Incubator107: An Authentic Romanian Concept
'The Place Where Anyone Can Teach Anybody Anything'
Photo : Incubator107
The concept incubator was first developed in Bucharest and is synonym with creativity and innovation. The project brings together people that share the same passions and interests, and also provides non-formal education to those interested in personal and professional development. All this is made quite clear by their very suggestive motto: ‘Incubator is the place where anyone can teach anybody anything’. And when they say anything, it literally means that since at incubator we can learn through dedicated workshops about music, dance, handmade objects, theater play, sculpture, emotional intelligence, ties, interpretation of dreams, soap bubbles and so on. And still there are lots of ideas waiting in the ‘oven’, as Veronica, one of the incubator107 staff, pointed out. Furher on, it’s very important to know that the workshops don’t have a target-public, and anybody can join any workshop.
Generally speaking, all the activities are projected as an alternative to going to the theatre, watching a movie or dancing at a club because you have, as we can see during their monthly party - Nocturna, all of these packed into a single event and delivered in a very welcoming manner. They say this is an experience you must live in order to understand. I must admit they are right. For example, I myself found there a very pleasant atmosphere, filled with creativity and new views on life. I have seen old things presented in a brand new shape and what I suppose is the best thing is the fact that all the people were involved and had a constructive approach to what they did, while the public was mainly open and sociable.
This NGO has experienced great growth in the past years and has opened new branches in five major cities throughout Romania, including Brasov. All these organizations have their specificity, let’s say – a local flavour, even though the way of organizing the events, the set-up, remains pretty much the same. They share a well-known event, Nocturna, which is a monthly party taking place during the night which offers music, dance, socialization and board games besides interactive workshops promoting the activities for the next period. I have already attended this event three times and I must admit that everything there is both useful and fun. Last time I attended the party in a suit, since this was the dress-code for the night. This was funny and serious at the same time, funny because all of us were so well dressed, recalling the period at the beginning of the 20th century, but behaving in a different way to the dresses, being very open and happy together. And what I find amazing is that for each of these events the volunteers from incubator invent a story of its own, thus bringing novelty and a large amount of creativity to each Nocturna.
The workshops are selected in accordance with the theme of the month. Take as an example the Nocturna this month, May 2013, when everybody dressed in pajamas. Moreover, for the next period they have in mind new stuff such as a party dedicated to children in June, another with sports, one with a musical theme and one resembling the communist period, which I must admit sounds quite intriguing.
Another aspect of the project is that in the future the organization from Brasov is planning to provide workshops dedicated to employers. These workshops will be designed as an alternative to the traditional kind of teambuilding. For example, if a company has employees that have some difficulties in working with details they can offer a workshop dealing with handmade objects in order to develop the employee’s level of attention.
The concept that stands as a basis for their activities is of Romanian origin, or as Ana-Maria said: ‘authentically Romanian’. I have to say that in a globalized world I find quite amazing to discover something that is not borrowed from somewhere else in the world, but which can still be put in practice in foreign countries all over the globe. For this reason, the team is open to spread their ideas and views, this being the reason why they are going to host two volunteers from Austria and Turkey, who will live in one of the cities where the organization has headquarters and then they will do the same stuff as they saw in Romania, but in their native countries, their presence here being a sort of training. Octavian said that this is because they want everyone to have fun as we do have here and this is something that sounds quite appealing.
Anybody can join the organizers, since Veronica, one of incubator107’s staff was at the beginning only a guest herself. It didn’t take much time until she was interested in giving a workshop and, after a while, becoming part of the project. As my interviewees underlined, it’s a very enthusiastic team, and they support each other heavily.
If you want to find out more or aim to be in touch with what happens then I strongly recommend visiting their website: brasov.incubator107.com or just searching on Facebook for incubator107brasov. Here you’ll see news about their events and workshops and also you will find a description of their purposes and how you can become part of the project. Not in the least, I want to give thanks to Octavian, Veronica and Ana-Maria, all of them volunteers in this project, for helping me get an insight into their activities.