Last Friday, more than 500 COSMOnauts from 12 countries met at COSMO CONSULT’s annual conference for 2017. The event takes place once a year in Berlin. An exciting program with lots of variety had been prepared for the participants. In the afternoon, dancing skills, creativity and team spirit were called for at the street art center "YAAM". The expressions of creativity included an open-air gallery with graffiti about selected COSMO CONSULT Group locations. The festive evening event took place in the Bridge Studios at the Westhafen port area.
Berlin is something like the secret capital of street corner life. A remarkable part of the culture takes place on the street - in parks, on bridges, at subway stations, in public squares. So the natural thing to do was to show our guests a little bit about this aspect of the local scene. The active part of the annual conference took everyone to "YAAM", one of the most famous centers of Berlin's subculture. It is a location between remnants of the Berlin Wall, old industrial charm and modern office architecture with a view over the river Spree. After checking-in in the morning, there was a multi-stage course to complete, which required participants to give their all in terms of team spirit, fitness and dexterity. It is not that easy to kick the small hacky sacks to each other, or to sink a basketball shot from what feels like 50 meters distance. One activity was especially popular: street dance, which let you see a completely different side of your colleagues personalities. Participants received points for every test they passed. The teams with the best overall ratings were recognized that evening at the awards celebration. It was tough work, but thanks to the brunch, bratwurst and free beer, everyone emerged unscathed.
The creative challenge of the day was waiting for the brave COSMOnauts in the form of spray cans. The task: to work as a team to immortalize selected COSMO locations in graffiti on the wall. The result was impressive: original and imaginative, full of color and variety. There were depictions of landmarks that were true to the style of the original, like one the patrician town-house from Münster, playful motifs like the Peruvian sun and abstract interpretations like the one of the Brandenburg Gate. "In a sense, this graffiti is a reflection of our corporate culture. There are different approaches to and solution for every challenge. You just have to have the courage to follow them through. In the end the result can be really great," said Uwe Bergmann during the tour through the open air gallery. He hopes that the participants will take away insights from their team experiences, from the creative tasks and from the sometimes unusual disciplines they competed in and that these insights could lead them to new ideas for their day-to-day work.
That evening the party got underway on an island in the middle of Berlin’s Westhafen port. The Bridge Studios are a piece of pop architecture that was built for Berlin’s bridge building authority in the early 1980s. It is a functional building with curves and lots of glass. In his opening speech, Uwe Bergmann looked ahead and briefly sketched his idea for the future of the COSMO CONSULT group. For the rest of the evening there was a clear, functional division of space: Inside on the dance floor, the atmosphere got hot quickly, while outside in the mild Berlin summer night the buffet was waiting to be plundered, providing optimal conditions for company networking or simply chatting with a few old acquaintances.
If the annual conference were a barometer for the vitality of the COSMO CONSULT group, the diagnosis would be clear: Last Friday’s party was thrown by a lively IT company characterized by a lot heart, a great deal of commitment and agile employees. Anyone who mingled with the people that evening, could sense a very special atmosphere: there was pride about previous achievements, but also unbridled curiosity about future challenges. People relaxed and enjoyed the party, but used the time to exchange experiences or put forward new ideas. It was the mixture of casualness, impatience, and a positive spirit of anticipation that made the day a very special one. And another thing was remarkable: Despite the group's recent strong international growth, it has somehow managed to preserve its family atmosphere. "International diversity is part of our identity. It allows us to look at things from different angles and to find optimal solutions. But this kind of corporate culture cannot be taken for granted. It has to be cultivated. At the annual conference, colleagues who usually only talk on the telephone have a chance to meet face to face. Here, conversations get started between people from different cultures who have one thing in common: they are all COSMOnauts. For that reason, this conference is very important to us," said Uwe Bergmann, CEO of the COSMO CONSULT Group. As it is every year, it was a great day, one which will be remembered by all for a long time - or at least until next year.
This year there were more than 500 participants from 12 countries.