I just came back from one of the most interesting events I’ve attended in quite some time. It’s been 3 long years since I met Nico, one of the Sandbox network cofounders. It was at a pre-party at Leweb and I can still remember his words when asked what was he doing: I’m building a network of extraordinary people under 30. I remember because it stroke a bell inside me. I had been thinking about the idea of creating a private club of people I valued and what Nico was describing to me had many resemblances with what I had in my mind.
Some people I know have been very bullish about the concept. The whole notion of private club or private and elite network is something that makes a lot of people uneasy. Nevertheless, I truly understood what Nico and his partners were trying to achieve. It wasn’t about the notion of elite, but about the idea that small groups of like minded people are way more efficient that big heterogeneous groups. Needless to say that when Nico offered me to be a member and ambassador for the network I was more than thrilled.
Now fast forward to last weekend and you can see the result of 3 years of effort and improvements to the Sandbox network, the Sandbox Summit in Lisbon. The event brought together 200 of the 600 members the network currently has. But while most might think that Sandbox is a closed environment, nothing further from the truth. Those 200 representatives came from 32 different countries. Representatives that spoke, in most cases, more than 2 languages, have lived in several countries and are working in mind blowing projects all over the globe.
If anything, the sandbox crowd is the most amazing and inspiring hub I have the pleasure to be a part of. The summit was a clear example of the sandbox mentality, helping others. Even though it was coordinated by one of the Sandbox cofounders, the amount of sandboxes that helped out was amazing. From cardboard designs to venue accommodations, people getting visas for other members, people helping with the government officials, catering, media coverage, etc. To the point that all talks where given by and for Sandboxers. From ideas generation to social entrepreneurship passing through martial arts and black market economies modeling, all talks were amazing and very interactive. Not only it was enlightening, but an incredible bounding experience with different cultures, countries and backgrounds.
One of the major goals for the network in 2012 is to grow its membership worldwide and turn Sandbox into a massive incubator for groundbreaking projects. So if you are under 30 and are working in extraordinary things or you know someone that is, don’t hesitate in reaching out to your local sandbox ambassador for information.
Sandbox, thank you for an unforgivable experience and let’s rock the world!