Monday, January 26, 2015

Learnings about working online

Some of us in the Relating for Results team have been travelling during part of December and January, which you might think complicates things. Since a team working from different locations is indeed one of the tendencies of work in the last few years, this is something we are continually optimising since we support other teams in doing it. We all have previous experience in it, but here are 7 learnings drawn specifically from this team:
  1. Being at a place with internet connection does not mean you are going to be able to talk and see each other. Go to that place before you have an actual online meeting and perform a speed test that allows you to inform your team if its going to be only written chatting in a text box, or if you can use audio, or if video is likely to work. You can use speed test or other similar sites for this!
  2. Consider the different needs in the team when playing the scheduling game. Some people need some stability and some others love to improvise! What are the members of your team like? Scheduling a regular meeting where everybody needs to attend apart from working sessions where people can join and different streams of work has proven to be useful. Choosing good confirmation and communication systems where everybody registers and has accessibility has also been paramount.
  3. Don't try to work through the holidays! Even if you have a committed team, you will likely get pulled by family and friends, so take the time off, it pays in the longer run.
  4. Technical problems often seem to come up when there is an important topic to be discussed or an emotionally charged issue. Breath deep, keep your grounding and hold space for your team to go through it! You might have to let it go for now, but the next tip can help that. When speaking an important topic, always checkin that everybody is on board before diving into it.
  5. To ensure understanding, it's usually useful also to repeat something someone said with other words for achieving more clarity on these important issues that you want everybody on board with.
  6. Write notes real time it helps to keep minutes or notes in real time, so that team members can take turns to take while not speaking. 
  7. For a better connection with the other persons, try to put their video image as near from your camera as possible, since it has been proven that looking at people's eyes makes communication more fluid and trustworthy. Do not multitask, that makes online meetings endless an unfocused, making you loose your precious time!
Good luck with your online team work and if you need support, we will be happy to provide it! Check out this video below to have a laugh at the things that happen during online collaboration.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Going vegan...?!

Yes, I am surprised myself but after watching this conference (in Spanish recommended by a friends biomagnetism practitioner), I am going as vegan as I can. And not only that, but trying to eat alkaline foods. I have already found a vegan store in Berlin called Veganz and they say there is a vegan avenue. ;-)

I am discovering how easy it is to eat mostly raw and vegan and it fits my schedules. I also discovered many products like Kale or Beetroot chips air dried, or sesamefignuts bars that are simple pressed together! Products come from the UK, Bulgaria and also the US. Healthy, tasty and with good design!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Great "I am" Worksheet

Today coach Sonja Bichsel shared this with me when talking about achieving cLArITy in what you offer: The Great "I Am" Worksheet by Alexandra Franzen. Free to distributed, blog and post about it! Here "I am not confused" post is hilarious and right on spot too. ;-)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Citizens for Europe II

Nueva colaboración con Citizens for Europe para facilitar las sesiones interactivas de la conferencia sobre Diversidad en Liderazgo en conjunto con Maytree Foundation de Canadá y otras fundaciones alemanas de prestigio. ;-)

Para quien pregunta dónde dormir en Berlín!

Para quien pregunta siempre por hoteles o hostels baratos o copados, o alojamiento en general, acá van algunod datos!

Friday, March 28, 2014

From Berlin with love...

Many people ask about the Berlin Startup and Innovative in general scene. Want to know more? Here is the Startup Map. Read about it on Silicon Allee as well as Venture Village, check out the streaming from Friday at 6 event, know what is going on with Berlin Geekettes (that have gone global), explore the coworking movement in town through Deskmag and hear from the blog of a girl in the startup world. A hundred start-ups to watch from The Hundert magazine, downloadable here.

You can also look for jobs in startups here! And there is even a startup institute with an 8-week program that will boost your career. Startup Bootcamp has started Startup Gallery as a coworking space. Finally, a BBC news with "Could Berlin be the Next Silicon Valley?" If what you are looking for is a meaningful job, check-out The Changer and Jobs4Good!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

IDD-Lat: El índice de desarrollo democrático en América Latina

El video explica la mayoría, pero ayer se presentó la 12ava edición del Índice de Desarrollo Democrático de América Latina en la Fundación Konrad Adenauer en Berlín. Lo realiza cada año desde 2002 la consultora argentina Polilat y su representate Jorge Arias.

