No matter where in the world, there is always someone thinking about more collaborative ways of life

by Rafael Bizachi

Rafael Bizachi from Brazil is social strategist at Rastro.ooo and a communications leader at Colaboramerica.org. In 2016, he became one of the OuiShare community members to be awarded with the OuiShare Fellowship. In this article he shares his experience, thoughts and wishes from OuiShareFest Barcelona and ColaborAmerica.   

The OuiShare Fellowship

After a year like 2016, where individualism, war and lack of empathy have further divided society, we are left with the fear of what awaits us next. The glimmer of hope in that warmed my heart and soul through all this was an experience I had crossing the Atlantic Ocean to get to know the OuiShare network in Europe. As part of the OuiShare Global fellowship program, I was chosen among a group of extremely engaged and fantastic people to participate in the second edition of OuiShare Fest Barcelona.

Fellows came from around the world to exchange knowledge on how to foster a more collaborative world, be it in business, policy or simply how we relate to each other. During two days of festival, we immersed ourselves in the local culture, in the subjects of the talks, energy of the conversations and contributed to the event in our own ways.

Arriving in Spain

If there is a place that moves me it’s Barcelona. I arrived in Catalonia after a 14-hour flight, only to be stunned by this beautiful place. Between the modernist architecture of Gaudí, the serene streets of Poblenou, the dynamism of the Plaza Catalunya and the alleys of the Gothic Quarter the city does not cease to impress. I eventually arrived at the venue of the event, the Parc Tecnològic located in the north of the city, where I was introduced to the local OuiShare team and immediately given a few missions.

OuiShareFest Barcelona

One of the best ways to collaborate for me was by producing graphics with speakers’ best quotes throughout the event. After breakfast was served I went to the main stage where the opening took place, and watched many of the talks for the rest of the day.

A talk that really stuck with me was that of Xavier Damman from Belgium who spoke of his work on more transparent organizations. His words “you can’t use an old map to see a new world” echoed with me throughout the day. They point out the fact that in our attempts to build a new and different world, we nevertheless often fall into the trap of replicating the hierarchical models of the past. His talk made me wonder whether in the end, change will only be possible through a brutal shock to the system.

Lunch was equally a charming and served in an environmentally friendly way. Pasta pesto and salad were served in a reusable pot and even the cutlery was made of recycled paper – there was not one piece of plastic! During our meal I got to know other fellows and volunteers of the event whose eyes were sparkling with inspiration as much as the participants. Festivals like these are really about meeting new people, making connections and opening yourself up to the stories, frustrations and ambitions of those who believe that global change is needed.

 The mission continues

Back in Brazil my mission evolved. I now had to receive people from other parts of the world in my country for the first edition of the OuiShare Fest in Rio de Janeiro, ColaborAmerica. As co-leader of the first OuiShare fest in Latin America, I had the responsibility of transferring what I had observed and learned in Spain to Rio.

Both experiences showed me that no matter where in the world you go, there are people thinking about more collaborative and fair ways of life. Through events like ColaborAmerica and OuiShareFest Barcelona, the OuiShare network fosters these connections between peers who think in similar ways, producing value in what is both a global and local community.

I hope that 2017 will be a year of more connections and dialogues. More diversity and  serendipity. More learning, more empathy and more inclusion. May 2017 be a year in which the OuiShare family continues to grow- no matter where we are.


A big thanks to Manuela Yamada, Tomás de Lara, Lucas Djahjah, Isabel Benitéz, Hélène Vuaroqueaux, Nuria Valero and all the others who helped me in this transformative experience in Barcelona <3.

Want to know more about the experience of the OuiShare Fellows in Barcelona? Watch this video by Alexis Flot who joined us from France.