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!

We had our very own Frightfest!

Roxy

With spooky season drawing to a close, we are reflecting on our immersive murder mystery day, which was followed by our spooktacularly epic fancy dress party held here in our office. Take a ride on the ghost train with us, as we delve into fun we had along the way.

The transformation of the office truly set the scene for what was ahead of us this Halloween. From fake blood, to cobwebs galore, the office soon resembled the perfect setting for the thrilling events of the day to take place.

With a playful twist, our team of accomplices laid out the rules of the Murder game, which had everyone looking over their shoulders in anticipation of murderous colleagues. The game really brought us all together in a somewhat unexpected way, but don’t worry there was no real foul play involved! We instead used our imaginations and were assigned “murder weapons” such as soup ladles and pieces of fruit!

What followed in the evening, were some truly frightening, and iconic costumes, from zombie brides, to Disney characters, dinosaurs and vampires – the fancy dress competition definitely bought out everyones creative side!

No Futurewhiz party would be complete without some classic karaoke, so of course, the microphones made an appearance, it was great to see many people getting involved, and performing their favourite hits!

As we look back at the day, we are grateful for the opportunity to come together as a team and strengthen the bonds which make Futurewhiz such a great place to work. It’s great to be able to combine the impactful results we all strive for, with our shared spirit for fun!

We’re sad to see the back of spooky season, but excited for the next event!

Our bring your kids to work adventure!

Roxy

Last week, we took on a new kind of adventure, involving little hands, boundless energy and big dreams…We hosted a “Bring your kids to work day!” The result? Endless exploration, excitement and a sprinkle of inspiration for our platforms. From the moment we heard that pitter patter of tiny feet coming from the lift door, we knew the day was going to be something special.

With wide eyes, and enough curiosity to fill the office, the 20+ children were about to embark on a fun filled day which they’ll never forget. The morning kicked off with the sound of giggling and chatting echoing across the office, as the kids familiarised with their parents workplace, and took a peek into the magic that happens behind the scenes of their favourite learning platforms Squla, StudyGo and Studira.

Before long, the young explorers were taking part in games like Mario Kart, playing Ping Pong, and channeling their inner Picasso. With their crayons and markers at the ready, they turned our office into an art gallery showcasing a collection of creative brilliance.

Lunch time. This brought even more excitement as our future innovators grabbed a seat at the table, as it was time for a true feast of friendship and flavours, ready to fuel them for the remainder of the day. It was heartwarming to see them creating memories and bonds which we hope will stay with them forever.

Before the day drew to a close, the children put on their “game tester” hats, and got an exclusive preview into some of the games we’re developing, and in return we got their feedback. Their insight is invaluable for us here at Futurewhiz, as our users are at the heart of what we do.

With our Bring your kids to work day, we demonstrated that great magic comes from young minds colliding with imagination and that laughter is the soundtrack to learning. The day reminded us that we’re all kids at heart, forever curious and on a constant learning journey here at Futurewhiz.

Here’s to future innovators, dreamers, and explorers – at Futurewhiz, we’re excited to be a part of their incredible journey!

Celebrating Tijntje’s 10 years at Futurewhiz: A decade of brilliance!

Roxy

Once upon a time, in small office, consisting of a total of three rooms, a vibrant Tijntje walked in wearing bright colours which could rival a rainbow! Little did she know that this would be the beginning of her journey at Futurewhiz!

Grab a slice of cake, and make yourselves comfortable, as we take a trip down memory lane, celebrating and exploring the tale of incredible impact that Tijntje has had.

It started with a sprinkle of hagelslag:

In her very first interview, Tijntje faced the prospect of joining a fledging start up with around 13 employees. Coming from the land of Marktplaats, it was a brave leap of faith to embark on an extraordinary adventure with such a young edtech company. As she sat down to interview in the Lunch spot which doubled up as an interview room, she discovered a few hagelslag sprinkles left behind on her seat, following someones tasty Dutch lunch. Undeterred by the misplaced treat, she grabbed a seat, before embracing the conversation with Serge, and 10years later here we are!

With her marketing prowess, Tijntje has sprinkled magic across our brands, people and users. She ignited the growth of our Squla user base, and set us up to succeed with her expertise, and unwavering commitment to our mission to empower children to grow through personalised education.

