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Co-working at The Base: Shaping Serendipity

A woman on a mission: community member Sheila Hicks aims to bring together a group of co-workers at The Base Library once every month, to work on their own projects... together. “Free Lunch Friday” is not like any other day in the office. It’s about meeting new people from different companies with different backgrounds and skills for a day of co-working outside the office.

What brought you to this idea?
S: I am a firm believer of serendipity - the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it. From my own experience I can tell you that I’ve experienced most of my serendipitous encounters not at my own office or working at home, but at places I expected it the least and resulting from accidental encounters often with complete strangers.
Here at Schiphol we have more than 65.000 people working for more than 500 companies. Think about it, all those people with different backgrounds, professions, qualities and skills….what incredible knowledge and value captured in an area of approximately nineteen square kilometers. What if we could lend a hand to elements like “chance” and “luck” and help shape serendipity by increasing the likelihood of unexpected and valuable encounters?

Why do you think this is important?
S: I’d like to have a shot at this, because I truly believe that diversity and face to face meeting is the key to inspiration and future innovation. By working together and sharing knowledge I believe we can create things we couldn’t imagine creating on our own. By truly connecting and interacting, I believe we can make each other become stronger as a person and a professional.
A change of scenery from the usual office and the usual colleagues and an opportunity to be inspired by the new stories, knowledge and skills you encounter over a cup of coffee or lunch with the other co-workers. “Free Lunch Friday” is also about sharing ideas and sharing knowledge so each “Free Lunch Friday” will be topped off with an inspiring lecture or brainstorm session on a topic of interest.

Where does the name “Free Lunch Friday” come from?
S: “There is no such thing as a free lunch” is a popular English adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. I would love to prove that the opposite is true: joining “Free Lunch Friday” is free and can bring you at the very least some new connections, but at best it can bring you inspiration, new ideas and who knows what else.
Literally, Free Lunch Friday means that coffee, tea and lunch are complimentary for everyone attending the event. Spot Schiphol will sponsor this project.

Where can I sign up?
S: Those who would like to join me on this quest to try and shape serendipity at Schiphol and, who knows, find some valuable or delightful surprises and create the unexpected can sign up for our first event on 17 February: https://spotschiphol.nl/nl/events/free-lunch-friday-workplace-of-the-future

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