A review of the Kickass (Wo)men event and the magic of CoWomen

Kim – November 2018

This morning I took my „Kickass (Wo)men“ shirt out of the closet. I saw it and I just felt like this one of those days: A day I remember that I am Kickass and that I can do almost anything together in a strong team. I remember the day of the Kickass (Wo)men event. Not only the fantastic evening, which was absolutely unique thanks to the community of CoWomen, but also the hours before the event.

Every team member was electrified and thanks to the many helpers* it was possible to turn the room in the Alte Münze into CoWomen’s Kickass Wonderland within a few hours. For those who might not have made it to the event, I will try to sketch the scene. Around noon I open the doors of the room and look at a lot of people who are all doing one thing: supporting each other and having a lot of fun. Some prepare the bar for the evening, others decorate the room to give it a certain CoWomen charm and the group of international artists* is slowly but surely building their exhibition, which will only find its premiere in such a combination today.

I go out again to do some errands and come back to the grounds of the Alte Münze at around dusk, already now, pastel-colored lights shine from the glass walls of the gallery where we were allowed to celebrate. I enter the room and can hardly believe how fantastic it has become. Lighting, flowers and matching balloons are very convincing, but in addition there is the diy decoration, which sums up that this evening is from kickass (Wo)men for Kickass Women. A couples of moments later we had a team meeting in which Alexa, Hannah, Sara and Kat give the helpers their task for the evening and the magic of the CoWomen community, almost by itself, takes care that this certain inspiring energy spreads in the room. This CoWomen energy that simply motivates and inspires.

Soon the first guests arrived and explored the room. However, some of them told us that the entrance to the building is blocked by an eternally long line of people who want to go to a parallel techno event. That was definitely a problem, we already had a few hurdles during the preparation, but they were limited to buying 30 limes, although lemons were needed *easy*. This was a bit bigger, because our Kickass (Wo)men now had to pass a queue of people that was almost a hundred meters long. This could get pretty confusing because the actual entrance was blocked with security checks, but we wouldn’t be CoWomen and wouldn’t be celebrating Kickass (Wo)men, if we let this stop us. Together with Hannah’s parents I went to the entrance of the Alte Münze and we looked for our Kickass (Wo)men, who were standing a little lost in front of it or lining up bravely in the queue, assuming it was for our event. We brought our guests to the right event, bit by bit past this hurdle towards the evening they were eagerly awaiting. That went on for a while, but together we made it and the evening started on time.

The opening speech of our three founders reflected the heart of this community with the known ease and energy. The invited Kickass (Wo)mae listened eagerly to the new plans and future projects Hannah, Sara and Kat talked about this evening, for the first time in public. CoWomen is moving to larger rooms and a new area to provide more rising women the community offers, work space and creative opportunities they need. About the whole area shone as this fantastic message stood in the room. Our great supporter Brigitte Zypries picked up on this moment and gave an exciting speech aimed at young women. I remember her saying something like, It’s not about thinking about the next job, the next offer or the next opportunity, it’s about just doing things because guys wouldn’t think about it that much either. I have already found myself in this willingness to make decisions, but since the Kickass Women Event I carry this thought even more clearly in me.

My absolute highlight of the evening was the premiere of the CoWomen crowdfunding video. A project that was conceived and brought to life by an energetic team and will hopefully open the next chapter for CoWomen. Another highlight was the interview recording of the Leading Rebels Podcast with Cilia Kanellopoulos, Head of Social Innovation of the Vodafone Institute. Kat actually managed to get the interview with exciting questions and insights into the world of an inspiringn woman from the sound strength of the evening and a crowd of spectators formed around the Leading Rebels. The mood of the evening was absolutely fantastic and was accompanied by the cool beats of Stella Zekri, Juan From Nowhere and Couleur. Either I met exciting people and was busy networking or I practiced my coolest kick in the kickass corner. The later the evening went on and everyone slowly drank out their CoBuzz (that’s the CoWomen cocktail created just for this evening – delicious and forever in memory), the more people gathered around the photo corner and we even made it to get a team picture at the end of the evening.

When I look back at this event about three weeks ago, I know that CoWomen is the necessary and unique concept for rising women. I remember the evening and see what these three inspiring women created with a team in a very short time of planning and in a day of setting up and that is almost unbelievable. But the fact is: it’s possible and it’s fantastic.

CoWomen is the space where one person and their very own project can grow, together with others and with the necessary support. This space has to be realized to bring projects like the Kickass Woman Event to life, because at a CoWomen event like this we meet, we connect, we inspire each other and help us grow. For me, this energy is the proof that the CoWomen community and its network of rising women, who support each other and help ech other progress, is the best thing that can happen to a woman.

