Nothing compares to seeing familiar faces across the hotel lobby after a long day of travel, followed by squeals of joy as we sprint towards each other and embrace in almighty bear hugs. This familiar moment signals the beginning of our yearly Tyto Hackweek and perfectly captures the spirit of our team reunions – a moment eagerly anticipated for months.
With our team working fully remote, spread across different cities and countries, the magic of our Hackweek lies in the opportunity to gather in person. Tyto has been arranging Hackweeks ever since the company was first founded and over the years, we have come together across Europe; from Lisbon and Rome to Athens and Valencia. This year, we found ourselves in the enchanting Dutch capital of Amsterdam, our choice of the Netherlands is a tribute to our new Dutch colleagues, who became part of Tyto after the acquisition of It’s a Rep.
In the weeks leading up to the trip, our culture and social team crafted a vibrant prelude with Dutch-inspired quizzes and activities during our weekly virtual team meetings. Among them was the challenge to design a shoe, perfectly timed for the Dutch tradition of “schoen zetten.” The secret Tyto fairy surprised the team with heavenly chocolates next to their colourful shoe creations on the first morning of our stay.
A vibrant agenda for the week lay ahead, and we commenced with a day of storytelling training led by local experts from Design Thinkers. The training sparked inspiration within the team offering diverse perspectives of storytelling, transforming narratives into immersive experiences that captivate and inspire the listener.
Recognising excellence: The Tyto awards
That evening, our team came together for dinner at the Volkshotel in the heart of the city to celebrate our highly anticipated Tyto awards ceremony. The night was more than just a celebration; it was a recognition of our team’s outstanding contributions and adherence to Tyto’s values over the past six months.
Each nomination for the Tyto awards held a story of dedication and a commitment to the core principles that define us. Against a backdrop of the city lights, the team shared good food, laughter and a genuine appreciation for the hard work that has shaped our journey.
Exploring graffiti art
On day two, the Tyto team dove headfirst into a world of creativity. The team were in high spirits as they were dropped off outside the Straat museum of graffiti art in the outskirts of the city and just a ferry ride away from Centraal Station. The museum, a sprawling warehouse, provided space to breathe and immerse ourselves in the awe-inspiring world of graffiti art. We were instantly blown away by the explosion of colours and larger-than-life masterpieces adorning the walls.
After a tour of the museum, where we learned the history and stories behind some of the paintings, the team got stuck into the practical art activity for the day. The team fully embraced the challenge, experimenting with colours and different spray techniques. By the end of the morning, the Straat Museum had transformed into a gallery of Tyto-inspired creations. The event wasn’t just a team-building exercise; it was about collaboration and provided a canvas for forging stronger bonds and infusing a burst of artistic energy into the fabric of our team.
Magical Amsterdam by water
To end our Hackweek in style, and despite the inevitable rain, our team cosied up in an authentic Dutch restaurant, d’Vijff Vliegen, nestled along the canal. This self-proclaimed ‘culinary museum’ provided the perfect setting to indulge in local delicacies all while surrounded by exquisite Dutch art by painter Nicolaas Kroese.
The experience continued as we embarked on a cruise along Amsterdam’s iconic canals where we revelled in the sparkling lights of the city. The night ended at a cocktail bar for a sweet finale to the week. Just steps away from the water’s edge, this was a perfect setting for our last evening together allowing us to reflect on the week’s activities. As we gathered in small groups, sharing stories and laughter, the night became more than just desserts and cocktails. It was a chance to unwind, reflect on the week, and connect on a personal level.
Just like every year, the week passed us by in the blink of an eye and before we knew it, we were back in that lobby again but this time saying our goodbyes – each of us heading in different directions, some travelling back together, some by themselves and a few deciding to stay longer in the city to explore. After days of inspiration, energy and newfound perspectives, with each farewell, our Tyto team only strengthens, reinforcing the powerful connections and bonds that transcend all borders.
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