Tijntje has continued to demonstrate that the power of knowledge, passion and some wise (and efficient) decision making, make it possible to turn even the most daunting challenges into triumphs. She has enabled us to reach 30,000+ users of StudyGo and the impact this has on our children’s education is invaluable.

A guru of Getaways and foodie feasts:

Beyond her wonderful work, Tijntje has become well known for her recommendations, whether a holiday destination, or a delicious eatery, she has the answers to our travel and dining dilemas.

We will we raise our sparkling hagelslag filled glasses and celebrate Tijntje’s decade of brilliance and wonder here at Futurewhiz. Her impact is immeasurable and we’re all extremely grateful for such hard work and dedication.

Congratulations Tijntje, on this marvellous milestone, and for being at the heart of Futurewhiz!

Embracing Diversity & Inclusivity: Building a Brighter Future for All Children.

Roxy

At Futurewhiz, we believe greatly in the transformative powers of inclusive educational platforms for all of our children. We had the privilege of taking a remarkable 12 week journey on a course specifically designed for us and facilitated by Dr. Ellen-Rose and Dr. Fadie Hanna

Not only did the course enlighten us about the (many) “isms”, but it also allowed us to explore the depths of privilege and engage in inspiring discussions, fostering a deeper understanding and enabling further personal growth.

Today, we are thrilled to share just how this experience has motivated us even more to continue to make our platform inclusive and representative of every child we we serve.

Diversity is not just a buzzword, it is the heart and soul of progressiveness and innovation. By committing to dismantling barriers our children may face because of unique differences, we’re paving the way to an more equitable and inclusive educational experience. Our children are a vibrant tapestry of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences and the course allowed us to delve in and understand just how we can truly represent them.

Sexism, Racism and Ableism (as well as many other forms of “ism”) were thoroughly examined throughout the duration of the course. We all realised, that it is not enough to merely examine their existence, but we must actively combat them starting with recognising our own biases and committing to dismantling them.

We unpacked Privilege which can often be an uncomfortable topic, again due to the self reflection aspect. However, this was explored in a truly open minded manner, with empathy and openness, and group discussions. Some of us were comfortable enough to share our personal experiences, guided by Dr. Ellen-Rose and Dr. Fadie, who ensured that we as colleagues, we could open up to each other, whilst feeling in a safe space. Being given this opportunity was truly invaluable.

We began to comprehend the influence of privilege in our lives, and how it can effect educational opportunities. Armed with this knowledge, we aim to level the playing field on our platforms, and create equal opportunities for all of our learners.

Our journey towards inclusivity was further enhanced by engaging with the specifically selected content which included thought provoking documentaries, enlightening Ted Talks and powerful literature, all of which broadened our horizons and challenged our perceived notions.

As we culminated our Diversity and Inclusivity course, we were tasked with finding ways to make our platform services and offerings more inclusive and representative of all children. With renewed passion and commitment, we brainstormed and developed actionable strategies, and presented them at the end of the course.

Our goal is to ensure that every child, regardless of their background or identity, can access high-quality educational resources that resonate with their unique experiences. We are excited to embark on this new chapter, as we work tirelessly to ensure our products are a beacon of inclusivity, representing and empowering all children.

Together, let us build an educational landscape where diversity thrives, prejudice is challenged, and every child can flourish, and unlock their full educational potential. We must remember that every step taken towards inclusivity has the potential to shape a brighter, more harmonious future for all children. Collectively, through inclusivity, we are shaping the future.

A big thank you to The Rutu Foundation for Intercultural Multilingual education for providing this wonderful course, which they tailor made for us – you can find out more here: www.rutufoundation.org

Our Epic Beach Volleyball Tournament!

Roxy

Yesterday, we served up a thrilling Beach Volleyball Tournament and it’s safe to say we know how to raise the bar (and net) when it comes to summer activities! So, grab that sunscreen and dig your toes in the sand as we take you through the tales of the tournament, from the outfit extravaganza, to the pizza filled aftermath!

Lisa and Alieke, from our fabulous culture crew are the masterminds behind this amazing event, and rallied us all up for an evening of sand, sun and of course spectacular outfits. From fairies, Barbie & Ken Duos, The Glitter Bomb Squad, to the human pizza, you name it we certainly caught a vibe with our outfit efforts.

