Reflecting on the past can help spearhead valuable change for the future. In our graduation year, we are seeing our industry graduating from education to learning without boundaries, from spaces to solutions, from university cities to talent hubs. What does this mean for The Class of 2020 and the life-long learners to come? In this chapter, we are proud to share our community’s thought-leadership and visionary forecasts for the next 10 years.
Since 2011, The Class of 2020 grew from a Dutch platform of 9 partners to the largest European thinktank on student and coliving with about 90 partners with a single goal: to further the professionalism and knowledge of students and young professionals living in Europe. We have traveled around the main European university cities and beyond, exchanging knowledge, meeting new people, learning from experts and each other. The year 2020 is our graduation year. We started our graduation journey in February in London with our pan-European session and were very excited to continue our journey to celebrate our community’s achievements for the past decade, today, together in Amsterdam. However, things took a different turn when COVID-19 abruptly disrupted our journey.
Nonetheless, with the challenges and uncertainty of unprecedented scale, the power of our community shined through. Our community started to communicate intensively confirming our two core strengths: collaboration and learning. We immediately transformed our website to include a news radar, filtering and publishing the most relevant, important and urgent information not only about our industry but also about the intertwined industries impacting each other. We regeared ourselves in the virtual space, delivering what we promised. We introduced new initiatives like The Class Education Insider, continuing our learning journey. Even though we could not shake hands, we could bring our heads together and connect with our hearts. Through numerous touch points, our community made us feel confident that our purpose still stands strong. This year, our website visits, newsletter- and social media followers almost doubled, our event participation tripled and number of expert speakers who got involved in our learning journey quadrupled. And today, our graduation conference and the industry festival of collaboration and learning, made us even more committed to our core proposition to our valued partners.
You have told us our community value is centered around intimate networking and meeting new people in a collaborative manner. You have emphasized to us inspirational leadership of our community should become visible, to continue to set new standards. You have taught us competition can be the basis for stronger collaboration via peer group learning. You have confirmed to us that we achieved a lot together, but we still have shared responsibility to push us further for the future generations. And today, we faced a fast-forwarded future, encouraging us to reinvent ourselves in how we continue to bring those values beyond our graduation.
Whatever uncertainty 2021 may bring, we are certain we are ready to serve our community with new ways in which we can collaborate and learn but also bring every initiative closer to our community. We will introduce you to new ways to network and meet new people, which was one of the perks of our events. Together with you, we will empower your employees - the people who are the driving force of industry innovation - via peer group learning designed by our industry and for our industry. We will highlight leadership of the industry’s leaders by hosting partner-exclusive meetings during which we will continue to hear your advice and feedback to set the most important, relevant, and urgent agenda for our community in a most timely manner. We will bring all those rich learning outcomes forward via coordinated outlets, to showcase the strength of our community and the significant roles our partners are playing in shaping the future of blended living. And last but not least, next year in November, we hope to meet you again in Amsterdam, during our conference, the industry festivity like none other.
We spoke with many of you already. But we are not done yet as the only and the best way that we know is to respect your voice to drive change. We want to continue to shape the future of The Class Community together, so we all grow together. In the next days, our partners should expect an individual invitation from us to discuss our industry's future and help shape our organisation's new vision, including our new brand. We cannot wait till 2021 to present what we have shaped together for the next generation of The Class community.
Thank you for believing in us and thank you for your unbelievable support during this one-of-a-kind year. Very much looking forward to forge ahead with you in further strengthening our one-of-a-kind community. Lastly, congratulations to all the graduates, the proud Class of 2020 and ‘see’ you soon again.
On behalf of The Class team,
Yoony Kim, Managing Director and Frank Uffen, Co-founder, The Class of 2020