The Futurewhiz King’s Day Flea Market

Sol May Olivares

As you probably know, the country was in orange at the end of April 👑 ! At Futurewhiz, we also celebrated the orange spirit by having our very own King’s Day market. We decided to celebrate King’s Day in style, transforming our kitchen into a flea market filled with treasures, treats, and tons of fun! Come and read how the day went by 👀.

During King’s Day, streets in the Netherlands become a giant marketplace and a hotspot for parties. Similarly, our kitchen area was filled with food, goods and happy faces. We had a flea market where colleagues could showcase their goodies that deserve a second life. Best of all, we also had some colleagues show their talents (or rather, lack thereof…). For example, we have two very brave colleagues that tried to play violin and the flute. The performance might not have been too pleasant to the ears, but hey, it got everyone laughing and having a good time, which is what King’s Day is all about!

We also had traditional Dutch King’s Day games such as ‘blikgooien’ (throwing balls at a pile of cans), a ‘grabbelton’ (a box filled with gifts) and ‘beschuitfluiten’ (whistling with biscuits). Combined with orange snacks and drinks, we really had a great time celebrating at the office. And of course at the end, we had our monthly Futurewhiz drinks. It was a day to remember 🧡.

Futurewhiz Laser Tag Arena 🔫

Sol May Olivares

Last week, we swapped our monthly drinks for an evening of friendly fire. That’s right, we went for several rounds of laser gaming with the Futurewhiz crew 🚀. It started straight after work – but no one left the office, because we had transformed the office into our very own laser gaming field. Geared up and eager to fight, we took the challenge to reach victory!

We took pride in our six core values during this fun evening. Here’s how we did it:

  1. Learning is everything: At our laser gaming event, we discovered that learning is everything (for some a lot of learning… 😉). From mastering new strategies to adapting on the fly, each moment was a lesson for us to work on.
  2. Embrace the difference. We embraced our differences and found strength in diversity – to each their own unique talent, whether it be in laser gaming or making jokes.
  3. Fun works. Who says work and play can’t mix? In the chaos of flashing lights and friendly fire, we discovered the true power of enjoyment in the workplace.
  4. Together is better. Why go solo when we can bond together, dodging imaginary bullets and outsmarting opponents as one big unstoppable force?
  5. Be brave. With laser guns in hand and hearts pounding, we charged into the game space, both fearless and united.
  6. Results matter. Through teamwork and determination, we didn’t just play the game – we truly gave our 100%. So here’s to the epic wins and unforgettable moments, where our laser gaming skills showed that in the end, results do speak louder than words!

All in all our efforts paid off and we went home satisfied and excited for upcoming Futurewhiz eventz!

The Futurewhiz AI Cupid ❤️

Sol May Olivares

As Valentine’s Day approached, our office was filled with a mix of excitement and anticipation. Sure, there were the usual whispers of romantic plans and the occasional eye-roll from the skeptics, but this year, we decided to bring a dose of technological absurdity into the mix. Wanna find out more? Continue reading and hop on the AI love train!

Get to know The Futurewhiz AI Cupid (pictured above), our Slack bot-turned-matchmaker that churned out love poems faster than you could swipe left. We were able to create prompts, and with those, AI generated the poem. And let me tell you, the results were… well, let’s just say they ranged from surprisingly heartfelt to downright hysterical. On Valentine’s Day, our office manager Martina created poems out the prompts and with fake wings and a bow and arrow she went around reading people the poems and giving out chocolates – what a spectacular performance. The total number of messages was 140!

Here’s an example of one poem generated:

💘
You are super sweet, a drop of honey,
Life’s wild ride, but you make it funny.
With a dab so cool, the room ignites,
Spreading laughter, reaching new heights.
Life with you is a joyful cab,
A dance, a laugh, another dab!
So here’s a cheer, don’t be shy,
You’re the reason why joy flies high!

The conclusion of this is that in a world where technology often feels cold and impersonal, here we were, using AI to spread a little love and laughter in an incredible way. And who knows, maybe amidst the frenzy of digital poems and makeshift Cupid costumes, a few sparks of real romance would ignite 👀.

The Great Futurewhiz Clothing Swap!

