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Going Far, Together: Insights from the Flying Labs Retreat

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February 12th, 2021

Screen Shot 2021 02 12 at 8 54 24 AM

"If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together." This African proverb was shared throughout the 2021  Flying Labs Retreat. The virtual retreat brought together 70+ local experts to share their knowledge and expertise with each other. From February 5-7th, we welcomed participants from 38 nationalities across 30+ Flying Labs to fill our screens with laughter, inspiration, enlightenment, awesomeness, rejuvenation, and more! The heartwarming sessions of 10 Cultural Celebrations and collaborative efforts during 8 Flying Labs Roundtables exemplified this diversity in a single place. 

WeRobotics Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Sonja Betschart and Patrick Meier kicked off the 2021 Flying Labs Virtual Retreat, sharing their learnings and gratitude from 2020. It was important for us to understand the ups and downs of last year, and each Flying Labs shared their emotions, feelings of vulnerability, and gratitude as we enter a new year.  Flying Labs also introduced us to their cultures’ local wisdoms, rituals, and festivals throughout the retreat, like "Motherland" by India and "Mother Language" by Bangladesh, Peruvian Scissor Dance, Kompas and Ayiti Cheri from Haiti, celebrating Mongolian New Year, wearing Daura Surwalalong along Dhaka Topi and Khukuri, and Panama’s storytelling of words. Flying Labs also enriched our knowledge by sharing their latest lessons learned on their application of drones for positive impact.

Flying Labs and WeRobotics led 18 interactive Learning Sessions and Roundtables on a wide range of topics. These included  Artificial Intelligence (AI), reforestation, disaster response, project documentation, pilot certification, civil aviation authorities and regulations, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), and managing COVID-19 in 2021. Flying Labs from Chile, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Ghana, India, and Nepal also discussed raising awareness among their communities. 

On the second day, we had parallel training sessions on topics ranging from ‘The Future of AI Analytics’ and ‘Sowing Seeds with Drones’ to ‘The Latest on Cargo Delivery’ and ‘Youth/STEAM Strategies.’ 

Caption: Our illustrator Claudia gave us an exciting approach to summarizing all three days of our 2021 Retreat, a useful guide for remembering the many insightful and fascinating discussions.

The 2021 Flying Labs Virtual Retreat underscored the shared friendships, struggles, cultures, and togetherness. Find more takeaways and learnings on Twitter via the #PowerOfLocal hashtag.

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