Aspire Global Weekend London 2019 – Highlights & Main Takeaways
Aspire is all about the community and the amazing connections among its people. These connections never get started by themselves, they emerge from all the Aspire events, ranging from the summer programs in Romania to the Aspire events around the world.
On this note, in 2019 we absolutely smashed the attendance records in the entire history of the Aspire Global Weekends!
● Largest Aspire networking dinner abroad: 40 friendly foodies
● Largest Global Weekend Conference: 70 curious minds
● Largest Aspire house party: 50 souls under one roof!
● Largest number of attendants from outside of the UK: 25 Aspirers from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Romania and Switzerland
And we created a vibe that spread from the participants to everyone involved:
“I was inspired by how much these young people care about their future.” (Mark Truman, CRO at EdgePetrol – Speaker)
Furthermore, we were honoured to have two of the Aspire founders among us. Alexandra Copos de Prada and Alex Radu shared how they dreamt about Aspire 10 years ago, the core values around it, how their dream became a reality and how beautifully this community has grown over the years.
Trying to match the participants’ wide diversity of interests, we invited speakers passionate about entrepreneurship, AI, technology and cryptocurrency. So, let’s catch a glimpse into what our speakers inspired us with!
Mihai Danila, VP at BlackRock
Mihai shared his journey from university to his current role in investment banking. He emphasized how easy it is to replicate and how everyone can do it with a bit of determination. His best piece of advice for both students and professionals in any field:
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your organization. Not only they will make time for you, but they will happily help you achieve your goals and share from their experience. So write an email to that big boss and ask him or her for a coffee. There’s no harm in trying and the outcome might surprise you.”
Michael Rolph, CEO at YoyoWallet
Michael walked us through a story of risk and uncertainty around following his dreams and his gut feeling. He believed strongly in combining marketing with payments, raising money to build a platform and his ability to cope with the problems that arose along the way. Having constantly been faced with tough choices, he talked openly about leaving a well-paid job when his family needed security most, learning to think bigger and struggling with demanding investors. His main piece of advice for future leaders:
“Don’t fall in love with your decision when you’re the decision-maker. Think you’re always wrong.”
Mark Truman, CRO at EdgePetrol
Mark talked touched on the core of our theme: how to uncover new opportunities. He shared the failures from his first jobs and the drivers and the mindset that helped him succeed further on.
“What we need to do if we want to achieve our goals is to bend ourselves and shape ourselves to fit in a role. That’s the valuable part – learning and growing. Don’t get into a role that fits you like a glove unless you want to be stuck in for 3, 5 or 10 years. There aren’t many opportunities for you there”.
Ankur Modi, CEO at Status Today
Ankur described the increasingly pressing need of large companies to improve employee performance, productivity and, ultimately, well-being at the workplace. Using machine learning techniques, high-levelled algorithms and psychology, he finds patterns in human relationships, behaviours and collaboration networks to detect issues such as overworking.
Mel Gelderman, CEO at Monolith
Mel found in blockchain a solution for the issue with the current financial system: lack of transparency and power with regards to the banks using people’s savings. He talked passionately about shifting the paradigm – moving from corrupt human institutions to objective and reliable code, P2P lending and offering people a higher return on their deposits and more security. He also walked the talk by showing us how this can be easily done through an Ethereum wallet.
Of course, by now you should already be curious about how the event looked from the speakers’ perspective? Don’t worry, we asked Mark Truman for a brief interview:
Why did you accept our invitation and join the event?
I enjoy passing on both good and bad experiences to help other people avoid my mistakes or win better & quicker.
What did you like the most?
The people – you had a room full of people who care so much about their future. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room where I could feel this so strongly. Everyone was willing to listen and learn and I had great conversations with the participants both before and after my speech.
Do you have any advice for the Aspire’s blog readers?
Don’t change. Keep that growth mindset, keep bettering yourselves and don’t lose the enthusiasm – it is extremely valuable. You might not get exactly where you want, but you will get so much further in life with it (the enthusiasm) than without it. Giving a shit is half the battle.
But in the end, if you were to ask our participants about their favourite part, it all gets back to reuniting with old friends and meeting new people:
“I enjoyed the most getting to know new amazing people, who came as friends of the community, reconnect with the members whom I already knew and deepen these friendships. I do feel like some of them will last forever, even though forever seems like a very long time. One word to describe the Aspire Global Weekend: diversity. Being part of Aspire makes me feel I have a way bigger family. I always wished for a brother or sister – my wish has finally been granted!” (Raluca Bacinschi)
We all love our community and every event that bring us back together help us remember the important role Aspire played and still plays in our personal development, professional growth and networking opportunities.
“I loved reconnecting with people and meeting new Aspire friends and I super appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this!! Thank you so much for ensuring that the Aspire community lives on.” (anonymous Aspirer)
So… we cannot be more than extremely happy to inspire and motivate other people with the same ideals and values to join our community and become part of this big family we empower and support in Aspire:
“You knocked it out of the park, this was an impressive event and your hard work paid off. Thank you for letting me take part. I was especially impressed by the two original founders in the last session. I’d like to get involved with Aspire in the future and will likely join the next summer program!” (aspiring Aspirer)
It was great to see you again, old Aspire members! And a big welcome in our family to all new aspiring Aspires that we met during the weekend!
Author: Sab Caziuc