Weekly Recap #25: Taking a deep breath.

Phew, this week was looooooong. I’ll do my best, but honestly I can’t even remember what happened on Monday. 😳

Anyhow, welcome! I am Harry and I am part of diesdas.digital — a fresh digital agency in Berlin. Each week we summarize what happens to us and what we learn. Although what follows this time might not be what you expect … the post turned out to be rather personal, summarizing my week instead of equally representing the views of the others — which is why it’s posted on my own account and not the company one. Enough of the disclaimers though, you’ve been warned, brace, brace, we’re getting started!

This week had it all: A flight to Basel, project stress, coding, designing, teaching, workshopping, HTML5 ad banners, conference calls, building out an online shop, lots of Snapchat, a birthday, dinosaurs … but honestly all that felt small and irrelevant to me in the light of Thursday’s “Brexit” referendum.

The company blog might not be the perfect place for political commentary, but I really don’t feel like posting photos of happy people, holding coffee cups, obviously enjoying a very privileged life while all this is happening next door, with the political and economical repercussions affecting us all for years to come.

I spent my last four summer holidays in the UK and Ireland, returning again this September and I used to work with British folks on a daily basis — so what is happening on the island and how it’s deeply divided, separating itself from the rest of Europe and dragging 48% of the population, who voted to stay, with it, deeply saddens me.

It’s a complex matter. I believe in the idea of a united Europe, but I also see the flaws in the overly complex structure that is the European Union today. What came to the surface through the referendum poses many difficult questions to which there aren’t any easy answers. This post won’t attempt to provide those, obviously, but I tried summarizing this week in the usual recap style and it just felt wrong to skip over one of the most important political events of our lifetimes.

Personally I consider myself to be a European much more than a German and each time I travel within Europe I am amazed that there’s the same currency in most places, that I can move around freely without a visa, that I could theoretically work anywhere in the European Union. And also from the perspective of our company, it’s utterly fantastic that we can (and will) assemble a diverse, international team with people from different places, speaking different languages, bringing in unique points of view. I fear we take a lot of these achievements for granted and don’t appreciate them much until we wake up one day and they’re suddenly gone.

I also believe in the idea that cooperation and seeing the bigger picture, working together, even though it might occasionally mean agreeing to difficult compromises, is more important than (most) individual interests. In a nutshell, that’s also how we run our company.

Sure, all this talk is idealistic and it’s easy to scoff at those words and dismiss them as detached from reality, clinging to an abstract idea of the EU that’s merely described in some text books, but in reality has long been superseded by corruption, bureaucracy and economic interests. But politicians and governments come and go and I find it dangerous to shortsightedly bash the current manifestation of the EU, protesting against specific people and specific events and thereby inadvertently burning bridges that cannot be rebuilt. Protest and hearing critical opinions are important, as all healthy systems, be it a democracy or a company, need to be open to reflection, critique and iteration. But what is happening in the UK just seems too drastic, too erratic, to foresee the consequences.

Obviously in the office we have also been selfishly wondering how all this will impact our company, be it the economic ramifications or working with people from the UK. Could make matters more difficult, could also be chance. As always, only time will tell. I hope what happened on Thursday merely serves as a warning shot. 🇪🇺 I believe in these tiny blue and yellow pixels and the huge ideas they represent!

Let’s work towards a better Europe, no matter how small our individual part might actually be. Let’s make use of this situation for renewal and let’s remind ourselves what the European Union can be! Being idealistic is not necessarily childish. We’re all in this together, let’s make the best of it! 🙌

Alright. I don’t feel it’s possible (or necessary) to append much to these last paragraphs, so I’ll just attach the photos originally meant for this post and next week we’ll be all lighthearted and joyful again. Take care, have a nice weekend, maybe take some time to reflect and see you next week. ✌️