Mrgn: A different kind of meetup

One of the things that surprised me when I discovered the tech and entrepreneurs community in Berlin was the incredible number of opportunities to learn and meet people that were available.

There is a number of user groups and workshops for specific technologies, such as the Ruby user group; up.front, a monthly meetup for designers; or the Mini Game Jam, in which people get together to work on games. Some focus on beginners, such as Rails Girls, or Open Tech School.

Rails Girls Berlin workshop at co.up coworking
Rails Girls Berlin workshop at co.up coworking

While there is a huge variety, one thing is common to most of them: they take place out of work hours, either in the evening (typically starting at 7pm) or on the weekends (most hackathons and workshops are organised on Saturdays). This is ideal for a lot of people, that can go to work and then go to the user groups as part of their free time, but not so convenient for others.

Some people, for example, have a family waiting home. Some simply prefer to go full on personal mode when they leave the office, do sports or meet friends. Others are more productive in the evenings, and prefer to dedicate that time to work.

Besides, work related meetups are work. If attending these events is going to help you do your work better, doesn’t it make sense to use your work time to do this? Many companies send employees on conference trips, isn’t a developers meetup or a workshop about an specific technology, similar in a way?

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Mrgn is a monthly meetup for technologists and entrepreneurs in Berlin organised by Asquera, a software development agency for which I have been doing project management for a few months, and supported by SysEleven.

Mrgn is different to other meetups in Berlin because it happens in the morning (Note for non-german speakers: Mrgn is short for Morgen, morning in German).The idea is to meet in the morning, at 8:30, and listen to a talk and have breakfast with like minded peers.

We held the first Mrgn last Thursday. The place we chose for this meetup was the ThoughtWorks Werkstatt, a beautiful workspace not so far from Alexanderplatz, that is open for community events. They use space as a way to sponsor the local community, and they were very helpful during the event (wave). Our first speaker ever was Mariusz Ciesla (@dotmariusz), the founder of Lifetramp, who shared with us his thoughts on remote work.

Mrgn at ThoughtWorks Werkstatt
Mrgn at ThoughtWorks Werkstatt

Mariusz talked about the death of 9 to 5, the barriers one needs to fight when working remote (communication, things like buying things or updating tasks list) and some of the solutions and tools he has found work for his remote team.

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You can see the talk slides here; they are a delight to see and have some quotables, but don’t miss a chance to have a life talk with Mariusz if you ever see him around. People (more than 30 people!) left happy, and the feedback has been great.

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If this sounds like something you may be interested in, keep an eye on @mrgnberlin or join the meetup group to know what’s next. Mrgn will take place regularly on the last Thursday each month, so the next one is planned for the 31st of July, just before Eurucamp! I hope to see you there. And if you are interested in giving a talk, feel free to reach me to tell me what you have for us :).

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