1. Day one. Dubl-in.
What if someone told you tomorrow you will have lunch in a swimming pool and dinner in the train station? If this were before June 2015 – I would have thought joke. Any time from now- i’d say: sure, let’s go to Dublin.
Swimming pool is a historical layer beneath Eurofound canteen – bordering tiles can still be seen (shame I was lazy to take photos, Razvan maybe?). And nice lunch we had there – thank you Mary, Fiona and Juan Menéndez-Valdés of course. Condolences to everyone who missed on sweet potato – coconut soup. Only Michele would understand what I mean.
Meeting itself was fun (video conferences with Adobe connect is always fun), informative (tour de table always makes me wander why everyone else is able to present accomplishments and I always talk about ongoing processes) and inspirational (data visualisation tool that helps Fundamental Rights agency demonstrate that Denmark is the country with the highest percentage of physical and/or sexual violence, closely followed by Finland and Netherlands, and Eurofound uses the tool even more successfully – since I could read explanations about their data sets in Lithuanian (Estonian lessons came later in the day). There were some spooky moments – exchange of experiences with malicious Chinese internet crawls – on which we agreed to come back later and better prepared. Also at the time when I thought that EPSO was using all possible tools for digital marketing FRA told they’d like to start using reddit, and EP of course already have experience with it. No surprise, they even managed to push Martin Schulz into Linked-in influencers scheme, very very well done, I wander if EU careers could piggy-back on it?
2. Day two. Linked-in.
Linked-in have open office space, gym on the third floor and massage on the fifth (because they stopped praying as you can deduct yourselves from the notice), green phone booths for meditation and sauna-like benches with patchwork pillows for weekly management team meetings. oh, also coffee and bananas à volonté for all employees.
But most important – they’ve got a vision. The one that needs to be regulary polished:
Linked-in hosts (Director level as it appeared later!) talked sense, mentioned they are doing things pro bono, since they genuinely want to provide economic opportunities to every member of a global workforce. I’ve got some ideas on how we could maybe join our forces in making this happening – needs to be followed up, maybe with Nicolas Bruyns, account manager with whom we flew back to Brussels where he lives. It’s him helping EIB to be helped by Linked-in their recruitment process (since EIB is not being helped by EPSO in this process – anyone knows why?)
3. Dun Laoghaire. Social.
Dun Laoghaire apparently is the place near by which Bono lives, and when you arrive at midnight during full moon, notice “blood donation headquarters” sign in your Royal Marin hotel, you might easily miss the table indicating that toast masters meet there (hence the first photo). Crawling through fences (sorry, Margarita) and rushing people to the lighthouse because you miss a couple of thousand steps on your fitness tracker (sorry Robert and Veronica) – that’s also Dun Laoghaire.
Dinner at former Dun Laoghaire train station: absolutely delicious food in an absolutely delightful company. Ben got his presents: anti-superstar-spell cravate and E(s)tonian way to say twelvemonthslong (koks-tastes-good it is, for those who missed the DLTSDLC, aka Dun -Laoghaire-train-station-dinner-language-course). He also got a room with a sea view, to which Valerie was even not allowed to upgrade after his check-out. We’ll miss you, Ben. (Or shall I sometimes call you Rebeka*?)
All in all – two days in Dublin where successfull and enriching from professional, personal and commercial point of view. Marc’s daughter was singing in a decent outfit in Strasbourg cathedral this Sunday and I have my Orla kiely bag. Beautiful!
Thanks Robert, Valerie & Fiona for great organisation, all others for great company, looking forward to meet you next time.
p.s. the only thing I was slightly dissappointed with is the fact that no one seemed to share my enthusiasm over Netherlands entry in 1993 Eurovision contest. I will paste it there anyway- and maybe will write another blog post about why I find it mind-head-and-heart blowing:
* As for why Ben could some times be called Rebeka – it’s something he confessed to me about on the day of departure. But I’ll leave it to him to explain this.