La presentación fue sumamente interesante y principalmente explicaba cómo realizaron el estudio, qué metodología e indicadores se utilizan con total transparencia, aunque explicando también con total sinceridad que ninguna medición es perfecta y que simplemente se intenta poner sobre la mesa datos que favorezcan el diálogo y trabajo de poner en cuestión a la democracia, a los temas que nos implican a los ciudadanos. Intentan objetivar la discusión para tratar la democracia real, no conceptual.

Utilizaron 35 indicadores principales en torno a cuatro dimensiones: la democracia de los ciudadanos, la de las insitituciones, el desarrollo social y humano, y finalmente, el desarrollo económico. Consideran sólo 18 países, por las limitaciones de obtener datos medianamente fiables y comparables, así como el aspecto formal de que sea una democracia (Cuba no entra en el ranking por ejemplo por esa razón). Tienen como fuentes: Cepal, BID, BM, índice Gini y el de transparencia internacional para la corrupción, entre otros.

Entre las interesantes preguntas, hubo una referida a la sostenibilidad, ya que no aparece en todo el informe. Jorge Arias explicó que no aparece porque lamentablemente todavía no es una prioridad en la región, frente a temas como mortalidad infantil u otros importantes.

Personalmente le pregunté sobre la influencia de los social media, la tecnología, la web en general en la política y me contestó que por el momento hay mucho uso de los mismos para la protesta, pero que todavía no han servido para la cohesión social. Al preguntarle sobre el partido de la red, me dijo que sí, estaba actuando, pero que no tenía gran peso todavía.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Los comienzos del Techo en Argentina

Ayer domingo hicimos un Google Hangout On Air con 6 personas de las que inicialmente co-fundamos el Techo en Argentina, en el marco del programa Un Techo para Mi País que nació en Chile. Lo hicimos porque con el paso del tiempo, la historia de los comienzo del Techo en Argentina se fue difuminando en su web.

Tras 10 años de la primera construcción y luego de 6000 viviendas construidas, algunos de los que formamos parte de sus comienzos en Córdoba en 2002-2003 nos juntamos virtualmente para recordar y compartir historias de esos primeros pasos. Fue una conversación informal y de corazón, donde intentamos construir el rompecabezas con los recuerdos que tenía cada uno y regalarlos a quienes forman parte hoy de la organización.

La mayoría se conectó desde Córdoba, aunque también Melbourne en Australia y yo desde Berlín en Alemania! La verdad es que cada uno siguió con sus proyectos, trabajos, empresas, organizaciones, pero cada uno tiene guardado en su corazón esa primera construcción en Jesús María, los lazos y la acción, entre mil anécdotas y aprendizajes.

Aquí se puede ver el video completo!

What does Impact mean to you?

As we move forward with the evolution of our global network (from a single HUB location in London 2005 to a global network of 7000+ members in 40+ cities!), we are excited to showcase our purpose and bring ‘Impact’ to our name. Over the coming months, as each HUB transitions to Impact Hub, #HelloImpact will help us shine the spotlight on what has been there all along - our commitment to Impact. Read more on the updated global website!

And join us and celebrate this addition by participating in our global #HelloImpact campaign. What does #impact mean to you? For me, IMPACT means enabling connections and collaborations for collective action! It also means hosting people and teams to work on trust, feedback and the principles of how to work together to facilitate authentic working relationships!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How German are you?

There is a book I am going to read "How to be German in 50 steps", not because I want to be German, already enough being Argentinean and Italian, but because of the funny cultural differences that it describes. There is even an online quiz on how German are you...!

On another line of thought but still having to do with germaneness, is the fact that this weekend we went to a wedding and every time I go to a german one I keep being fascinated by all the talent in the room! Its impressive (maybe its the kind of friends my husband has, maybe not) but the couple this time was a singer and a performer and of course many friends in related professions so they had great use of the stage. Here is fragment of "its a nice day for a white wedding" from Billy Idol by the bride, groom and band!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Need help with your CV?

These days in one way or the other many job opportunities come to me and I am connecting people I know to them. Yay! Many people have also mentioned they are looking for a job and I suggested a few sites to look here in Berlin: Startup Jobs Berlin, Linkedin, Experteer and Xing.

