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The main idea is to bring people together for one evening to share their experience and to learn from and meet others around a theme and from an optimistic viewpoint. By doing so a safe environment is offered for participants to open up and contribute to each other to flourish. The event proposes a variety of workshops, debates, group activities, fun, food, and lots of humanity.
Christine Cayré started her own business in Oct 2013. She called it “Affaires d’optimisme” which is really hard to translate in English to retain its full meaning; however “Optimism’s business” is close enough.
Early on she decided that she wanted to create an event that would integrate all the different lines of work that she had previously experienced: business, public relations, and journalism, with some main life drivers: connection with others, creativity, and optimism.
As Christine shared, “I had things to say and I needed a platform to do it. I have always been an optimist and I wanted people to experience what it feels like.”
You may not know this, but even though France is the country of “la joie de vivre” it is also a country with a very pessimistic filter. The “glass half empty” outlook is deeply embedded in the French culture. An optimist is considered as naïve at best in some environments; work being one of them.
In this case the key innovation is the mix between the theme and the target audience: optimism and work; and to get people to meet openly and build bridges between the two.
Many things have inspired Christine to initiate the creation of this special event, but there are a few that stand out because they carry a lot of strength and universality.
The first two stem from Christine’s grandparents who have really inspired her in many ways. These sources of inspiration are also highly symbolic. From her mother's side, her grandparents used to manufacture wheels for various types of transportation. “Just as wheels allow vehicles to move they also contribute to move people from one place to another and facilitate meetings and reunions between them.” From her father's side, they were bakers. In France, the bakery in the village is a very important place. It is one of the crossroads where people meet, say hello, talk, gossip, and buy one of France’s favorite food: bread.
Another strong source of inspiration comes from the 5 years she spent in South Africa where she worked as a journalist and discovered the power of resilience. She learned that through dialogue the country was slowly healing its wounds and transforming into something better.
Finally, right before starting her own business she experienced what it meant to suffer at work. She thought of the many people that were in her situation and it provided her with a strong will to contribute to changing this reality.
The “Nuit de l’optimisme” provided a few hundred participants with a humane and caring environment in which everyone was invited to reconnect with oneself and be candid and playful. It allowed numerous folks to discuss their work experience with open mindedness and curiosity of the other. As they were invited throughout the event to share with, think of and reconsider their beliefs and viewpoints, many opened up and felt the joy to be oneself and to be present.
The event was created as a tool to give a voice to people working in various businesses, from different backgrounds, and different walks of life. It was a place for a few hundred humans to talk about the transformations taking place, the innovations that are changing our world for the better, and the world of possibilities. It got people to be on the same level of consciousness for one evening and more. Collective intelligence was in full motion; paradigms shifted, limiting beliefs evaporated, and awareness was revealed.
The event was not created to make money and to turn in a profit, the business model would have to be reviewed. However, it created a lot of value for all participants and for the group. The benefits for “Affaires d’optimisme” were many such as:
Imagine 300 people feeling in their very cells that they are at the right place at the right time. Imagine them savoring the pleasure to be together, meet others, be curious, learn, and co-create.
For many the event was an eye-opener as they reached a new level of awareness in regards to how intentions, behaviors, and limiting beliefs can cut humans off from their intuitions and true nature.
At the second edition a woman who had come to the first edition shared, “My life has changed since I came to this event last year. I was introverted and shy. I lacked confidence and trust. I started to reach out to people around me, connect with others, I am now an active member of a couple of non-for profit organizations and I am less and less afraid to reach out to people and to the world. My life is continuing to change positively.”
Special attention was given for people to feel welcomed, cared for, and at ease. Participants felt good, valued, and important. As a result the quality of exchange among people was enhanced and it provided many with great insights.
This event was also an adventure for the various team members who participated in the organization, coordination, and co-creation. It allowed everyone to experience a very open and collegial form of collaboration fully in line with the intentions supporting the event. All developed friendships, shared their passion and their common interest to create and experience new models and new ways to create value.
The concept for this event is open source and several other “Nuit de l’optimisme” are being organized in other cities as we speak.
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Christine Cayré, Founder