Brussels Bites: the story behind the scenes
Join Brussels Bites at the Indonesian embassy on the 24th of March for a diverse lunch and more insights on the charitable activities of Mercy Ships.
Hello dear friends! Last week I met a special person in the Marquis Building, Brussels. His name is Leo Exter! Leo is one of the designers of a 3 days event called ‘HACK BELGIUM’. I am so curious about what this event actually is and why should we (you and me) HACK this lovely country?
I saw the USSR basically disappeared from out of my eyes…
Leo was born in Moscow many years ago, and then he studied in the US and he came back to Russia for his first job. This first job brought him to Belgium in 1999. “I saw the USSR basically disappeared from out of my eyes when I was 15. So that was pretty significant shake up and it is what I think is going to happen to the world as a similar magnitude of changes are going about for completely different reasons. But even for a sort of small, quiet, normal country like Belgium, this thing is going to happen. Not because of internal reasons, but most likely because of external reasons such as technological progress, climate exchange, or a combination of both. The biggest changes are still to come. If you’re not prepared to serve the way of change, you will get swamped by that.” Leo explains.
Why should WE and not the government ‘HACK’ BELGIUM?
Leo emphasizes that WE, as citizens (startups, students, local business owners and each of us), have to take the responsibility to embrace the change. In his own words: “It not up to government, it’s up to us!”
Further, he confesses, “We have the capacity to change a lot faster than the government. Government is a rigid mechanism by definition and statement that they have to do a very specific job. And they have been doing the job fantastically well, as far as it happens in Belgium for the past few decades. What I mean is that the government is not designed to change quite as fast they need to, and as citizens we all have capacity to learn and adapt our mind in a short time scale.”
HACK BELGIUM is more relevant to small and medium enterprises
“What we see is, people who are coming to this event are people from large corporates, from small corporates, we see a lot of freelancers, we see a lot of developers and designers but we don’t see enough the small and medium enterprises. We don’t see the local shopkeepers, we don’t see enough the farmers,” Leo states. According to him, this event is even more relevant for small business because the big company have more ability to absorb the ‘punishment’. The small businesses living one season to the next… they must be able to change faster otherwise they are gone. “The main purpose of HACK BELGIUM is to teach people to adapt to change. To show them the necessity and to give them the tools to change effectively and very quickly!”
Idea’s matter and people with whom you collaborate your ideas with matter even more.
As Leo says, “Having an idea feels very good. But it has zero value if it is just in your head. So it’s not the idea that you have at the beginning, it’s the people with whom you developed it and how your idea evolves from one business to the next and then into work. If we look at what the big digital companies today, they work differently than how they started at the beginning. It is the capacity to change that make them survive. During HACK BELGIUM we will meet the people with different perspectives from different views and skill to execute your ideas. Idea’s matter, people with whom you do it matter even more!”
When I asked about the experts participating in this event, Leo tells me, ”We have been working for one year and half for this event to make sure that we bring the experts who do know what they are talking about, who practitioner, who do things they talk about everyday. So that they have the best hands-on experience you possibly need.”
Are you coming? 3 days to reinvent yourself, your idea and business!
On the first day, there will be 30 plus workshops that will improve our ideas. We are going to work, we’re going to listen to presentation of the expert, what’s happening in their field, what they’re seeing, the big changes they are seeing happening. And then you come up with an idea within the group of participants. “What to bring?” I asked. Spontaneously he answered, ”Bring your open mind! Secondly, bring your social skills and use them to meet completely different of people. They may drive you nuts, but the perspective they bring that is completely different is very valuable to any business ideas that you already have. At the end of the first day, the participants will choose the ideas and be in a team of four and six people!” On the second day, the experts will help us to support the idea and do research from perspective of market, technology and business. We’ll exhibit our ideas and the experts will execute the idea of our team, showing how we can bring it to the real market, business and technology. Finally, on the last day, we’ll get the presentation skill to do the presentation to the group of people from the same areas. The goal is to get their feedback and strengthen our idea.
Enjoy 500 free tickets!
Dear friends, will you be one of those 1000 people making this country and the world better and do that at scale? Leo and his team invite you to join the three day event HACK BELGIUM. For those with limited budget, they provide 500 free tickets. Those free tickets do not include the catering. I will absolutely be one of the 1000. I thank Leo at the end of this conversation.