However, many need help in the step beforehand: updating their cv to be effective, crispy and one-pager and even making it more visual. For the former, the best it to use Get Interviews, they have a first resume critique for free and then offer several services but I found the first step really useful. For the latter, ResumUp with their visuals is really helpful as well to have your cv in a different and original format, combined with an basic page to link your relevant profiles.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Regalo Werder

Seguimos recibiendo regalos de casamiento y los alemanes son muy diferentes lo cual está buenísimo! Esta vez se trató de pasar un día a un par de horas de Berlín: media horita en auto y una hora y media en barco para ir a la isla de Werder. Una isla pequeñita y simpática, donde se hacen vinos y licores de distintas frutas. 

Friday, August 09, 2013


El colectivo Migrantas trabaja con mujeres en Berlin y otras ciudades para llevar la migración a la calle. Es decir, entre otras actividades y acciones urbanas, realizan talleres con migrantes, generalmente mujeres aunque en el taller al que asistí yo en el Instituto Cervantes también había hombres, a los que invitan a expresar utilizando el lenguaje visual, en criollo, dibujando, lo que significa para ellos la migración. En general, en el pasado, ahora, etc. Lo que permite que uno de alguna manera abra esa caja de Pandora y cristalice el proceso migratorio que ha realizando, el camino que va andando. Florencia (diseñadora gráfica) y Marula (artista) trabajan luego esos dibujos, encontrando patrones hasta destilar su esencia y crear pictogramas que sacan a la calle en distintos formatos.

La experiencia para mí fue muy enriquecedora y el viernes fue la apertura en el Ayuntamiento de Berlín, la Rotes Rathaus, de la muestra de todos los dibujos hechos en los talleres de la ciudad. Fui con una amiga y fue toda una experiencia el que ella justo, sin saberlo, se sintiera identificada con uno de mis dibujos. Después, en la charla de presentación, una de las mujeres también mencionó justo ese dibujo! No me lo esperaba y no había entendido en mi alemán básico todo lo que ella decía, pero me emocionó claro el hecho de que le haya llegado el mensaje! 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

La Comida de la Familia

Nos regalaron el libro "La comida de la familia" de Ferrán Adriá y hemos empezado a usarlo. Está bueno porque trae recetas para un mes entero con el planning y demás. Son las recetas que hacían en el restaurant elBulli para su staff, por lo que además las recetas son super variadas y vienen con las cantidades desde para dos personas, hasta 75! Gracias Caro y Lieven. Gran regalo gran. :-D

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hochzeit in Wien

Had a wonderful time this weekend for a friend's wedding. We went on Friday and started with lunch at a cousin's place, then later had dinner at Albertina with Madrid friends and enjoyed drinks that night with the wedding party at Palmenhaus. It was lovely to meet all the IE Business School gang again! The next morning there was a walking tour with a colombian tourist guide organised by bride and groom and finally the big event at the Organgerie of Schloss Schönbrunn. Not a big fan of monarchy but having grown up with Sissi's stories for children, it was pretty incredible to attend the special moment of a couple there! And it was a very cute mix of viennese waltz with bolivian passion and salsa of course. On Sunday we went swimming on the Danube with cousin Harriet! It felt pretty cool to swim across the legendary river.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Women in tech

I have to say I loved the Berlin Geekettes panel yesterday at the Apple Store about women in tech that make positive social impact. I choose not to go to all events happening in Berlin because you can get dizzy with everything that is happening in this city, but would love to go more to this type of community events, missed them actually, as I am in part a woman in tech and I am trying to have a positive impact. ;-)

Jess Erickson (@jessjerickson, Founder of Berlin Geekettes) did a seamless moderation and all the panelists answered from the heart, crisp and straight to the point, no long boring answers. They were: Daniela Schiffer (@changerscom, Cofounder of Changers), Keyun Ruan (@ruankeyun, CRO for XENSIX), Ida Tin (@idatin, Cofounder of HelloClue) and Jeannette Gusko (@jeanneraffut, Senior Campaigner,

Got to know that according to Deutscher Startup Monitor there is only a 13% of founders that are women still. I have experienced this in Spain where I co-founded HUB Madrid and having coordinated the Women, Enterprise and Technology (mentoring program at IE Business School at that moment -now no longer there- in partnership with Research in Motion), but wasn´t aware of the situation in Germany yet.

