Robin Cox is one of the Chapter Be interviews that I was able to conduct on my trip to Amsterdam, and I wanted to speak with him about how he created Citinerary after working for many years in the advertising and marketing sector. We met in his studio in de Pijp to delve into how Citinerary came to be, and to talk more about his own path to being self employed. Robin is Dutch, but his parents moved to Munich, Germany when he was young. He grew up in Germany, and then in 2001 decided that he wanted to return to Amsterdam, so moved for college and ultimately decided to stay.
Robin’s self employment started in 2010 after the company he was working for folded, and he decided to not actively look for a new job. He instead headed to the Chamber of Commerce to sign up to be self-employed, and began the path of working for himself. As he expresses in our conversation, “The past five years have been all about trial and error, about playing…I had the job. I had the career. I needed to look for my calling.”
Citinerary was created in 2012, when Robin realized that “both citizens and visitors aren’t always aware of the core culture and lifestyle of a city…we miss out on the real beauty of what lies underneath, of what citizens create, the understanding of how we actually live in these cities…a valuable experience is driven by social context; the people you meet along the way. The ones that give you a sense of acceptance, direction and belonging.” What started as a meet-up service, has morphed into a content platform that is compiling a collection of perspectives in seven cities (and growing) around the world – Amsterdam, Bucharest, Madrid, Minneapolis, Montreal, Oslo and Rotterdam. All of the work stands behind the belief that a city is made by people – #acitymadebypeople.
In the episode we talk about how Citinerary is working to either create or break perceptions about the cities they work with, how the world is in need of more real connections and the importance in giving yourself the freedom to experiment and make mistakes. Listen below to learn more about Robin’s Chapter Be story…
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
What’s your favorite quote, story or fact?
“There are no short-cuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills
Worst work experience?
Being asked by an internship supervisor to choose between private life or working on a presentation beyond office hours: “If your private life is more important than your career…” I didn’t answer the question, turned around and walked out of the door.
What is your definition of success?
Finding your calling in what you do. After all, we’re spending almost 80% of our days working. So why approach it as ‘work?’
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
We always want to long for something new and exciting. So I’m trying to come up with new projects ahead of time that I can work towards. It puts my mind into a new gear and with a new portion of excitement, I remain to going forward and energized.
What does “to be” mean to you?
Personally: to be meaningful and relevant to others. To make a positive impact.
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
I’m really bad in my time-management, especially when it comes down to tasks that I really don’t want to accomplish. So I wait until the pressure’s on, and finish them with my eyes closed.
Ideal READING LIST – books, websites, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc. that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – Michael Jackson
LINKS & RESOURCES…
- Citinerary website
- Stefan Sagmeister TED Talks
- The Hoxton, Amsterdam
- Citinerary Facebook
- Citinerary Instagram
- Citinerary Twitter
Images via Chapter Be and Citinerary