35 conversations later…

Every now and then we need inspiration. Some feel inspired by watching a movie, others by going for a walk and others by reading a great book. I personally feel inspired by talking with people that everyday are challenging the status quo and making sure they leave the world better than they found it.

I was very fortunate for having the chance to work as a community manager at Sandbox right after college. Sandbox, now called Thousand Network, is a community of extraordinary people under 30 from all over the world. For 7 months, I had the chance to directly contact hundreds of amazing people, feel inspired and challenged by them and see the positive impact they were having in the world. This was a pivotal moment in my life, that set the foundation for lots of the things I’ve been doing since.

Sandbox Global Summit Lisbon 2012

5 years later, I felt the need for a new flood of inspiration. I miss dearly the calls that I use to have at Sandbox to welcome new members and I wanted to feel the pulse of the community again. So, a few months ago, I decided to reach out the community and talk with 100 members of the Thousand Network in 100 days.

I knew my goal was almost impossible to reach, but I also knew that I would be happy to have a handful of calls. 100 and some days later, I had 35 AMAZING conversations (mostly via skype, but some in person) with Thousand Network members from all over the world.

I had calls in airports, in hostels & hotels, at the office, at home, while driving and in at least 4 different countries. I had calls that only lasted 20 min and others that took over 2 hours. I had calls with members that joined Thousand Network only a couple months ago and with members that have been around for more than 5 or 6 years.

35 conversations later, I’m a richer person.

I have been asked about what I learned, but it’s really hard for me to accurately describe everything I’ve experienced, learned or felt. However, a few things are very clear.

5 years later, Thousand Network is still a family. A lot has happened over the past few years, but the essence of the community is still here. We are a bunch of good people, doing great things without losing our own identity. Thousand is our family, the “place” where we can be true to ourselves; the safe harbour that will always be there. No matter if you are talking to an “older” member or a “new” one the values and mindset are the same.

Sandbox Lisbon Retreat 2013

At the same time, I also confirmed something that I was already expecting. We all LOVE to travel. For some reason or another, in 90% of the conversations, we talked about our need to travel. Of course, conversations were very much influenced by my own views and questions, but I believe it’s fair to say that we are all part of a generation that is mobile and that looks at the world as a sandbox to make things happen. I wouldn’t call us a generation of nomads yet, that might be too much, but we are quickly becoming more and more mobile.

And finally, it’s legitimate to describe Thousand Network members as purpose-driven. I’ve talked with people that were in many different stages in their life. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what we are all looking for. Lots were in transition and lots were looking for that “Je ne sais quoi” that will make their life worthy. Some are looking for a more impactful job, others for a more balanced life, other are looking for bigger challenges, while others are looking for a change of scenario. In the end, as individuals and as a group we all aspire to something bigger than ourselves.

#1 Thousand Network Porto Open Dinner

I’m really grateful for all the conversations I had over the past few months. Thousand Network was and still is the “place” where I feel most at home. Thank you all for being in my life!

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Applications for Thousand Network Porto will be opening very soon. E-mail me at hello@inessilva.me if you want to be contacted when applications open.

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