I loved the questions posed to the panelists, which made me think about them myself like who is the source of your inspiration, when did you realise you wanted to be in tech, if you got encouragement or not, the financial issues, etc. I loved the comments about Keyun Ruan about how she loves pink and just cries a lot (being myself one of the latter), and being confident and concrete in here contributions to show what she is worth at her job by action, instead of words. Enjoyed also the remark about having a supportive partner, whether you are a lady or a man, something very important! There were some extraordinary women in the room as well, a pitty I could not stay longer, but for sure there will be more opportunities!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lunch 'n Learn

Invited by Meritxell Sala Taña from the Ezeep team, went to have lunch with them on Friday to their event called Lunch 'n Learn, a simple, yet nice idea to have one guest and a dialogue during lunch to share experiences and learn from each other. I loved the idea of this being something small where you can really have a dialogue.

They asked loads of really good questions about the HUB, my journey as HUB Madrid co-founder, our journey as a network, the technology platforms that we use, the global governance model and decision-making processes,  knowledge sharing, our social impact, etc.

They also explained how Ezeep works and their founding story as well which started with Sascha Kellert, Fredo Haitz and Marian Zange. We had some spanish tortilla and enjoyed the views from their lovely office by the canal. By the end I experimented with their App and how easy it is to print!!! I got to know about several facts:
  • Its a cloud-printing web and app that works with any printer in the market without an enabled password
  • The cost is around 75€ per month for about 50 people using the system 
  • It can work both, per invitation by email or just by being logged to the local network (with a server or a 24/7 computer via wifi if you don´t have a server)
  • You can include a certain amount of pages for free for users monthly, weekly or daily
  • Once that is used, anybody can purchase credit from them (you set the price and by the end of the month get the money from Ezeep)
I enjoyed talking to their team manager Lea Böhm, Gabriel Escalona from Marketing and Leon Schabel from Sales and everybody else. Thanks for the invite Ezeep team! The next step was to connect them to the team developing the HUB Berlin and finally with our own HUB Global Partnerships Manager to see if there is something to explore there. Happy HUBbing! ;-)

Thursday, July 04, 2013


Watched the movie Almanya at the Deutsch Orientierungskurs, a lovely story of family, identity and migration from Turkey to Germany but that can be applied to any country in the world!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Back to Madrid!

It was wonderful to come back to Madrid with two excellent excuses (apart from visiting friends!):
  1. A workshop to facilitate for the HUB Madrid team to support their team with community engagement, community building and participatory leadership/methodologies from Art of Hosting. Check out the graphic facilitation by Toni Arribas (@elreydelaruina). 
  2. My friend's bachelorette party! We cannot come to the wedding in Lima but at least I managed to be part of this special weekend! The photos are beautiful taken by photographer Marianella Fargier.

Friday, June 07, 2013


Finally finished the Orientierungskurs! It was the last stage - three weeks - of the Integrationskurs organised by the BAMF (German Ministry for Migration and Refugees) that supports integration of migrants. It was not mandatory for me to do it, but it was much better than any other normal german course as the people that were studying there were really interested in learning and not just partying in the city of Berlin.

Next stop? The TEST on 13th September. Yep, giving myself some time to study and actually learn as the course is 3 hours for six months, covering levels A1, A2 and B1 and you don´t have so much time to do the homework and study if you are working too! ;-) About the photo, the visit to the Berlin Parliament (Abgeordnetehaus Berlin)!

The BAMF also has a next course that I could do, and this one is totally free, which is German for professional purposes, but it demands a lot more time, 4 hours per day and it ends with a one month internship at a local company. Really useful for people looking for a job. The Germans are preparing themselves for 2030 where apparently there will be a big gap in the professional force.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Civil Wedding

Having two weddings with activities during the weekend with people coming from other cities/continents/countries is one wedding too much. Really. ;-) But after the argentinean one last December, we wanted to give the opportunity for family and friends in Berlin and Europe to be able to come and share that moment with us. It was great and the groom organised most of this one! As the other was my main responsibility, hahaha... It was very relaxed, with drinks the night before at Frollein Langner, a ceremony at the Standesamt Neukolln, brunch at our neighbourghood including loads of live music and performers and finally, a bit of partying for the Karneval der Kulturen. Last but not least, a bus tour the next day for people to discover unusual places of Berlin and lunch at Arkonaplatz.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Team Days at A'dam

Simon, Hinnerk, Peter, Chris, Ioana, Vita and myself will be from today till Saturday at HUB Amsterdam on a HUB Global team meeting for the first time altogether in the same city. Its definitely exciting and there is so much to talk about and work on as we usually only work with each other virtually and skype, google hangout, podio and HUBnet are great tools, but at some point not enough to really feel like a team, aligned and understanding where each one of us stands even if working for the HUB in different capacities and schedules. Loads of challenges and opportunities to work on! And we will miss Gail who is in Dubai, Jennifer in Bogota and Gabiza on maternity leave as well as Ruxandra and Dani who recently stopped working with us.

