From an underground community to a global movement: Some FAQ
How does a small social circle turn into a local underground community? How does a local underground community turn into a global movement? How is it possible to make a global movement function? And how do you make money? If the team at Fuckup Nights were given a dollar for every time we were asked these questions, we’d be filthy rich already.
To answer these questions, let us tell you a story:
Once upon a time (2012), in a land far far away (or around the corner if you live in Mexico City) 5 friends met in a bar and drunk some Mexican magic potion (Mezcal) they were feeling sad and disillusioned with how the whole world was talking about success and the path that leads to it. Why was no one talking about reality, about failure? As the Mezcal took effect the friends lowered their guards and loosened their tongues, one by one each of them confessed to be carrying the weight of a professional failure and shared their story with the group.
Over the following days, after the Mezcal worked its way out of their bodies, the magic remained. Sharing their failures had lifted away shame and let them be vulnerable. Grateful for the things they had shared and learned, the friends made a pact to return to the bar and share the cathartic experience with others.
The group of friends quickly grew into a community of people meeting regularly to experience the magic formula of Fuckup stories and beers, one day a lady named Naia from San Sebastian in Spain was in the bar and asked if she could take this magic back to her city:
The 5 friends said yes and in this moment, the movement was born.
Fuckup Nights Lagos
Now that Fuckup Nights were taking place in both the American Continent and Europe it was only a matter of time before it spread across the world, the formula is immune to borders and works its magic on people from Lagos to La Paz and in today’s world, where our minor (and beautiful) differences are often used to divide us, we have found another concept that unites everyone of us: Failure.
Humans, no matter where we are from or which family we’re born into all experience failure. We all feel a wide range of psychological complexities on the path to and from a failure. Most of us also find this path to be a lonely one, sharing it with others is not something we are accustomed to doing. That is why the magic formula is so important, it breaks this barrier and is why the movement naturally grew to be what it is today.
The Movement only exists because of a global community of driven (and slightly crazy) City Fuckuppers (organizers). A Fuckupper is an individual who is personally motivated to change mindsets, promote learning and improve the wellbeing in their cities by creating events that provide safe spaces for people to publically share their failures and learnings.
Fuckuppers are never approached or recruited by Fuckup Nights. We strongly believe that motivation should be internal. These wonderful individuals usually reach out to us after being moved by a Fuckup Nights event they have attended, video they have watched or blog post they have read. Each Fuckupper has their own stories and reasons for wanting to bring these events to life in their city and we love to hear them.
If we decide to invite an individual or team into our movement, we offer them a contract, this makes it official and they become the leader of the Fuckup Nights movement in their city. We charge a membership fee, a token amount that shows a commitment from the Fuckupper but it’s not enough to keep the movement sustainable, it’s actually the corporates who keep us alive.
Companies, Conferences and Academic Institutions ask us to organize Private Events, Workshops and Content Programs to improve company culture, create spaces of psychological safety and encourage innovation.
What better way to Fuckup the System than from the inside?! We’re available in every country where we have a presence, which means almost every part of the world 24/7. This is how we sustain the movement!
Helping our Fuckuppers share the failure is a team of 4 Movement Coordinators and a Movement Admin. Coordinators onboard each new Fuckupper into the community (by teaching them how to create the Fuckup Nights magic). We also give them a whole bunch of Fuckup Nights Materials: manuals, platforms, design assets, etc. After this, we remain constant “friends in failure” having regular support and sharing calls and understanding how the movement is developing in each city.
We create a community between Fuckupper’s by announcing each new team to the whole movement, making local introductions and organizing Fuckupper calls. Last Year we held a competition for our European Fuckuppers and the winners joined us at our midyear retreat in Palma de Mallorca.
Here’s the team from Fuckup Nights Europe HQ with Fuckuppers Mina from Malmo and Bertwin & Barbara from Leeuwarden.
Being part of something bigger than yourself is a humbling and rewarding experience: Getting to have lots of FUN and say “FUCK” all the time, is an added bonus.
If you’re interested in joining the FUN and becoming a City Fuckupper, please head over to our City Membership Page.