You would think that on 1st of January, all the Year in Review things are finished by now, didn’t you? Well, at Aspire we like to keep things fresh and we really did stuff until the very end of this beautiful collection of months, called 2022 or Our Best Year Yet. So, let us get into it!
Aspire Summer Programs
We welcomed 100 more gifted individuals in our community this past summer! Through our programs (Aspire High School, Aspire Academy & Aspire Professionals), that ran from 27th of July to 3rd of August, we got to freshen up the sense of purpose in the lives of high schoolers, undergrads & fresh graduates and young professionals.
We had amazing lectures and workshops guided by extraordinary speakers & professsors, such as Sam Potolicchio, Steve Jarding, Emily Skinner, Chia Jung-Tsay, Mircea Geoană, Alain Hereux & Dani Oros. But we also had fun with tango classes, hikes, yoga sessions & even some cracking of consulting cases, with our partner, Kearney.
Not to mention how 50 Alumni joined us for the week-end and it was legen-wait for it-dary 😀
For the 2023 cohort, we will start the application period in February, so stay tuned for an unforgettable experience!
Aspire Graduate Program
Old flames never die. This is also true for Aspire Graduate Program, an Alumni-only event that happened in the last week-end of November 2022, in a paradise-like place – Casa Vlăsia, Snagov. This event was possible due to the kindness of Nucleu de Bine (Nuclearelectrica), whom we thank for giving us wind beneath our wings.
Superstars like Sam Potolicchio, Ciprian Stănescu, Ana Murray, Alexandru Agatinei, Doru Curoșu and Daniel Iacob accompanied 50 Aspirers into creating some 2023 Promises that aim for a higher impact on the world – we talked about charisma, social entrepreneurship and sustainability.
We had some live music, networking & nostalgia in store and everyone left with a clear thought and an accountability partner along the way.
Aspire Global Week-End
Between 8th and 10th of April, we celebrated “Creativity in the Age of Technology” with 50 Alumni in Milan.
We had countless aperitivos and our learning appetite kept only growing and growing as we had the honour to have lectures with speakers as Mihnea Gheorghiu, Chief Creative Officer Publicis Italy & Le Pub Amsterdam or Daryoush Goljahani, Google Cloud Head South Europe & Emerging Market SI Partnerships.
We saw the Dome too, of course! 😀
Aspire Mentorship Programs
Every year we run one or more Mentorship sessions, between our extraordinary Alumni community. Between March and June we had 30 such connections formed and here is how Aspirers feel about it:
After such feedback, it was especially easy for us too to see that we need to create one more Mentorship program in 2022 – so 1st of November marked the start of the second cohort of the year. This time, 35 relationships were set by us. Stay tuned for following their journey as they are still comfortably trapped in this until 1st of March!
Aspire Christmas Ball
This year we won the Oscar!
It is true! At this years’ Christmas Ball, 17th of December 2022, the theme was Red Carpet and everyone had to guess (based on given clues) which movie they are part of and then, find their cast & crew colleagues during the night.
We ended the year in the perfect way, with over 120 participants from very diverse Aspire generations. We laughed, reconnected and danced till the morning.
Aspire Community Day
Earlier that day, we celebrated the idea of community at Sheraton, Bucharest.
Over 15 non-profits and 45 incredible Alumni & extended community members joined us in a human library format to talk about concrete actions towards UN SDGs & join forces into creating even more impact together!
5 tables, rounds of 20 minutes of discussions on the clock and their feedback was amazing. We cannot wait to organize another one in April/May, this year!
We know Aspire people are everywhere. Here is the „where” of 2022, to be more exact:
From Royal Ascot-ing and visiting Van Gogh immersive expositions, to human libraries & brunching in Camden, our Aspirers did it all. We celebrated 1st of December 2022 with Carl Honore, International Bestselling Author on The Power of Slow, which is one of our best highlights of the year for sure.
We understood the process of roasting the coffee at Dropshot, we grasped Value Stream Mapping with BISM and we got to meet the brothers that created the powerful Fratelli franchise.
Among our hangouts, we have to also mention visiting the DoR office (read here an article about one of our incredible Alumni that Cristi met through Aspire), a beautiful side event of How to Web conference, an inspirational talk with Mihnea Gheorghiu at Centrul Comunitar Zi de Bine.
Of course, we also meet randomly at other events throughout the year (like Unfinished Festival, Rethink Summit, How to Web, LSRS conferences, VSFA events, etc).
Conquering the world
Our Alumni also met in Amsterdam and dined in Bruxelles & Copenhagen. Some even got to New York. And Singapore. And Nessebar. And Lisbon. And the list goes on, because wherever there is life, there are also a couple of Aspirers, in search of exciting adventures and powerful (re)connection with other Alumni.
Aspire Online Talks
As to engage with our community fully, offline Embassies are never enough. Reconnecting is possible only online for some, so we ensure we create a context for Alumni to meet in this type of setting as well. In 2022 we focused on „Finding our Why”, with guests such as Florin Ilie, Deputy CEO of ING, Elisabeta Moraru, country manager of Google Romania and Louka Parry, CEO & Founder of The Learning Future (you can read our blogpost about how last Talk went here).
Aspire Online Book Clubs
Prototyped last year between Aspire Professionals 2021 Alumni, our book club called Bookspire X had 3 meetings so far.
Every month we are reading a book from one of our beloved current/future speakers’ recommendations (Sam Potolichio’s shelf, Dani Oros’ shelf & Louka Parry’s shelf).
In 2022 we read & discussed together „Four Thousand Weeks” by Oliver Burkeman, „Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse and in January we will debate the ideas from „Recapture the Rapture” by Jamie Wheale.
We were selected in the Transformator program, initiated by Social Innovations Solutions (thanks, Ciprian Stănescu!) and we were one of the winner of 25 hours of consulting with big international non-profits, to be commenced early 2023.
We are so thankful for all the lessons from there & for meeting like-minded peers from diverse industries.
We were invited & participated at external events like Gala Directorilor from AVE, Rethink Summit, FațăÎnFață & more. We are so so blessed!
Resolutions for 2023?
This year, our Alumni shared with us job opportunities, they asked for/gave advice, they travelled together, shared secret conference discounts, mentored or mentee-ed, recommended their Aspire friends to cool jobs, crashed the couches of others… they basically checked every criteria for being in a committed romantically relationship with Aspire :D. And we hereby testify that it is the healthiest one of all, so you can bring on the enthusiasm for 2023!
We need to thank our partners & sponsors that make everything that we are doing possible: Băneasa Shopping Center, Black Sea Trust, Vodafone, Kearney, Nuclearelectrica, ReWine, NextGen, MidoWeb, Bound, Maria Invest & Zizin. Starting from 2023, you can donate to Aspire from our website, here.
Each contribution gets us closer and closer to our mission of discovering & developing & connecting leaders from Romania & beyond. You can find here the report from the 2021/2022 season as well.
Having an ever so engaged community in the eleventh year of our existence means that 2022 was just a start that will deeply contribute to us sticking through thick & thin in 2023 & beyond. We only wish to keep creating contexts for wonderful people to connect & write the story of their lives together.
We wish all of you, Alumni and Extended Community members, an incredible year!