Monday, April 22, 2013

HUB Strategy Gathering

From the 12th to the 18th April I participated at the HUB Strategy Gathering with three hats: co-founder of HUB Madrid, global virtual host for HUB Global on HUBnet and HUB Associate. These are the photos which show in general the spirit and activities but my personal reflections and questions are the following:

  • Needs
    • There is still a big need to walk the talk to being a truly distributed network as many feel we completed the step of decentralisation but not fully distributed...
    • There is a strong focus on learnings. We have made several attempts but still don´t have a platform and visibility of the learnings happening in the network and the steps to being a truly learning network
    • Change is part of life and we are constantly dealing with it, but it is difficult for the team supporting the network as the operational branch to always be changing and feeling that whatever you do its not enough because someone somewhere in the world will disagree and want something else that what was done or what was about to be done
    • A shift in the purpose and dynamics of our gatherings has been voiced, both the Strategy and the Practice ones, as well as an expressed of a constant role to think strategically in the bigger vision, although the current strategy has not enough visibility or does not seem ambitions enough... but who is going to deliver it?
    • There is a lack of transparency towards the whole network (currently the information goes to one legal responsible per HUB) regarding several issues that does not permeate to all team members. Also, there is need for information regarding team members in the HUB Global Team, how are they recruited or why, the selection process and a sensation of "us" and "them" that should easily be bridged by the team engaging daily on HUBnet.
  • Questions
    • Do we sometimes want "everything" investing "nothing? Or little time, energy and resources? It feels like we do. We are very ambitions people with our purpose but in that ambition we might forget about ourselves and the basics of the Maslow pyramid...
    • How much or how little is enough? A constant tension in what actually needs to be centralised and operationalised centrally and everything else that should or could be done locally around the world or in clusters
    • How participatory do we need to be? Another tension is held regarding the different paradigms of organisation and its rhythms. Sometimes we are not participatory enough and sometimes we are when we should not need to be...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Three Movies

Three movies I have recently seen that touch in different ways the topic of the choices you make everyday that configure who you are... Lincoln, The Lady, Argo. Life, politics, activists, people trying to make a difference, authentic and follow their paths... Beautiful three!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Qué estás haciendo?

Ahora mismo estoy trabajando al lado de Nele Kaprez, una de las co-fundadoras del HUB Berlín, que está en proceso de ser creado. Los miércoles trabajo con ella y quien se quiera sumar en distintos puntos de Berlín aprovechando para disfrutar y evaluar distintos espacios de coworking. En Berlín hay muchos de ellos la verdad, pero en ninguno se disfruta de la magia que sí siento en el HUB, debido a la práctica, a la manera en que se gestiona el espacio y se cultivan las condiciones de colaboración en su comunidad.

Hoy almorzamos con Boris y Jutta Goldammer, dos personas muy profesionales e interesantes que desarrollaron la Academia de Visionarios en esta ciudad. Se financian con fondos de la Unión Europea y si bien antes realizaban one-off workshops, están cambiando su concepto para realizar el programa durante todo el año. Están también buscando gente para su assistantship.

Esta mañana tuvimos también una llamada con dos israelíes de la organización Leadl que quieren desarrollar una conferencia octubre de este año relacionada con la innovación y el emprendedurismo, creando canales entre Tel Aviv y Berlín, Israel y Alemania. Recién están empezando a desarrollarla aunque ya cuentan con mucho apoyo institucional y de varios emprendedores de alto perfil, por lo que les hemos ofrecido algunas opciones de colaboración y contactos que pueden servirles. Me ha gustado su idea de hacer un Start-up Boulevard.

Por otra parte, está comenzando a formarse un equipo para dar un Art of Hosting training Barcelona sobre liderazgo participativo. Ane San Miguel de Bilbao y Elena Rodriguez Blanco en Barcelona están comenzando a trabajar como "callers" locales y están en la búsqueda de "stewards". Yo estoy acompañándolas y guiándolas en el proceso y me han invitado a ser parte de ese equipo, pero todavía faltan una o dos personas más para completarlo. La idea es hacerlo en Junio o Julio de este año, aunque está demasiado cerca.

