The Lisbon CommUnity gathered on September 23rd for the official kick-off event in Lisbon. Master’s students and alumni were invited to get to know the past of the CommUnity and envision its future. The event brought together more than 60 participants excited to change the game.


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood […] who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause […].”


With these powerful words of former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, Dimitris Bronowski kicked off an inspirational introduction to the Lisbon CommUnity for the newly arrived InnoEnergy students. As the founder of Meaningful Connections and the local manager of the Lisbon CommUnity, Dimitris shared his experience and guided the audience through an informative and engaging evening with the aim of connecting the new members of the CommUnity and sending out a call for active participation.

In order to transmit the idea of how the InnoEnergy CommUnity works, the three key questions why?, how? and what? served as guidance, linking the CommUnity's main objectives and indicating a pathway for a successful contribution to the Lisbon CommUnity. Highlighting the impact a group of motivated people can have in comparison to one (or more) individual(s) (why), Dimitris explained the three main objectives every Lisbon CommUnity activity should meet (how):

  • Provide value for the CommUnity members
  • Strengthen the relations between the members of the CommUnity
  • Provide the CommUnity members with access to opportunities they couldn’t reach alone


The range of possible activities and events to meet these objectives are manifold and might include, according to Dimitris, discussions, webinars, workshops, partnerships, field trips, site visits and any other form of event suited to provide value, relations and opportunities (what). A first co-creation session in small groups allowed the participants to brainstorm ideas and, by sharing their passions and dreams, find possible synergies among each other. An ideation session followed regarding future CommUnity actions.

Apart from introducing the participants to the Lisbon CommUnity, some practical guidance was also given. Slack and Trello, two platforms that are used widely by startups, corporate groups and also by the InnoEnergy CommUnity, were presented and explained by Rachel Sadok with the intention of laying the foundations for a productive and successful future cooperation.

Ice-breaker games and an informal get-together at the end of the event allowed for a relaxing closure and enabled the exchange of first ideas for the coming weeks and months. Looking at the success of this event and the engagement of the many attendees, a promising and exciting year lies ahead of the Lisbon Community. As Dimitris concluded, “We have the team, we have the ideas, we have the support. We do not have an excuse!”

Special thanks to Diana Vitorino from the Local InnoEnergy office who, as she has done multiple times the previous year, stayed working after hours to support our event.


By Dimitris Bronowski and Simon Hoffmann 

In collaboration with the CommUnity Post 

23 October 2016

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