Time for the real competition. With the teams assembled the volleyball action kicked into high gear. Perhaps The Aloha Squad needed a bit more practise before making it to the olympics, but it was their enthusiasm and unwavering determination that won the hearts of everyone present.

When the dust settled, two victory hungry teams emerged from the volleyball battlefield and so began the showdown between team Volley-Dolls and Fairy Nice. The atmosphere was electric with victory in sight for both teams. Tamiya was a constant beacon of support for her team, a cheerleader going above and beyond to try to rally her team to win!

In the end, following a remarkable display of volleyball technique, and teamwork it was team Volley-Dolls who took the victory and became champions of this years summer activity. They wore their medals and wigs with pride!

With everyone in need a refuel, we headed to the park to relish in the fun of the evening over a delicious pizza feast. The laughter continued, with tales of epic serves, improbable saves and of course, a few sandy mishaps.

No tournament would be complete without referees, supporter and Head of Games so to everyone who participated on or off of the sand, your spirit and dedication is greatly appreciated! The Futurewhiz Volleyball tournament reminded us that there is great power in team spirit, and embracing being out of our comfort zone, and in doing so, we are continuing to strengthen the bond between our team mates.

Futurewhiz’s volleyball tournament was more than just the sporting competition, it was a testament to our spirit of coming together as a team of colleagues. So, until our next amazing adventure, we’ll keep the playful spirit alive and never be afraid to dive into new experiences, whether that’s in the world of education or on the shores of fun!

Stay curious, stay cool and keep the vibe rocking those fabulous costumes!

Unlocking The Power of Growth: Futurewhiz’s Inspiring Study day!

Roxy

Hey there fellow learners and ed-tech enthusiasts, we’re thrilled to share with you the epic tale of our offsite study day. Our mission is to enrich and empower our future generations experience of learning and education. Whilst doing this, we’re striving to ensure that we’re investing in, and enhancing our employees career growth and development; After all, the journey along the path of learning never stops!

So, grab the popcorn and take a seat, as we share the highlights of this unforgettable day!

Our CEO Serge took centre stage to kickstart the day with a candid and captivating interview with our one and only Lisa. Lisa’s questions allowed Serge to think deeply, and share some personal and professional insights into his career journey which inspired us all! The first part of the morning was packed with inspiration and some self reflection, and not forgetting a few more light hearted questions from our online interview panel made up of colleagues children. The tone for the day was well and truly set and we couldn’t wait for the rest to unravell.

Bart Flos. A renowned motivational speaker and author was next to ignite the spark within us, taking us on an exhilarating journey through the world of organisational change, and teaching us how to embrace it. His animated gestures, and hilarious jokes had us rolling with laughter; The buzz of his enthusiasm left us feeling energised and ready to conquer new horizons and seize change!

Next up, it was time for us to channel our inner Picasso and get artsy, the mission? We were challenged to create mood boards to capture our skills, personality traits, interests and values. Using magazine cut outs, and armed with glue sticks, glittery pens and endless creativity we collectively found clarity and a renewed sense of purpose. This opportunity to self reflect guided us greatly, and brought us closer to understanding our career aspirations.

Then came the moment for us to visualise our career paths. We drew detailed roadmaps, mapping out our career paths from the very beginning to where we currently are. We focused on the skills and critical experiences we can utilise, build on and acquire to reach our dream roles. Not only did this exercise provide a tangible visualisation of our goals, it also equipped us with a clear roadmap and mindset for future career success and development.

Of course, no study day would be complete without a delicious lunch to refuel and connect with colleagues. Engaging in meaningful conversations over a tasty meal with the Futurewhiz family reiterated the sense of community and camaraderie amongst us all. By the end of the day, the atmosphere was buzzing with positivity and innovation, and the relaxed environment meant that we could share a drink together, further reinforcing the collaborative spirit that defines Futurewhiz.

This unforgettable experience served to remind us all that we each have incredible potential, coupled with amazing support and guidance from Futurewhiz to exceed our career goals, whatever those may be. Stay tuned for our next adventure because at Futurewhiz the (learning) journey never ends!