Por otra parte, con Richard estamos preparando el taller inTEAMacy para prototiparlo. La gente del British Council y la Fundación BMW a la vez que equipos más pequeños de Berlín han expresado interés, aunque todavía nos queda enviarles una propuesta.

En mi trabajo relacionado con el HUB como anfitriona de la comunidad global, hemos lanzado un concurso con motivo de que HUBnet, la plataforma global powered by National Field cumple un año y ya tiene 5700 miembros de alrededor del mundo en ella. Son cinco desafíos que la gente tiene que resolver a la par que hace posts y comentarios al respecto en la plataforma, para impulsar la colaboración y conexión entre las personas.  También lanzamos el documento de "Purpose & Policy" (Propósito y Política o Reglas...?) para guiar a los miembros de distintos HUBs sobre cómo interactuar y sacar provecho de la plataforma.

Finalmente, esta semana he estado realizando trabajo también como HUB Associate, es decir, como coach/consultora interna de la red de HUBs, con la primera entrevista con el equipo de la ciudad sueca de Södertläje (todo un desafío su pronunciación), que si sigue adelante derivará en ser guía para la realización y evaluación de su plan de negocio, pero que empieza con una conversación sobre su visión y el equipo.

La semana anterior tocó el plan de viabilidad de HUB Donostia, que ya va más avanzado en el proceso de due diligence y han hecho un trabajo impresionante, con el desafío que puede implicar para el gobierno el ser 14 fundadores. A fines de noviembre la red de HUBs votará si pasan a ser una Iniciativa HUB o no, aunque me inclino por lo primero.

Friday, March 08, 2013


Yep, I admit it. I happen to be a hopeless romantic and love chic literature. I started to read Wilbur Smith at an early age as those were the fiction book that I could find at my home library. His books are about wars and Africa and conflicts, but also about great love and family. Went on to reading the Brontë sisters and Austin among others while studying English as a foreign language.

As an adolescent I came back from a trip to the US with a carry-on suitcase full of Sweet Valley High to learn more "modern" and casual English and stories. Nothing to compare of course, but made a list and lent the books to my also avid friends. I still have those book waiting in a box and I am thinking if to donate them to a library where I could later on share them with my children (when I have and they grow up of course!) or a school... haven´t made up my mind.

More recently, discovered that a former nearby neighbour after having being an accountant decided to try writing and it went very well. Moreover, she is a big success in Argentina where I am from. I am talking about Florencia Bonelli  who writes also about great loves and identity as I talk about in another post of this blog. Her books kept me company in the long flights between Madrid and Córdoba, via Buenos Aires, via Montevideo and via Santiago de Chile! For her last book, the third of the Caballo de Fuego saga, I bought it at the ibook App or Kindle shop, I don´t remember, but it was my first ebook.

Thanks to her monthly recommendation email and also thanks to Amazon, I have discovered three other authors that I enjoy, specially this summer (December/January in Argentina) and later on hibernating at our home in Berlin's winter (February)... Paullina Simons "The Bronze Horseman" saga and Children of Liberty also goes in-depth not only in the story about a great love, but also in how our identity is configured and shaped by migration, the way spaces (both places and historical times) affect the way we are, the way we live, laugh and love.

Finally, I have gone back to victorian times of London and the travels to end of the world with Laura Kinsale. I have read 10 of her books in one month, literally devoured them! All of them do great research and paint with words historical moments skillfully. Her characters are very different and heroes and heroines are blissfully different in the books. Una observación en cuanto al precio de sus libros, en inglés cuestan entre 2 y 5 euros, mientras que las versiones traducidas al castellano cuestan 11 euros!

I have also enjoyed several books by Susan Mallery  specially Fool Gold´s, Dessert Rogues and Blackberry Island collections. Her stories are more similar between each other as she writes several books in one year! And she is the first author I see that has an App. Downloaded it and its quite cool. On the technology side, Florencia Bonelli has a mailing list and she writes a monthly newsletter with recommendations (many of which are from her Editorial obviously) but her Facebook page is managed by one of her best friends, Loti. Paullina Simons on the other hand, manages her own Facebook page and that is a great difference.

Last European summer I read E.L. James "Fifty Shades of Grey" saga. I was intrigued and the books were interesting as I had never considered the issues described there as game between two people with a safeword but her stories are indeed a bit repetitive and not like the other authors I have to say. Yesterday I got a recommendation email about Katie Fforde. Will check her out on the coming weeks!


