the unleash project – insights from the kick-off weekend

We sense there are more fulfilling ways of working at the personal, team, institutional and societal level. We want to explore together the attitudes, skills, knowledge needed to create new ways of working for the 21st century. This is why we developed the unleash project, an open source, transformative, cross-sectoral and experience-driven learning program that empowers people to thrive in the paradigm shift of work of the 21st century.

Last weekend, we started with the first session of the unleash project. About 50 people from different sectors (NGOs, Social Businesses, Co-Working spaces, etc.) came together and explored the attitudes, skills and knowledge it takes to move from careers to vocation. The goal of this kick-off was to dive into the topic, the euforia methodology and to co-create the program that will follow in the first half of 2017.

Thomas Vellacott, CEO of WWF and the changemaker and HR specialist Carine Leuthold gave valuable inputs to different questions: Why is a paradigm shift needed in organizations and the society? What trends are coming up in the working environment? What new capabilities do current and tomorrow’s leaders need? In a World Café we discussed possible answers and solutions.

Moreover, we gained deeper understanding about the different paradigms of organizational thinking with the most current one emerging: Teal Organizations. We learned how to work effectively without hierarchical structure and to see organizations as living organisms where the wholeness of individuals at work and Self-Management are in the center.

Different concepts and their implementation
During these two days we experienced the different methodologies we use at euforia, mainly the Theory of Group Dynamics from Will Schutz (FIRO), the PEMS model which helps us to approach the needs of different kinds of personalities (Practical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual) from Daniel Sa Nogueira, Radical Collaboration from Tamm and Luyet or the concept of Experiential Learning. We experimented those and other concepts with facilitation, coaching and deep listening exercises.

We also treated the importance of wellbeing and purpose. We are convinced that personal wellbeing and an intrinsic motivation are crucial to flourish at the workplace. This topic goes beyond a good work-life-balance: it’s about seeing ourselves as part of an ecosystem where not only our personal wellbeing matters, but also the interpersonal relations and values are central. Greta Rossi from Akasha Innovation introduced us to the tool “The wheel of Life” with which we analyzed our personal wellbeing and dived deeper into the subject matter with a peer-to-peer coaching session.

In the evening, Tariq Al Olaimy hold a Share & Grow Night about Biomimicry, an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.

And now? The future of the unleash project
With all those insights in mind, we co-shaped the future of the unleash project. Find here the program of our weekends in January, February, March and May.

We are extremely touched and grateful for these two days and want to thank everybody for collaborating, engaging and being fully present! We’re looking forward to having you all again in the January weekend and also welcoming new faces!

Find all information about the coming sessions and the registration form here.

Join "Recipes for Wellbeing" next wellbeing retreat!

An increasing amount of research points to the rising levels of burnout for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. Reaching this point of extreme physical and emotional fatigue inhibits changemakers’ ability to thrive and to create positive change in the world.

Recipes for Wellbeing wants to find solutions to these challenge by creating and spreading a culture of wellbeing in the field of changemaking. How can you get involved? Go to our online platform to discover a diverse collection of recipes to cultivate wellbeing in your everyday work and life.

If you want to take your commitment to wellbeing to the next level, JOIN our next wellbeing retreat in Palermo, Italy with fellow changemakers from Europe and the Middle-East. It will take place from the 18th (11am) to the 20th (9am) December. The participation fee is of 100 euros and you would need to cover for your train/flight, the accommodation is all covered by Recipes for Wellbeing. This is a unique chance for you to start 2017 with a boost of wellbeing.

Want to join? Write an e-mail to alessia@euforia.ch.

What wellbeing can learn from the tribe space…


On the very first "Share & Grow night" I brought in the topic of wellbeing as a collective focus for everybody who is engaged in euforia. "What makes me well?" is an important question to answer not just for the people working at euforia, but in particular for the volunteers who give their periodical full energy, heart and time into projects they really care about.

So how do we navigate in wellbeing? Where can we find methods that sustains the kind of wellbeing and that does not stay on the surface?

As i went through the Kaospilot training, part of the education was also go through a programme called the Council Guide Training. The Council Guide Training is a Native American teaching about tribal life tools, methods and protocols.

The training takes 3 years to conduct, and I learned a great deal about what makes the difference from learning things that stay on the surface to what it means (and takes) if we want to work with deeper and more profound layers of learning and wellbeing… Wellbeing in yourself, in your relations as well as in your community. I also learned that these ancient ways of understanding and being in the world holds pieces of wisdom that we can still greatly benefit from today.

So in the first "Share & Grow nigh" about wellbeing, this particular friday evening, I decided to bring in some of these tools, some of the atmosphere and some of the practises that I found valuable to share. I was curious about who was gonna show up, and how they would receive this slightly peculiar and strange approach.  

