2022 Recap: The Year when peer learning became an Everyday ritual

2022 Recap: The Year when peer learning became an Everyday ritual

2022 has been a year of great agility. It was the opposite of smooth sailing, we had some hiccups and great wins, and held on tight to what’s most important: resilience and innovation.

Our resilience is rooted in our people. We’ve been moved by their trust in themselves, in our community and in Braindate. They were the wind in our sails. Because of incredible people, we were able to remain resilient by continuing to innovate with our human-centric mindset in everything we do, and to stay aligned with our long-term vision.

Our theme of the year was “Scale the dream” and this optimistic mindset allowed us to propel our mission of transforming how humans learn from each other around the globe with the launch of our new ritual to connect and share Everyday.

Anyone else remember discussions earlier this year, where we were all riding waves of uncertainty, trying to define what the world would look like in the winter? Hybrid, or not hybrid? This prickly question was beyond events, the workforce was also unsure about going back to their HQ. Many questions surfaced as we redefined post-pandemic standards, and we had no choice but to find answers, new ways and try to do things differently.

For us, we started with redefining a new brand identity, tackling the bold launch of a new product: Braindate Everyday, all this alongside the return to live events for a 2nd season. We’ve been creatively strategizing how to best engage your audiences while ensuring the delivery of long time projects such as web accessibility to help make our technology more inclusive.

Our brilliant team accomplished it all, and it couldn’t have happened without the support of all of you. We are humbled by and proud of the trust you put in us once again. Our willingness to deliver excellence for stakeholders and challenge the status quo will never stop.

Here’s a review of our most iconic projects and learnings of this year.


How we changed the world in 2022, inside & out

At Braindate, we see our mission is bold yet simple: to unlock human potential. We believe in the intrinsic worth of every person and we value their knowledge and experience as essential to humanity’s greater progress. We believe that we all have as much to learn from those around us, as we have to share.

Braindate’s thoughtful and intentional approach to bringing the right people together in meaningful learning contexts allows for the magic of self-directed, experiential, and collaborative peer learning to come to life.

Braindate facilitates genuine exchange between curious and questioning individuals; we allow people to walk away from their conversations invigorated and inspired by newfound friendships, communities, and collaborators.

Our vision is alive and well beyond our dreams, here’s how we changed the world in 2022.

2022 Braindate Global Impact

2022 Braindate global impact
Braindate traveling journey
New feature highlights
Braindate event tour

Braindate, Braindate, Braindate

After years of using our parent company name, e180, it was time to refresh our branding and to bring Braindate to the forefront… It can be an arduous task to take on examining your entire brand identity, but the reward of anchoring more deeply into our core values was a reward we’ll take any day. For us, there was no question: we couldn’t alter the strength or compromise the vision of our existing brand while building a new one to scale our dream.

The power of a strong brand identity relies on how long it stands and the consistency in its relevance year after year. We challenged ourselves in the definition of our new self, but we came to the conclusion that the value system we had in place was still highly relevant in these times, and we want to keep the three distinctive attributes in which we anchored our work : peer-learning, human-centered and collaboration.

Briandate values
Braindate new brand colors 2022

We also took this chance to revisit our brand colors, transition our online presence to a new dedicated website to Braindate, and grew our brand awareness on social platforms by asking braindaters to tell their stories on videos and on G2 review site. This whole rebranding exercise reinforces our belief in what we do, Everyday.


Everyday

When we launched Braindate, our clients were intrigued by our talk on “peer learning”, but kept trying to bring us back to their concept of “networking”:  a transactional view of relationship building, where the number of business cards you collect is a reflection of your success. For us, it was important not to let go of our core belief that the value of meaningful conversations lies in building long-lasting relationships between humans beyond the conversation itself and that we should continue to offer value beyond networking.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a significant shift in our prospective clients’ perception of our services. They now come to us *because* we offer a peer learning solution with a strong focus on community-building and they now realize that peer learning value and impact go beyond events.

This year, we made a long-time dream come true: we launched our newest product Braindate Everyday: a solution that amplifies learning and well-being in organizations by empowering employees and community members to connect over knowledge-sharing conversations – anytime, anywhere, everyday.

From onboarding to engagement to retention, Braindate Everyday has been designed to support people throughout their time in an organization or within a community. It’s a vibrant tech environment where members feel excited to regularly share and seek out knowledge and are encouraged to get to know and engage with each other on an ongoing basis.

braindate everyday banner

Tea Time, the art of creating rituals of gathering

Back in the days, when we were still going into the office, one of our favorite rituals was tea time. At 3pm sharp, our CEO Christine could be seen in the kitchen, brewing up a fresh pot of tea. It was our time to come together as a team and just talk. We miss this ritual. So, we decided to go back to it. This time, we invited you all to join us.

We recreated this setting in a virtual environment by welcoming our team and community of clients, followers and friends to join us. We promoted conversations around the world about the future of hybrid events, lifelong learning within organizations and the importance of mental health for event professionals.

Inspired by these memorable moments, we’ll continue to gather people around engaging topics in 2023. Get ready! We’re adding to the conversation new partners who are advocating for a shift in education and adult learning.

Braindate tea time

Events are not dead

In 2022, we saw the return of live events, but we faced a decrease in overall in-person attendance by almost 40% versus 2019. However, this fall proved once again, if needed, that in-person events attract the most engaged audience and deliver the highest value for attendees.