Since meeting Richard Hylerstedt at the SenseCamp at the beginning of February, a month or so ago, we have met every week for one hour and developed the concept we both talked about. We followed a very good chaordic stepping stones process that lead us to define the first draft of the website and proposal for this idea that we called "inTEAMacy". We are just starting but both are passionate on the topics of tRuSt, fEeDbACk and pRinCiPles in teams, still on the way to prototype the first workshop, so looking for volunteers! ;-)
"inTEAMacy offers custom-designed workshops that enable teams to explore and work on the topics of trust, feedback and principles. These crucial foundations of teamwork are not given enough attention and effort in most teams, from early stage startups to task forces in big organizations or corporations.

Workshops organized by inTEAMacy provide a break from everyday routine that is completely focused on taking teamwork to a higher level. Our typical workshop is an afternoon session with careful facilitation, for one or more teams of 3-10 people.

Teams typically come out of an inTEAMacy workshop with an improved understanding of their team dynamics and trust, workable tools for exchanging meaningful feedback and a set of team-specific, co-created teamwork principles.

Download our two-pager to learn more about what we do or get in touch at info [at]

inTEAMacy is started in Berlin by Soledad Pons and Richard Hylerstedt, who are happy to bring the concept to where it is needed".

Monday, February 11, 2013


MakeSense always surprises me. Had good conversations, met again colleagues I havent seen for a long time, met new and interesting people, refreshed some views, confirmed others and enjoyed offering a talk on the 4 elements of trust within the Barcamp, discovering its close relationship with feedback with the group there. Maybe an art of hosting training emerges in Barcelona around June with the chicks (Elena and Clara) from Anoderworld!  More photos here

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wedding Planning

A long blog post to write about this, so many different useful stories to share! Will definitely do in time but the main headlines are: online tools to organize including apps, online suppliers, online invitation management, co-creating the wedding for more participation and ownership of the guests, etc. Natalia Roca documented with photographs. Some photos by friends also.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Citizens For Europe

Incredible participatory workshop for Integration Officers around Europe that I cocreated and co-hosted together with the Citizens for Europe team! Find documentation/harvest here along with stories, fotos, best practices, etc. And the new website with the video and all resources!

The “INTEGRA Seminar” has been initiated, organised and funded by a joint partnership of organisations active on local, national and european levels: Citizens for Europe e.V. (CFE), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the Integration Office of the district of Berlin Tempelhof-Schöneberg, British Council, European Network Against Racism (ENAR) and the EU Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.

The event brought together 16 practitioners working in local administrations (integration officers and politicians) from Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland, who met in Berlin on December 6th-7th, 2012 and worked together for two days on
how to achieve a more inclusive society with integration and diversity policies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Weekend in Paris

Even though we tried not to travel too much the second half of the year, its always great to go back to Paris! And more if its to visit family... Musee du Quai Branly, an exclusive visit to Luxluxlux atelier and other interesting stuff... More photos here.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Berlin Change Days

At 4 pm on Friday the two-and-a-half-days gathering called "Berlin Change Days" related to Change Management started with a presentation from Holger Nauheimer on the Changing Ecosystems of Organizations and Companies. Even if I have purposelly "withdrawn" from the event scene in Berlin (there is so much going on in the city that if you could only dedicate to attend amazing events with too much stimula and not focus in your work at all if you are not careful) I chose to attend this particular event as a special learning experience for me.

My desired outcome was to use this moment to learn selectively and I am happy to have achieved it, although in the beggining I was afraid this would be yet many conversations maybe taking nowhere. I take away several valuable tools I didnt know before and that I cannt wait to have the opportunity to start using them and I think I will start at the INTEGRA Seminar for Citizens for Europe (will be working with integration officers from Europe that want to change... rings a bell?).

I think they will be truly useful both in my work as a freelance facilitator, trainer and project manager, as well as for my work within the HUB Network ("where change goes to work!"), which is called Global Virtual Hosting members and is mainly focused on community managing the global platform of 5000+ members and keep the knowledge flowing across the network of 200+ team members.

