Year of the X is an innovation festival, happening annually in Munich, Germany. The title, year of the X, relates to the Chinese new year theme, which obviously varies year to year. This year was year of the Rooster, so there were actual roosters outside – really beautiful ones actually. There was a interesting mash between robotics, mindfulness, spirituality, combining the yin and yang in business, and typical marketing and business programming. I fit somewhere in between all of that, speaking about How to Evolve the Real Sharing Economy in Business.

I have to say, it was damn cold in Munich. And we’re talking snowing in April kind of cold. After overheating on the Camino de Santiago, you’d think I’d be happy about this, but my system wasn’t too excited to maintain warmth all day long. The fest was held at this spot, Backstage, which is a nightclub venue, albeit a very large one. There were events going on all over the place…. from how to connect on a more human level to choosing wonder over worry to deep breathing exercises offered by many of my new friends.

I’m really impressed by Markus, the founder of this festival, as he’s really pushing to stimulate new thinking in Munich, which is typically a pretty buttoned up place.

At the conference, I met so many gorgeous people… many of them were speakers and some of them, I already knew but hadn’t spent time with yet. There’s something really special about authors, writers, doers, and heart led business people that I often miss in San Francisco. While that exists here, conferences which select for the kind of tribe generate this unstoppable energy force that’s palpable.

My talk went well. Many people liked it and commented to me about how I wrapped themes together that seemed disparate. Talking for 15 minutes was difficult as I had a lot of ground to cover, but it was also nice that people in a similar industry to me were there – such a Casey Fenton, one of the original founders of Couchsurfing. I tried to weave some of my content around his, which proved to be effective. I also briefly included some thoughts about the Camino, which I had walked just days before making it to Munich.

After Munich, we went to Austria to spend time in the mountains on the 33 Monkeys tour, which is yet another way Markus is experimenting with programming, learning, and human connection. There, we ate, hot tubbed, played, chatted, and experienced one another’s skills through workshops.

I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Munich, to experience transient community, the Camino, and to see other friends in Europe. Was definitely a blissed out month.

Chelsea Rustrum speaking in Munich about platform cooperatives, crowd equity, digital currency, and value sharing models to help evolve the sharing economy to a shared economy