Despite the economic uncertainties for 2023, we will see the return of in-person events to the pre-pandemic level. But what has drastically changed is the participants’ behaviour. With the new way of work, most of us are more present at home, and we tend to make last(ish)-minute decisions to travel somewhere. We’ve noticed this change in mindset impacts attendee preparation and the capability of event organizers to plan. We have to rethink the way we communicate and how to onboard new participants.

Ultimately, for us,  it’s all about intentionality and our ability to make attendees feel inspired to take self-directed initiatives as active participants in our events.

The return of live events in 2022

Among the best of the internet

This spring brought us unexpected great news. We were nominated for two Webbys.  Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet.

Out of 13,000+ projects submitted globally, Braindate was selected in the top 10% under two categories: Best Event Management and Best Science and Education.

This news infused so much energy across our teams internally and within our dear community. Thank you so much for all the support through posts and articles we saw during that period.

What a privilege to be recognized among the best in what we do. Congratulations to NASA and Calendly for winning the two categories, it was an honor to be nominated with you.

People's voice Webby Awards - Braindate nomination

5 years of B Corp, and counting

As a certified B-Corporation since 2017 and among the first in Montréal, thanks to the thought leadership of our founders, we believe in practicing business as a force for good. This means that we care just as much about building a profitable business as we do about making sure that the solution our technology offers has a positive impact on the world.

We are proud to have been renewed in December 2022 for the third time as a certified B-Corp – see here our results – and you can count on us to continue advocating and improving our social impact because this is what the world needs.

Braindate certified B corporation

Accessibility rules

Being a B-Corp, it wouldn’t have been in alignment for us not to be able to deliver our services to all humans, regardless of their abilities. However, making products and services accessible requires an investment that includes human resources, time and finances.

We first started assessing and improving our project internally in 2019. The pandemic forced us to delay this purpose-driven initiative but we maintained our goal to reach the highest industry standards following the WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

After months of optimizing every section of our platform with the added help of experts, we eventually reached our goal. The truth is, accessibility is an ongoing goal and process as you need to continuously improve every time you update your solution while maintaining the highest standards.

For us, accessibility is an essential long-term commitment that can only provide ongoing success for our business while helping create a more inclusive world.

Braindate accessibility rules

La Cabane has a new address, and you are all welcome

In 2020, our Co-Founder Christine Renaud launched the very first edition of La Cabane, a family creative space dedicated to young people between the ages of 6 and 12 who meet with educators applying a challenge-based pedagogy.

La Cabane has been built around the vision that children are not the citizens of tomorrow, but citizens of today. Like adults, they learn by living meaningful lives full of challenge, contribution and fun.

The main objectives of La Cabane are to engage children in citizenship, and help them create and live healthy lifestyle habits. In this approach, projects are defined by the issues raised by the children, their families and community members.

In 2022, they moved into a 6,000-square-foot building designed by Bruno Braën and located in Rosemont-La Petite Patrie, Montréal. In this new space, they will be able to welcome twice as many young people who practice family education. Parents are also able to stay on site for remote work or participate in activities.

La cabane

The Magic School Bus: Watercooler Edition

If one picture could summarize our year, it would be that one.

To celebrate the official launch of Braindate Everyday, we decided to throw a party during C2 Montreal in September 2022. We gathered with our team, our amazing clients and partners in a school bus to journey from downtown Montreal to La Cabane.

The event, called the Watercooler Edition, was designed as a Braindate-style celebration featuring a giant disco ball, dancing, and most importantly, an evening full of meaningful conversations.

Why Watercooler? In the professional world, the watercooler has become a symbol for those organic moments of connection, when employees come together and have the kind of conversations that deepen their relationships.

As part of the festivities, we facilitated spontaneous group braindates around suspended watercoolers lights on subjects relating to the Future of Work and Community. A night to remember, to say the least – thank you to our community who traveled from far and wide to celebrate with us.

The Magic School Bus: Watercooler Edition

Get Ready for 2023!

The answer to the new normal is a work in progress. Hybrid strategies and year-round communities are still figuring out what works best and deciding how to deliver significant value. The ongoing talent shortage affecting skills and knowledge, combined with the high uncertainty affecting budget and new ideas, can slow down the successful implementation of innovative strategic solutions.

With the new way of work in the making and the growing importance of collaboration, well-being and retention in remote contexts, we will see a transition from a working environment to a learning environment that fosters innovation, team culture and belonging.

Leaders and organizations who shifted to full remote conditions will rebalance to more internal gatherings and offsite events to recreate these human moments that lead to greatness. In-person events will continue to return in full force by attracting more live attendance, allowing us to continue innovating.

Intentionality, hyper-personalization, human-centered experiences and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or Augmented Reality (not VR) are the future of events in different horizons. It is certain that this change will take time to successfully implement new tools and processes, including building new business models to support growth.

One thing we anticipate is the short-term need to focus on knowledge. In the sharing economy, knowledge has been left behind and organizations are starting to realize this is a core value driver for their people and society.

Rest assured we’ll continue to help forge the way and be the change makers we have been for now 11 years and counting. There are already plenty of things in the making that we are eager to share with you:  2023 will be the year of the peer learning movement!

Holiday Season Celebration : team portrait

Our entire team wishes you the most wonderful Holiday Season with your relatives and is excited to reconnect with you in the New Year. We all well deserved this one, so take the time to recognize the great moments that have happened and enjoy this moment to re-energize for the year to come.

Brudis Limar - Braindate CMO

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