Interview with Peter Kris, Founder of Block Unison, enthusiast by Michal Tomek
First of all, one thing needs to be stressed out. Campus’ community is everything. For many, it is the very definition of Campus. However, it would be unwise to imagine a closed organism living in its own micro-ecosystem, letting in only those that have passed the test. No way! That would mean a violation of core values Campus stands for.
"We believe that one cannot achieve success on one's own. That is why we are all up for working together, passing the knowledge and experience to each other and reaching out to more experienced when needed,” states one of Campus' blogs.
To stay true to the value, the space is open for the public through events and broad network of supporters. Anyone can join without a pressure to pay for hotdesks or fixdesks. Everyone can take part in Campus‘ life by merely being an enthusiast, attending events, helping out, supporting causes Campus comes up with or giving helping hand when needed.
An illustrative case needed? Here we go. Introducing Peter Kris.
I help you and you help me
Peter is a crypto and blockchain consultant, entrepreneur, a former developer, and - - wait for it - - one of the Campus’s enthusiasts – supporter, “external” friend, helper, networker. Without ever having a fixed spot in the co-working space, he has always been part of the community.
“I became aware of newly establishing international co-working space in Mlynska dolina and what they were up to thanks to the campaign they ran. It was around the time when I was working as a consultant and wanted to try out something new in my free time."
Peter was eager to enhance his public speaking skills. He has always been in touch with the startup community. For a certain period, he even had a place in the very first co-working space in Bratislava, The Spot. Feeling that Campus is the right place stuffed with people alike, he gave it a try and approached Dusan (Campus co-founder).
“I told him my story. I knew about the events they were planning, explained him that I feel comfortable in the problematics and want to try public speaking. To do so, I offered I could help them host some events.”
As simple as an email
Response? Positive. Peter hosted two events and attended a plethora of others. The first one was a half-day conference on career opportunities aimed at college students where he led a panel discussion with four guests.
“The second one was a ‘bit' more ad hoc,” laughs Peter. „I got a call from Dusan on Sunday evening asking me if I could come for a blockchain conference they were holding in Binarium the next day. That wasn’t even twenty-four hours.”
Taking Peter’s background into consideration, he did not have many options there. “What else could I say? I seized the opportunity. I have been around blockchain and crypto since 2012, so it only made sense. As the conference language was English, it was a brand new training for me.”
It came out as his best experience with Campus – being given an opportunity as an outsider to become a part of the event and help them make it happen. Moreover, it was as simple as an email to Dusan, „whom I, by the way, had not even met in person before.“
Finally – events in English!
Hosting the events was only one aspect of Peter’s enthusiastic approach to Campus, however. He took it to a higher level when using his networking skills. “When Campus was looking for a relationship manager, I recommended them my girlfriend. Later, they wanted to occupy a business development position. Again, I recommended a colleague from my previous work. They hired both of them.“
It’s not only about a community as such, however. It’s about the international community. “Nice space, beautiful design, an international community, meeting people from various cultures – that’s the thing I love about Campus. They know how to squeeze all these different people into one space and make it work."
When the founders were launching Campus two years ago, they were a bit insecure whether they were targeting the right audience, if there would be enough people to fill up the offices, if they would sell enough tickets for English events. The opposite became true.
“I have a friend from Berlin who is living in Bratislava. For a long time, he could not find events held in English and was truly missing it. When Campus opened, he ended up there. This is the kind of people Campus is appealing to.”
Which company/startup/non-profit organization in CEE inspires you and why?
I like the team of Orderlord. They had courage to do sales straight in NY and now they’re battling in London.
Top three (audio)books/blogs/podcasts that changed your way of looking at the world?
Lesswrong, evolutionary psychology in general and some weird folks on the internet.
Which app or tool do you regularly use that most people around you do not know aka your „secret weapon“?
The best personal hack that helped you become more effective/productive/healthier/less stressed/get things done over the last 6 months?
Unfollow feature on social media.
Were you not doing what you do, what career path could we see you pursuing?
I’d be a professional dancer.
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