What a decade, huh?
It’s 2022, and this already feels like one of the most tumultuous decades of our generation. PIRATE Summit last took place in 2019. It feels like an event from a different time period.
What can PIRATE Summit bring to a world that’s changed so much?
A different today
Some of the changes we are seeing are merely transitional. The use of hand sanitizers that has gone through the roof, or the fact that carrying a facemask seems as normal as carrying keys in your pocket.
Other changes are more fundamental. Inflation is rising, and the amount of money printed by the central banks is unprecedented. Prices are rising sharply. The war in Europe has shifted security politics in ways not seen in decades.
At the same time, the climate emergency is developing as models predicted. Impact and causes are clear. As are the appropriate measures. Acting firmly is needed, yet the news and recommendations of the latest IPCC report went nearly unnoticed.
When offline interaction is reduced, the metaverse feels viable in a way it never has before. In it, teens easily make and lose money online. In a reality where some spend millions on JPEGs, virtual real estate, clothing, and art. Apparently, having an ape as a profile pic is the new black.
People work remotely across industries, and – surprisingly to many – work is still being done. Some love their new freedoms and the flexibility. Others feel they are loosing their sense of belonging. All that after spending months in lockdowns. Alone and separated from relatives. A big social experiment with most community activities, entertainment, sports and what is commonly considered as fun severely limited.
All these changes will leave their mark even after the new normal is back. Some very visible, many not so much. They impact how we work, live, and interact. For sure, we will feel the impact personally in one way or another.
Not only is the world changing – PIRATE is too
The last years certainly left a mark on us too. A lot has happened to PIRATE – the organization – and for the people that shape it.
At PIRATE, we have grown into a family of companies and fine-tuned our mission. Due to the pandemic, we were forced to completely rethink and reposition our event-business. The pandemic also prompted us to experiment with different product ideas. The job platform for startups being the one that succeeded.
To increase the impact on the Albanian startup ecosystem by our team extension services for software development teams, we founded a coding school. This year, we have big plans to democratize coding with VisualMakers and bring the NoCode movement to Europe.
It’s evident, not only the world is changing, we are too.
What matters now?
What can PIRATE Summit bring to a world that feels chaotic, ambiguous, and that is hard to make sense of?
We found the answer in our biggest takeaway from our online event, PIRATE Live in 2021. The main theme of the event was RaiseYourSails. From the 7 different topic tracks, one track stood out the most: #RaiseYourself. This track had by far the most views and saw the most engagement by the audience.
The results caught us by surprise. Something was up. Participants were more interested in topics like mental health, breathing techniques, personal growth, finding your why, yoga, meditation etc. than how to build a product, secure funding, or execute a growth strategy.
It probably makes sense. When there is a lot of instability and uncertainty around us, we turn to the only place we have some sort of control over: Ourselves.
Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster
To dig deeper, we have reached out to people to get a clearer understanding of motivations and needs. This is the picture that emerged:
When you choose entrepreneurship, you choose a path into the unknown. It is scary and deeply fulfilling at the same time. It’s like a constant rollercoaster: One day you are euphoric and feel like you have made it, the next day you feel like your dreams are shattered because bankruptcy looms. That is certainly true for the early startup stage.
Once you manage to enter a seemingly more solid scaleup stage, the constant fear of going out of business might be less prominent. However, pressure is still immense and leading a company can become overwhelming. Are we working on the right things? Did we decide on the right strategy? How can we beat the competition? Can we really hit the next milestones? How to motivate the team?
Furthermore, apparent outer success might not be accompanied by inner happiness. Why am I doing this and what for? Is this what I want to be doing in the next years? I feel like in a rat race and don’t know how to escape. How do I grow, transform and build a life of meaning? What is my definition of success?
RaiseYourself – Our theme for PIRATE Summit 2022
Entrepreneurs need both the knowledge of how to build a business and how to sustain themselves on this journey. After all, there is a reason why so many startups fail. Besides the technical skills, characteristics like perseverance, resilience, grit, mental health & inner strength as well as self-awareness matter too.
Mastering them is much harder than it sounds and something that is often overlooked. Entrepreneurship requires inner work: In order to lead others well, you must learn to lead yourself.
This has a direct business impact. Better humans are better leaders, and better leaders create better businesses. That’s why this year at PIRATE Summit we will focus not only on what makes businesses better, but also on how we can grow as human beings.
After all, you are the captain of your life. Where are you sailing to?
Call for content
Does #RaiseYourself as a theme speak to you? Do you have a story, insights, or expertise that you’d like to contribute to PIRATE Summit this year? We have opened the call for content and welcome your contributions.
We are especially interested in deep insights, opinions that are controversial, experts that are not speaking at every conference, and grasping stories that are seldom told.
You can recommend yourself, but we give preference to those that are recommended by others.
Send us your recommendations who you’d love to see speak at PIRATE Summit 2022 about #RaiseYourself.