by doing and body language. Lessons learned: we need others to create, it is never about what you have made, it’s just temporarily, seen in the whole the meaning is different, let go and less is more!
Thanks to you all! Wow I am totally thrilled about today, so is Jasper. So much energy, plenty of inspiration, great ideas, beautiful people. Everybody was looking for a network, I think we created that. I am convinced we can make a better world together. A few lessons learned: don’t attach to the result, without resistance no growth, stillness get’s ideas, desires and dreams to the surface, remember your dreams, get out of your comfort zone, that’s where the magic happens!

Save the date
The good news is that we will organise a Playground Event part II the 30th of June 2016. Save the date. Any ideas, thoughts, hands are welcome. Keep you posted. Attached the board with all people present including their photo, contact details and what they have to offer. Make use of them to make your dream come true!

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