Improving InterNations in Geneva
I guess I must have joined InterNations 6 years ago. I was working for a small Swiss firm that boasted at least 25 nationalities amongst it's Protected content , with international subsidiaries in 2 continents. Yet, I never really felt any energy from the team. At that time we were all Albatrosses, but I had the impression that the Geneva "Chapter" of InterNations was very much like the city itself, bourgeois and mildy arrogant, preferring clubbing in the chic bars and lounges to afterwork drinks in more mainstream establishments, as if the international population in Geneva was solely constituted of young, single, professionals working in private banks. Geneva's reputation was built on its openness to those whose beliefs and ideas were unacceptable in their own country. Calvin left his native France for Switzerland and was followed in the centuries to come by Voltaire and so many others. Native Genevans, such as Rousseau and Dunand, further developed the city's identity as a centre of tolerance and humanity. In this context, I wonder why InterNations Geneva seems to prefer organising events that not only cost money at the door, but also require payment for food and drinks. Another observation is that the events seems to be organised in the same set of establishments, rather than endeavouring to try new places and new experiences. Conservatism really doesn't seem to equate with internationalism, does it now.
Recently, I spent 18 months in Jakarta, Indonesia. There the InterNations ambassadors were continually seeking out new places to hold their events and after payment of the entry fee, soft drinks, some alcoholic drinks and food were all free for a limited period of time. Happy Hour is not the same. Getting a glass of wine in a bar in chic Geneva at a reduced rate would still cost more than buying a bottle in the local supermarket. Geneva is in a wine-growing area, Jakarta is in a muslim country; yet still the Jakarta InterNations team managed to get better deals on drinks in the establishments they selected.
I would be glad to read about other comparisons between InterNations teams around the world.