All those of you bucking the trend and delighting in the early arrival of Christmas would have greatly appreciated the Hub Dot Christmas party on Wednesday evening. The event boasted a unique formula for getting women (and several men) together, endorsing their dreams and showcasing some amazing stories.
Photo: Anna Katina
“We’ve been in Luxembourg for two years now and have created an incredibly strong community,” explained Carlotta Benedetti, a member of the Hub Dot team. “We think in an uncompetitive way and try to break down the barriers of traditional women’s networking. Women come back to us as we’ve forged hundreds of authentic connections. Here, you discover the true person--not a job title.”
Upon arrival, each guest was asked to wear a coloured dot indicating their aspirations for the evening: yellow for those with an idea but in need of help through to blue for those wishing to socialise.
Hub Dot Luxembourg organisers during the group’s Christmas networking event on 23 November 2016. Photo: Anna Katina
Guests were asked to fill in a wish card for a friend, detailing the wish (anything from career mentoring to identifying a great venue for a wedding) and the friend’s email address. These were then hung on the Christmas tree with Hub Dot’s commitment to get in touch with the friend and provide the necessary connections to make the dream a reality.
Benedetti took to the stage with tremendous enthusiasm to introduce a series of 12 “storytellers”, each given 90 seconds to convey their messages before an audience of around 120 people.
Lyna Boyle during Hub Dot Luxembourg’s Christmas networking event, “Make someone happy”, on 23 November 2016. Photo: Anna Katina
Every story was mesmerizing, and none more so than the highly emotional tale of Annica Torneryd, an international leadership coach. She told how she and her children have befriended a three-generational family of Afghanistan refugees--welcoming them into her home, talking for hours, eating together and playing. She brings them clothes, encourages the men to work in her garden to feel needed, and explained that the Afghan mother has no desire to return to her country. Two months before escaping, the Taliban beheaded two of her sons.
Torneryd asked that anyone willing to donate an unwanted microwave, small freezer, chest of drawers or laptop (for language studies) should get in touch with her ([email protected]).
Marta Hughes, a bank analyst at the European Investment Bank sported a purple dot and was full of admiration for the event organisers. “I’m a board member of [SOS Children’s Villages] and this is a great opportunity to talk about the charity and get inspired,” she said. “I always find it uplifting and leave feeling an inch taller!”
Christina Rivellini during Hub Dot Luxembourg’s Christmas networking event on 23 November 2016. Photo: Anna Katina
Amanda Munn sported a blue dot and is a keen advocate. “I always leave with so much positive energy,” she explained. “When you register, you write a small profile which the Hub Dot team use to identify like-minded people. I’ve been introduced to Joanna and we get along really well!”
Joanna was equally enthusiastic: “This is such a fantastic opportunity to meet other open-minded women. You can talk freely and without any emotional baggage.” This heart-warmingly inspirational Christmas party was like no other, and I for one will be returning next time round without my journalist’s hat.