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A fresh start to a new semester: Our Kick-Off Weekend

The rootlinks organizing team, which had already arrived on Friday night at the house we had rented for the weekend, was organizing the last few things when the first new rootlinkers arrived at the house to stay for the weekend. After a few minutes, 22 people with various study-backgrounds, different thoughts and opinions were welcomed with a drink after a covid-certificate check (that made it possible for us to meet in person). What all of them have in common is their passion to become sustainability changemakers and to work on a challenge, rootlinks had facilitated for them.

Their day began with getting to know each other, and the organizing team a little bit until their first presentation about “What Sustainability actually is?” started. The interesting input by Naveen Shamsudhin was followed by inspiring conversations with two changemakers for sustainability. After the talk and motivating interview, everybody reunited to have lunch together, getting to know each other even better by engaging in diverse conversations.

Following lunch everybody was able to take a little break or play volleyball at the court of our house. This energized them to head for another input session where they learned more about the learning journey at rootlinks! After that, in the afternoon, we went on a walk through the woods with two guides teaching us about forest mindfulness and how to live in the ‘Here and Now’. We learned by walking barefoot, by doing artworks together, by blindfolding and guiding each other around trees and by balancing ourselves with a rope.

As we returned, our vegan dinner was ready and everybody got to engage in new and inspiring conversations again.

But the day was not over yet! After a round of speed dating, to get to know one another a bit better, we headed for a cozy bonfire experience, with a few beers and wine!

After the fun-filled evening of conversations and jamming around the bonfire, day two of the kick-off weekend started off with a refreshing session of yoga to help us all to calm down and get ready for the day.

The first session of the day led by Ronja and Philipp was about the essence of personal development at rootlinks, which helped as a smooth transition into the workshop about non-violent communication led by Sonja from empathiestadt. The engaging workshop was able to stir up emotions when we got tips from Sonja regarding how to improve our communication skills, the key to any relationship and teamwork. The two and half hour workshop left us with learnings about how to receive feedback to focus on others’ needs and tools to understand the root cause of conflicts.

Sonja from Empathiestadt Zürich

This was followed by a vegan lunch where we all gathered again and had conversations along with a hearty meal . After eating together, the participants got a chance to have a closer look at their own personality which is indeed crucial for establishing effective team work!

Over one and half days the participants got the opportunity to interact with everybody, but now it was time for the participants to get into their challenge teams and connect with their coaches for the first time.

After grabbing a bite of cakes and brownies, the participants and coaches made the best of the opportunity to set a foundation for their work over the semester and define the working strategy of the teams.

The weekend ended with a quick-round up where everyone shared their feelings about the weekend and meeting each other, and the mandatory group pic! 😉

Until next time, every wednesday till the end of semester. 😊

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