Over the weekend of February 3rd to 5th, 2017, around 40 CommUnity representatives came together in Bilbao, Spain, to collaborate and share on the past and help form an even better future. Usually spread all over Europe working in the local InnoEnergy Communities, this reunion represented a great chance to exchange thoughts, learn from one another and help each other promote the Forum in the different locations. How can we improve the quality of our events? How can we attract more external actors? Which strategies could we think of to make the CommUnity more visible? These were among the challenging questions we aimed to discuss and build on during the weekend.

Input was given in the beginning by Dimitris Bronowski on the 5 keys to getting your dream job and by InnoEnergy Iberia CEO Mikel Lasa, who discussed the InnoEnergy strategy with us, providing the representatives with the big picture view of what we are trying to work towards. ‌Falko Doring, the new CommUnity engagement manager and Robert Pleticha, the online CommUnity manager, introduced themselves and expressed their motivation to work together on pushing our CommUnity forward. The role of the CommUnity platform is crucial since it forms the backbone and allows for an effective and continuous exchange of thoughts, bonding over geographical distances and learning processes. By joining this platform one enters a new world of inspiring energy-related content, interesting job positions and likewise-minded fellow members that is on its way to becoming the biggest renewable energy community in Europe.

This weekend gave us the chance to collaborate, discuss, share, learn and work together, face-to-face, creating a space where everyone was welcome to give his or her input, to provide critical feedback and to develop new ideas for building an even better CommUnity in the future.  A list of key unknowns were given to be voted on and “how to promote more connection/networking between the IE staff/partners and the students” was the winner. Many interesting ideas were thought up and the teams focused well on how to implement these ideas moving forward. Claudia Depenthal and Tiago Mendes also introduced everyone to the Open Space Studio (OSS) and teams then worked on ways to incorporate OSS in a way that it most benefits IE students and staff. The different local teams as well as CommUnity institutions such as the and the CommUnity Post had meetings with one another to discuss possible connections between the two, rotating around and providing each team with valuable input to work on.

CommUnity Post and Leuven, Eindhoven, Stockholm and Karlsruhe CommUnities 

It was particularly enriching to have Montse Gelonch, Claudia Depenthal, Mikel Lasa, Monica Mejli and Emilien Simonot as InnoEnergy staff members attending the event, giving their respective points of view, providing support and, above all, showing great motivation to become engaged. With their help and that of other professionals, the CommUnity has great potential to transform from a group of students into a diverse, serious and inspiring space to share, collaborate and envision a sustainable energy future.

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing”, as Rollo May, the famous American psychologist, once pointed out. This couldn’t be more true for this “weekend for the books”, as Rachel called it. These intense two days full of inspiring conversations, laughter, hard and productive work, energising vibes, great food, even better wine and fantabulous people were a great step towards building the greatest sustainable energy community.

This weekend was just one of the many incredible opportunities of being a CommUnity Representative. We are always looking for more students, alumni, entrepreneurs and InnoEnergy staff to be more than just a part of our family, so come join us!


By Simon Hoffmann and Rachel Sadok

The CommUnity Post

27 February 2017

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