Some of the topics, ideas, thoughts or quotes I would not like to forget and would like to come back to in the future are harvested here:

Virtual is the norm?
  • 5 principles of the new ways of working to trust: 1) Trust your people, 2) Reward output, 3) Understand the business case, 4) Start at the top, 5) Treat people as individuals. Maitland/Thomson, 2011.
  • Do you want commitment or compliance? You could micromanage, but what for? Is you work location or time dependent or independent?
  • offices of the future, study on new work spaces.
  • All people have purposes, concerns and circumstances, many things are not only resistance to old habits. Time to adapt.
  • Change management has become a commodity. History of change. Meaning quote by Umair Haque.
Clean Space Process, Wendy and Wendy Nieuwland.
  • Facilitating change in organizations. Space is an intrinsic methasphore. Embrace the power of space. 
  • Change the perspective, the experience, the way you think.
  • It is a very structured process of 6 or 7 steps where you have the different levels of the individual to the group conversations. 
The People Side of Change, Chris Perillo.
  • She took us through a really good and energetic workshop where we started by differentiating change from transition, topics I had been deeply involved in in 2010 and hadnt had the time to reflect about in perspective.
  • She also gave us some tools from William Bridges "Managing Transitions".
  • We talked about resistance and reactance responses, what makes people want to change, coaching to influence change, the Force Field Analysis/Action Matrix and the Stop, Start and Continue.
Developing Collective Competence, Doug Gilbert.
  • Although a bit old school in terms of just presentation and little time for interactions, we did speak about the importance of paradigms in facilitating change in organisations.
  • And competence as the collection of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to manage the shared understanding of an organisation or the organisation´s reality.
  • Three dimensions to it: life world, social construction and understanding drives behaviour.
Trust in Virtual Teams, Jouke Kruijer and Holger Nauheimer.
  • The most intresting one for me in terms of everyday work of a distributed team in different cities in the world.
  • Where does TRUST comes from? It starts with perception on appearance, gender, voice, the way you move and ground yourself, the things you say.
  • Richness vs leanness in communications to build trust
  • We often see that we have different personalities when we work online with people!
  • Everything that is a problem face-to-face is magnified in the virtual world
  • It takes an extra effort to build trust virtually, the mechanisms are different
  • There is a relationship between TRUST and safety
  • TRUST is also reciprocal
  • TRUST comes slowly and goes easily
  • Three kinds of trust: 1) Swift trust: task based. You need to have it and you start trusting because you have no choice to work and deliver something but if you dont meet expectations you are out of the team quickly, 2) Cognition-based trust: is more mid-term, do you know what you say? 3) Affect-based trust is long term, there is a relationship.
  • Frequency of meetings as well as tools and ratio of virtual vs personal meetings are important
  • Exercise of the hands and looking at each other in pairs: it works for the most improbable groups
  • Try meetings with funny hats, Christmas party virtually. Do the crazy things!
  • Spending time checkin-in first really pays off
  • Do we know all the media tools? They are the 10% but can really screw-up everything else if people dont know how to use it
  • Slide about the virtual office and its componens: the meeting room, the shop floor, the water cooler or coffee corner, 
  • My contribution: Exploring the links and dependencies of our work together at first, having a check in day where you know other may need to talk to you and you need to talk to others once a week instead of eternal thread of emails, no news is good news? Taking notes when talking on skype not to fall asleep if its a multiple-people conversation. There are four elements of TRUST and the way we prioritize them will make us have a completely different way of trusting than another person: Coherence, Consistency, Flexibility and Transparency.
  • Creating patterns and rhythms of interaction
  • Virtual Leadership
  • Work on being vulnerable in virtual teams
  • How do you deserve TRUST? Trus in distributed teams: determines my engagement, impacts on team performance and contributes to well-being.
  • David Maister formula of TRUST equation: Trust = Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy / Self-orientation (the space that you take at the cost of others, the ego).
On the logistic side of the organization and as this was my first time at this conference and at this campus, I would suggest that the breakout sessions program and rooms are included in the entrance of the building or outside the main room also and not only inside, as it was very difficult to see if one could not start in the beginning with everybody. A description of the sessions at a board/poster on the wall to choose (if you could not hear the pitches) would be perfect too. I also didnt know that the lunches on Saturday and Sunday were not included, that was a bit weird. Other than that I enjoyed the facilities, good location and everything went smoothly. Now that I am writing I also realize it would have been great to have a convergence session or debriefing session where we could share what we had learnt or experienced in the different session and thus "cross-polinize" our learnings. I would have only one or one per day at the end of the day. Maybe it took place and I wasnt there as I could not stay till the end due to work commitments unfortunately.