Program Review: StartingBloc

So here I am, Cristal, trying to put into words and share with you how my experience was with the StartingBloc Institute. Before beginning, fair warning that I will have to give some thanks to some people, because I do believe that together we reach our goals much faster, and because the people mentioned are incredible, and everyone should know them!

Some time ago, I joined a team of great people who shares the same sense of urgency for change. People with incredible experiences, diverse world views, able to bring good viewpoints to a heavy conversation, and the good sense to say when they need to study something more to better position themselves. These guys showed me that we can do much individually, but that we have much more to learn together. We are an internationally connected group, spread across all continents, with a huge range of interests and knowledge. Finally, we’re a group working for the sake of diversity, inclusion, empowerment, the wisdom, curiosity, disruption..

This group is called International Connector (thanks to CEO Marti Grimminck for imagining and creating it).

Interacting with millennial catalysts brought me a very warm feeling to know you have a gang acting, transforming the environment in which they are entering, and helping to spread beyond borders our voice. Through the IC, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy Pesner, my bridge to the StarntingBloc (thanks for all the help, Jeremy!).

Cristal at the StartingBloc Institute in LA, 2016.

Cristal at the StartingBloc Institute in LA, 2016.


The five-day Institute has already happened. We had lunch and dinner together, danced and sang together, reflected together and on ourselves, our values nd our goals. We asked for help, and became willing to help. We challenge ourselves to fail, and surprisingly failed to fail. We sat and listened, raised and ‘prototyped’. We had mentors (thank you for your dedication and caring, Megan Madj), who helped us at every phase of the operation. We find ourselves as individuals, and best of all, as a community that goes beyond the five days we were together. We are part of a much larger group that wants and is making a difference, and is innovative, and incredibly connected.

In the StartingBloc Institute, every day is designed so that you have an evolution from where you are to where you want to be. The program also evolves with you. Feedback is very welcome, because you not only understand how valuable recognition is, but also that you need to improve, learn, test, fail, and thus make progress. You learn that "but" is much better if it’s an "and". Moreover, you learn that you are not alone and snaps are valuable and stimulating. Even though StartingBloc is just for five days, it's for a lifetime.

The SB Institute is made possible by the exceptional work of CEO Cesar, who together with his team, give life to this experience and took care so everyone can be even better than they think they are .

The SB and the IC are connected by much more than one person. They share the same contagious energy that encourages you to always seek more knowledge, to question standards, to see the world through the eyes of someone else. Both are made up of young people who are leaders in their jobs, cities, and even countries and both are schools where you can be student and teacher at the same time.

My thank you to all of you who are part of these two communities. You are amazing!