There is no denying that we are living through times when the world could use some extra love and friendliness. Now it is time for you to join the movement! BenchesCollective is calling upon urban pioneers all over the globe to ‘open up’ a bench on their doorstep on 1 October 2017, for a very special global edition of the world’s largest open-air café.
1. Come up with a nice spot on your sidewalk, street, or in a (nearby) park.
2. Think of what you’d like to serve: coffee and cookies, homemade pizza with local beers or an activity like salsa dancing, swapping clothes or a cycling race! Anything goes, as long as you like doing it.
3. Click here, or go to www.benchescollective.com to put your bench on the map and invite your friends, family and neighbors to spend an amazing time together!
4. Want to use your open bench to kickstart the movement in your country, city or neighborhood? You can organize several local events. In the ambassadors group on Facebook, you can find tips and updates.
It’s easier than ever to stay within your comfortable bubble of friends and family. But where do you meet the people who are a bit different from you, who will inspire you and broaden your horizon? Create the opportunity to meet people that have a different outlook on life, but live on the same street or in the same city as you. By adding a meeting place in public space, you can meet everybody; from students and young families to gossipy grandmas and neighborhood kids. In a poll conducted with BenchesCollective participants earlier this year, ‘bench hosts’ mentioned they got to know their neighbors better and have built their local and even professional network, 52% have remained in contact with their neighbors since opening a bench and 60% of visitors say they’ve met people with a different background or outlook on life.
“A bench on the sidewalk makes up a perfect setting for spontaneous conversations with neighbors. It will make you feel way more connected to your neighborhood which is a beautiful thing”, BenchesCollective founder Jesse Jorg explains.