Although it is tempting to call Appsterdam the next Silicon Valley, it is our goal to emulate what has come before, but to improve upon it. One of the key differences between the Appsterdam movement and other attempts to create technology centers is our support for families.
Appsterdam Family Weekends are family-friendly events held every other week that give App Makers a chance to network around something other than alcohol. Common events include family game days, where people bring their favorite board and card games to share, and field trips to the city’s many attractions, including the NEMO, the Artis, and the Hortus.
Together with midweek daytime lectures and nighttime drinks, Appsterdam Family Weekends form an overall networking strategy that ensures there are a social opportunities for all App Makers regardless of scheduling constraints. As opposed to other local meetups, Appsterdam events are open to everyone interested in apps, regardless of technical expertise.
There are several benefits to bringing App Makers together to foster conversations. It is fundamental to making plans for more complex initiatives. It helps people to form the personal and professional relationships necessary to build support structures for success. It also helps foster a collaborative community that eschews dehumanizing legal disputes and market disruptions.
Family Weekends in particular serve to deepen the bonds between App Makers, as well as form bonds between families. One thing that seems to be a constant in our industry is the challenge our working presents to our loved ones. These events help them form their own support systems, the way military families do.
As with military family organizations, there is a secondary benefit for families who move to Amsterdam to be part of what’s happening here. Having an immediate support structure helps them fit in, and having contact with other people who know about things like housing and school helps them adapt.
Another secondary benefit to involving people’s families is that it automatically increases the diversity of our community along gender and age lines, while making it friendly to non-technical people. This presents a friendlier, more inclusive atmosphere for all manner of newcomers.
As a core initiative, Appsterdam Family Weekends are grassroots gatherings with all expenses being covered by participants on a case-by-case basis. It’s one of the many free benefits Appsterdam provides that are for the community, by the community.
Appsterdam Family Weekends are planned and run by the volunteer staff of the Chief Community Officer.