Sol May Olivares

Dear readers, here at Futurewhiz, we are all about creating impact with our platforms.

So, it should not be surprising to hear that we are also keen to impact our planet, and are always coming up with ways to be more sustainable and reduce our overall environmental impact.

Take a moment, and join us for an evening at The Great Futurewhiz Clothing Swap!

Whats is a Clothing swap?

Our clothing swap involved colleagues bringing in gently used items of clothes, that they no longer need, and exchanging them with others. What a great way for us to refresh our wardrobes sustainably! The best part, anything that got left behind, was donated to Kringloop Amsterdam, even further extending the life cycle of those clothes.

We were all set up in the kitchen on our stalls where there were tables of pre-loved clothes and shoes, all ready to be handed over to the next lucky person🍀.

Participants discovered hidden gems and unique pieces to add some excitement back in their wardrobes and the event was a tremendous success.

Our lovely colleague Renske who is part of the AI team, stood out as particularly enthusiastic. She could be seen hopping from one table to another, swapping back and forth and left to right like a true sustainable legend.

To reward her natural a knack for trade, she was given a Rataplan giftcard to shop to continue on her journey towards maximum sustainability.

There were 2 additional B-Corp-Wizard awards handed out! 2 exclusive, funky and colourful B-Corp pins as a token of appreciation to those that were particularly active shoppers, Office Manager Martina and StudyGo Backend Developer Yoran.

Now, let’s talk about numbers (you don’t need to be a math wizard to understand this). Sure, we know that contributing to the sustainable cycle, making more conscious decisions, eating less meat, buying secondhand, etc. is good for the environment, but what does this actually mean, and what is the impact? Take a look at the image below.

Do you want to join us on our journey? Below are a few Tips for sustainable Fashion:

  1. Mindful Consumption – before making a purchase, consider if it alligns with your values and whether you truly need it or not.
  2. Quality over quantity – Invest in high quality, timeless pieces that withstand trends, and last longer.
  3. Upcycling and repurposing – Upcycling can breathe new life into clothes you may otherwise discard, so instead of throwing them out, get creative with your new clothes!

The Great Futurewhiz Clothing Swap is just one of the many small steps we’re taking, in order to make the future brighter, greener, and more sustainable. Together, we can all make a difference.💚✨

First Month of the New Year 🍾

Sol May Olivares

Find yourself typing “2023” instead of “2024” as if time hasn’t quite caught up with the calendar? The rapid pace at which days turn into months can leave us feeling like we’re in a perpetual time warp. At Futurewhiz, we aim to add a touch of warmth to the chilly season, alleviating both the literal cold and the mental chill. Come read further and find out how we not only survived but thrived in January. And yes, there may have been a bit of champagne involved 🤫.

On Blue Monday, our thoughtful office manager Martina reminded us of the importance of mental health. In the hustle of daily life, the demands of our routines can lead us to overlook our mental well-being. Coupled with the potential physical toll of cold weather, these times can be challenging for us. Martina encouraged us to take care of ourselves and recommended activities such as stepping outside the office for a walk, indulging in a meditation break in our Gym room, and, above all, checking in with each other.

And if you cannot escape the cold, fight the cold! That’s exactly what we did mid-January, warming ourselves up in a frenzy of ice skating ❄️. Thanks to our Culture Crew’s fantastic planning, we embarked on this adventure at the Jaap van Eeden Ice Rink. While some of our colleagues effortlessly glided across the ice, others navigated with a bit more caution (including myself). Nevertheless, we all sure did hurry to the warm cafe after, where we had some food and drinks. It was a lovely way to unwind with colleagues after a day’s work, all while staying active and making the most of the winter season. That’s the Futurewhiz spirit!

Moreover, our CEO Serge Bueters, seen above, brought the team together last Thursday in the kitchen. We toasted to the highs and lows of 2023, sharing lessons learned and future plans. Champagne flowed, and as we reminisced about the year—its challenges and triumphs—the spirit remained high. Leaving all worries and mistakes of 2023 behind, we started to become excited for what 2024 might bring us. We wrapped up with a borrel to laugh and ponder even more (100% sober, of course). First month of the year ✔ eleven more to go: Futurewhiz is ready!

