Love thy neighbour

On Friday, hundreds of enthusiastic, tech-savvy entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs descended on Q Theatre in Auckland for The Leap. The Leap was hosted by Robett Hollis and Andrew Ferdinando, looking to bring together impressive speakers from around New Zealand and create a forum for individuals to network with their peers. Usually these types of events are a passive learning experience and you’re lucky if you manage to meet someone you’d actually keep in touch with. But this was no ordinary business event.

In amongst the wisdom bestowed on us by each speaker, The Leap hosts picked people from the crowd at random who courageously pitched their businesses, ideas and needs in the hope that they may find a lead or solution to their current challenges. The energy, the generosity, the atmosphere of this electric crowdsourcing approach was felt by all. No matter how much online access to information we have or how we are always connecting and sharing via our devices or Social Media platforms – it is in THESE moments that you physically feel the value of face-to-face, in person contact. Community is no longer simply defined by where you live and who you know in a network attached to your place of work or school. The Leap and experiences like it, redefine what constitutes a community and how these days we have even more opportunity to feel that sense of belonging we all crave and to build relationships around a particular interest. We all felt a commonality at The Leap; we swapped business cards, war stories, and celebrated the wins – granted, all of this could be gained online yet it simply can’t compare to the physical and emotional shift felt by all who attended.

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