A history of constant change


On the weekend of February 9th and 10th, the Stay With Me team gathered to start a new chapter in our story. We know that we have said that a lot of times, and sometimes we never actually stated what this chapter was. But with Zoya Penwell having joined our team, we think that another chapter has begun. I met Zoya when I started my studies in Groningen, and we became a heart and soul while studying together. However, then I left Groningen, but Zoya was always there to help us out, for example during the New Roots Party Series or during Festivals. Now, finally we could convince her to join us, and she already built this Website, which we think was more than necessary.

With this in mind, Zoya, Karolina, Julian, Clara and I met in Berlin, in order to discuss fundamental strategies, organizational issues and the like. There was definitely a lack of sleep, but the results of this weekend were mind-blowing.

One of the most important and interesting results of the Workend as we called it, is our new organizational structure. This structure allows each of us to have their set and defined role for Stay With Me, and thus there are so called “Working groups”, which our team members then can join based on their interests, wishes and most importantly; capacities. In order to illustrate this I will take Karolina as an example. She has the role of the organizational manager, and is responsible for putting strategies into actual actions. Moreover, she is part of the working group of Social Media, Marketing, and Workshops. We now have defined roles and working groups for each member and for each area that we work in (Festivals, Products, Blogposts etc.).

Another important result is our redefined mission. We sat down together and discussed our approach regarding sustainability and sustainable consumption. What we then realized was that what makes us distinct from other sustainable firms or organizations, is that we do not dare to demand of the consumer to live perfectly sustainably, as we found that we ourselves have a lot of problems doing so and find it impossible to do so in the 21st century. And, what does sustainable consumption mean either way, I mean there are so many trade-offs, and different ways of doing it. So we find that our strength is that we do not just want to put pressure on the consumer, but we want to offer platform to empower you to demand change yourself, and to show you how you can demand change. Not only by choosing more sustainable options (you have to accept that sustainability is a road without clear destination), but also by being inspired by our creative collaborations, by engaging together with us, or by showing you how and where we think structural change can be achieved with the help of your voice.

We started Stay With Me in 2014 as recent high school graduates, but now we have come to a time where we think it is necessary for Stay With Me to professionalize and to enter the market of change. For this reason, we already have a clear goal in mind, but the next few months will be dedicated for us to become routined with our renewed organizational structure, and refined goals and vision. Moreover, we cannot forget to mention our attendance at the European Youth Event in June, which will be a lot of work for us.

Soon you will understand what the things I wrote about mean in practice. We know, we need your support along the way. Without you we would not be the organization we are today.

Your hardworking SWM team, occupying Berlin's coworking spaces until they close!

Your hardworking SWM team, occupying Berlin's coworking spaces until they close!

Henriette Reinhardt