March 26th, 2008 at Onyx Cafe
Armenia, Cabo Verde, Canada, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Mexico, Tunisia, UK and USA are the countries of origin for expats who attended the second Brnopolis Open Coffee meeting on Wednesday. Eighteen expats discussed together with Marie Zezulkova and Jakub Rybar of the City Council, Eva Kupsova of CzechInvest and Petr Chladek of the South Moravia development agency. All the key people involved in the city or regional strategy paying a special attention to foreigners relocated to Brno.
No badges, no PowerPoint slides, just crispy croissants and strudels with hot coffee or tea. We were sitting around the table in the Onyx Cafe and its interior was recharging our energy by the orange color tones. Representatives of international corporations, of a family carpet business, of a national cultural agency or Ph.D. students, they all had valuable experience, both good as bad, to share.
A strong and active expat community is one of the key factors supporting the creative potential and attractivity of any competitive city. We started in a small group of hubs – expats living and working here mostly for a longer time and knowing well what newcomers (personally or their businesses) miss in Brno and what can be done about it. They are also the ones who are able to formulate the main motivation to stay or move to Brno.
This time it was just a starter – the very first meeting and brainstorming around the most visible issues and opportunities. Our thanks go to Ratnesh Mathur and Arturo Quintero who helped us to bring together the pretty mixed group.