But when you work with euforians, you also know that you work with a bunch of openminded, openhearted and curious people, which makes it always a joy to bring in new things. Therefore the connection, the personal learning, the closeness and the density of care and trust just kept growing throughout the evening. It was in the end an evening where I learned as much as anyone else in the room.

I was blessed with having people around me open to learn and to explore what really matters to them. Each person learned something profound for him- and herself, and together we learned that one of the things what really matters in life, is for all of us to always and continuously refine that internal listening and interpretation system, that allows us to better understand the signals from our bodies, the impulses from our hearts, the energy of the spirit and the waves of our emotions. This is the way to make sense of our experiences, take authentic actions and respond truthfully to our surroundings.

The feeling from this evening and from this group has been preserved in me, and it still touches me to see that we human beings somehow belong to the circles, that we need a community to support and challenge us, and that we need go grow an ever deeper connection with ourselves if we want deep or powerful wellbeing to exist in our lives.


Our dear "booster" Sidsel organised the first "Share & Grow night" for our volunteers. The next one will probably take place in November 2016. We'll keep you informed!

Crazy Lions in les Marécottes — euforia´s first Wellbeing Retreat

Take a deep breath in. As you breathe out, cross your eyes, stick out your tongue as far as possible, leap forward and roar like a lion. Repeat a few times. Notice how a strong and fierce energy fills the room. Also notice the laughter of all the people around you.

The “Crazy Lion” is just one exercise we used during the wellbeing retreat to explore the fierceness and fears within us as individuals and within our group of euforians.

The 3-day wellbeing retreat in the mountains around les Marécottes is one of the ways in which euforia is pushing forward on its quest to make wellbeing an integral part of the organization. What do I need as an individual for my personal wellbeing? How can euforia support the wellbeing of its staff and volunteers?

We explored these and many other related questions by looking at and experiencing different understandings, dimensions, and strategies of wellbeing. While Jerónimo and Michelle had put together a general structure of the retreat, we decided together as a group how to fill the days with discussions, exercises and practices related to wellbeing that were most intriguing to us.

In different workshops we discussed and provided insights to each other about priority setting, energy management, the concept of neotribes, and feminine leadership. Through various mindfulness exercises we focused on the relationship between us and nature and our surroundings in general. Yoga and meditation were offered every day to explore our relationship with our bodies.

Hotel Balance was the perfect setting for all these activities and the beautiful mountains and nearby hiking trails were an open invitation for us to (re-) connect with nature. All meals were vegetarian (with vegan options) and so smashingly delicious that all 17 of us flooded the kitchen on the last day of the retreat to personally thank the cook.

We left the wellbeing retreat with our heads buzzing with ideas and intentions to integrate simple wellbeing measures into our everyday life – at home and at work. As a very first step to spread our insights of the weekend among the euforia community, we are currently putting together a “recipe book” full of “wellbeing hacks” that we collected during the retreat.

However, the greatest lesson of our days together was that finding your personal wellbeing mix is most fun when you do it together and share your wellbeing journey with a friend. Venture out and find a wellbeing buddy or group of friends with whom you want to figure this out together! Enjoy nature together, share with them your meditation or yoga experiences, share with each other what you are grateful for, practice mindfulness together, and - most importantly - be crazy lions together!

We want to be the greatest place to work

We are pleased to announce that we have been picked to undergo the wellbeing audit by Great Place to Work, to show off our talent development and wellbeing policies. Both, our permanent staff and our most active volunteers, will be surveyed and given the chance to assess how we are doing on those important aspects.

Great Place To Work boast a hall of fame of "about 6,000 organisations of varying sizes, industries, maturity and structures representing more than 10 million employees in 50 countries" globally. It's a hundred of them just in Switzerland.

Auszeichnung für beste unternehmen im generationenmanagement

Jedes Jahr zeichnet Great Place to Work® in einer Award Ceremony die besten Arbeitgeber der Schweiz aus. Dieses Jahr wird erstmals der Sonderpreis „Zukunftsorientiertes Demographiemanagement“ verliehen. Great Place to Work® honoriert in dieser Kategorie zusammen mit euforia und dem Magazin „50plus“ Unternehmen, die sich im Generationenmanagement verdient gemacht haben.

Als Vertreterin von euforia wird unser Chief Euphoric Officer Chantal Calame die Nominierten und Gewinner auswählen und am Awardabend gemeinsam mit Kurt Aeschbacher als Laudatorin präsentieren. Die Verleihung findet am Mittwoch, 13. April 2016 im Kaufleuten in Zürich statt.

Wir freuen uns sehr, als Partner von Great Place to Work®  die Generation Y zu vertreten und innovative Unternehmen, die sich für eine generationenübergreifende Arbeitsweise einsetzen, auszeichnen zu dürfen.

Weitere Informationen zur Preisverleihung hier.