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Flying Labs Retreat 2022: Shaping the Next Chapter of the Flying Labs Network

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November 14th, 2022

F Ls 2022 Retreat 331 2

Though the year is not yet finished, we already know what we will remember as the absolute highlight of 2022: our in-person Flying Labs retreat in Nairobi from October 1-3, 2022!

The Flying Labs Network is unique in so many ways. So is the way it was co-created and facilitated by WeRobotics. Our website headline reads, “It’s not just about the robots.” And when explaining our work, we always emphasize that it is all about people and redefining what it means to be an expert. Words are difficult to describe what a global network of local drones, data, and AI experts looks like and how we collaborate and share. Hopefully, this video will give you a glimpse into what we experienced together in Nairobi and what makes the Flying Labs Network unique.

With a growing Network currently sprawling over 37 countries, bringing everyone together, in person and in one location, is a significant achievement. Fifty participants braved travel from 31 countries to reach Kenya. For some Flying Labs, this meant finding creative ways to make their way around Hurricane Ian or spending 100 hours traveling back and forth from the retreat, training, and other planned events. Some, unfortunately, had to give up on the way. Nevertheless, 41 members from 23 Flying Labs joined nine WeRobotics team members from eight countries in Nairobi.

The retreat had one fundamental goal: to shape the next chapter of the Flying Labs Network. The two days were packed with a program that included four extensive co-creation sessions and four Flying Labs-led learning sessions. Co-creation is at the base of the success of the Network and has once more worked wonders to ideate and decide together on important Network topics such as engagement, communication, contributions, collaboration and sharing (two of the Network’s core values), and strategic approaches for the future growth and facilitation of the Network.

The workshop outcomes are invaluable for the growth and expansion of the Flying Labs Network. The first outcome is the expansion of the Flying Labs Guidelines. Seeing the importance of contribution and sharing, Flying Labs decided to expand the requirements and include a new process to hold all Flying Labs responsible for their contributions. Other outcomes will be implemented in the coming months.

Much time was also planned to socialize, rekindle old and create new friendships. So we danced together, Flying Labs gifted each other with gifts and delicacies from their home countries, and some continued shared moments after the retreat by joining up and exploring together the wonders of Kenyan safaris or taking part in one of the many post-retreat pieces of training organized.

We thank all Flying Labs members who participated in the retreat and so generously shared their wisdom, aspirations, challenges, and ideas. A special thanks to the team of Kenya Flying Labs, who has co-organized this unique event, made us feel at home and showered us with generous hospitality and beautiful souvenirs.

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