Futurewhiz’s sustainability challenge!

Sol May Olivares

Last week we again lived up to our B Corp status and encouraged our employees to take on a sustainability challenge. As enthusiastic employees actively participated, they contributed significantly to the community by cleaning up substantial amounts of litter from the streets. It not only strengthened our commitment to environmental responsibility but also created a sense of shared purpose among our team. Futurewhiz is proud of its B Corp status 🐝.

Futurewhiz has been a B Corp since 2020 and we are constantly striving to keep up this certificate. We belong to a worldwide network of 3,585 organizations that not only strive for profitability, but also take people, the environment and society into account when performing business. As a B Corp, we are legally required to consider the impact of our decisions on our employees, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. While we are happily upholding the standards of being a B Corp, it is also important to recognize the significance of the smaller actions that together make an impact.

An example is last week’s challenge—we put our sustainability game to the test and had a blast doing it! The challenge was to collect trash and come up with an idea how we can make Futurewhiz more sustainable. Despite the rain, hail and cold, many of our employees went out of their way to clear the streets. Our lovely office is located near the Amsterdam Amstelstation, and it turns out there was lots of trash laying around in the area close to the building. One of our employees even found a dog (it could also have been his own dog, we are not sure about that 😉).

In addition to the trash picking, we asked employees to come up with sustainable ideas. Here is a snapshot of their environmental friendly thinking:

  • Make use of power strips with a switch for all docking stations and screens
  • Once in a while, collect food or items we can donate to charity
  • Donating excess supplies
  • Dimmable lights
  • Remove any single use paper towels and replace them with fabric towel dispensers

We are grateful to have employees that value our commitment to sustainability and are willing to participate in these kind of challenges. Stay Sustainable!

Squla wins JINC Award for Company of the Year!

Sol May Olivares

Last Tuesday, one of our brands here at Futurewhiz, Squla, was in the spotlight for winning the JINC-Award ‘Company of the Year’ in the DeLaMar Theatre in Amsterdam! Squla was nominated together with four other companies for this category. The judges were none other than five students from primary school Samenspel. After a nerve-racking couple of minutes of decision time, they chose Squla as the winner. It’s clear: children love Squla 🥳

First of all, what is JINC? JINC is an organisation that believes that every child has potential – also the hundreds of thousands of Dutch children who grow up in a disadvantaged socio-economic environment. That is why JINC strives for a society in which your background does not determine your future. To achieve this, they help children aged 8-16 get a better start in the labour market. The JINC program teaches them how to apply for jobs, introduces them to different professions and helps them discover which work suits their capabilities and talents. During the show, founder and director Daniël Roos explained that JINC aims to empower talent in three different ways: by scale, effectiveness, and long term impact. JINC should be fun, but it should also work and succeed in its mission to provide better opportunities for young people in the labour market. And JINC is definitely succeeding: they keep growing and have future plans to be active abroad as well.

Squla has been a partner of JINC since 2017, and our colleagues have actively been participating in various projects throughout this time. This includes internships that have been organized at the office, job application trainings, career coaching from our colleagues, and language trips. Not only is it a great opportunity for children, it’s also amazing for us to see how much we can learn from them and enjoy their fresh perspectives. More importantly, they learn from each other, work together and form meaningful bonds.

Since JINC is all about children but the nominees were adults, of course some young spirit was very much needed in the show and the judging team 😉. The show kicked off with a spectacular dance performance by ‘Solid Ground movement’, a dance team from Amsterdam Noord. Then, the following award categories were introduced: ‘Newcomer of the Year’, ‘Volunteer of the Year’, ‘Company of the Year’, ‘Internship of the Year’ and ‘School of the Year’. Together with companies Bearing Point, Accenture, De Schepper Campagnes and Cushman & Wakefield, Squla was nominated for the ‘Company of the Year’ category. Each nominated party was allowed on stage, and after a short introduction it was up to the 5-member jury of primary school Samenspel to make a choice. After a long 5 minutes the final verdict was there: 3 out of 5 votes went to Squla! 🎉

We are very proud and grateful for this beautiful award and look forward to many more years of collaboration with JINC!