 

Photography by Sophie le Roux | www.sophielerouxdocu.com | @sophielerouxdocu


A dose of mindfulness

In our fast breathing time it is daily business that we jump from one appointment to the next. A quick cup of coffee in the morning or one to take away from the café at the corner so as not to be late at all. Around noon we notice that there was no other breakfast yet and we hadn't even thought about lunch. How should we, if our days are filled with exciting projects and meetings.
Unfortunately or perhaps luckily, we are not cacti and need a little more care than the prickly houseplants for which it is enough for us to remember to water them every few weeks. But how do I take care of myself and how can I perhaps transfer this mindfulness to the people who are important to me? Mindfulness is a special form of attention. If we want to try to be mindful of ourselves, it means that we want to become aware of how we feel in individual moments and which decisions are good for us. Further, mindfulness means listening into ourselves and allowing ourselves to arrive at individual moments to perceive what we need and what we need less. I have learned that it is incredibly important for me to remember the importance of the thought of mindfulness with myself. Actually each of us knows what is good for her or him and what is less, that only falls from the edge of our plate.

For me the last past weeks were filled with several signs of these influences and decisions that aren't really mindful and yet, it's absolutely not easy for me to set a point and realize that I should realign my focus again. This may sound exhausting and a lot of upheaval now, but it's not really. We don't always have to pack our bags and organise an expensive spa holiday.

I've decided to incorporate little moments of mindfulness into each of my days. I think everyone has different needs here, maybe it's just important to consciously decide for something and really be there. While on one day I decide to call an old friend and just talk to her for a while, on another day I want to take a break and walk alone in the sun and bring my thoughts to rest. For the next week, for example, I would like to build in a little meditation/yoga/anything with a sports break. I very often forget how relieving it can be to power yourself out again. I especially like to actively work on my perspective of mindfulness and it is very good for me to be inspired by the special energy of workshop impulses and to learn how to deal with myself more consciously. I remember drinking a glass of water, eating some fruit or when there is too much going on, the people around me take over. I think it is important to take care of each other a little and to be able to recognize the needs of others. We should stop every now and then and take a conscious break from which we step out with new energy. Today I decided to put my moment of mindfulness into writing instead of coffee, a cup of tea next to me and a day with an exciting to-do list that I can manage well in terms of time. So you can say that today is a mindful day.

 


Go get it, Girl

Go get it, Girl

Kim – June 2018

Just a few weeks ago, I was browsing job portals looking for a job that would allow me to learn and grow. I was looking for something more challenging than my flexible life as a student is demanding at the moment. I really don’t want to complain about my studies, I love it, I just lack the concrete feeling to work towards goals and to participate in a project that enriches and fulfils me.

A student job had to be found, but the proposed offers as a customer assistant in a call center or more opportunities to work in the gastronomy disillusioned me a little. Where was the kind of growth and experience that I felt such an urge for?

One click further, on a new website, I came across CoWomen’s job opening. It sounded interesting, powerful and full of energy. Without further hesitation, a few moments later i sent my application and hoped that there would not be twenty other applicants for this position. A little later, this day, i updated my emails and already found an email from CoWomen. I think this was probably the quickest response I’ve ever received to an application. I was terribly excited before the interview, but when I got to the CoWomen Pop-Up, I replaced the tension with just being myself. And so, we sat outside eating ice cream in the sunshine and chatted. A trial working day followed, on which I felt very welcome and after a few more days of process the trembling finally came to an end.
Hannah welcomed me to the team.

I am proud that I had simply sent off my application to CoWomen, and even though I was terribly nervous and had actually doubted myself all the time, I could convince. After this short time, I was able to accompany the team of CoWomen and participate in their process I’ve learned a lot.

I am surrounded by new perspectives and topics that I kind of heard heard of before,  but that I didn’t really feel involved in . The phenomenon of a strong female network already became a fascination for me on my first day at work. One meeting after another, Sara worked on expanding CoWomen’s reach. After another work session with Kat, I thought about my, so far subconscious, concept of communication and anyway after every sort of „CoWomen-Input“  I am constantly asking myself questions, which never really filled my head before.

The night of „Women of Greateness“ fascinated me completely. It’s just great when rising women come together and share their experiences. Each of them has its own background and personal topics, but in the CoWomen community they all bring together what unites them: female greateness.

As I’m writing this, I’m experiencing another day at CoWomen, which influences and changes me and this confirms that I’ve arrived at the right place.