Spiela was in Berlin from the 10th to the 14th of April for the closing summit of the Youth Transatlantic Initiative. This fantastic initiative, run by the United States department of state, is a way to foster better relations between European and American entrepreneurs. The whole theme of it is to make our ecosystem more collaborative. I was in a cohort of 90 other people from different countries and cultures so it was great to learn so much.

We arrived in the early afternoon at our hotel, the NH Collection Berlin Mitte. This is a unique area in that we were staying near the check point of east/west Berlin. Since the World War 2 up until 1989, Berlin was divided into two parts, the East and West, with the West being run by the French, Americans and British, and the East controlled by the Soviets. The West was much more prosperous and in or out of the East, you would need a visa. It was fascinating finding out about the history, the Nazi reign, the Soviet period, and its eventual downfall.

After we got a tour of the history, we then spent the next 3 days doing breakout sessions. This involved listening to speakers such as Andrew Rabens, the head of global youth policy for the US department of state. We visited startup incubators such as Social Impact Hub Berlin and worked with some of the local startups there about their own ecosystems. We finished off the 3 days networking with industry leaders and each other, with the hopes of building our own collaborative ecosystem for the future.