Feeling lonely? Willing to meet other young professionals but tired of your group of expats? Or vice versa: Are you Swiss and wonder what is the best way to integrate with "Newly Swissed"?
The answer is Spoontano, a new social platform that matches five or more open-minded people, then books them a table at a hip restaurant. I have recently put my name on their guest list, and it was an interesting way for me to expand my network. And I got to taste some delicious food at the same time...
How to socialize in the 21st century
Expat life seems exciting from the outside, but let's be frank: Sometimes, it is like living on a roller coaster. Whether facing initial cultural clashes or bureaucratic issues, and especially when loneliness hits on a rainy day, there is no amount of Swiss chocolate that can help.
Ten years ago when I moved to Zürich for the first time, the thought of all the new people I would be meeting got me all excited. I would participate in as many social events as possible. I would stalk my neighbors and random people on the train, all the while trying to build a new circle of friends that share similar hobbies and interests.
Today, socializing is an entirely new experience. Meeting new people and keeping contacts has never been so easy. Thanks to digital helpers residing on our smartphones, we have immediate access to the entire community of locals and expats.
Spoontano is one of those apps that bring people together in an informal and friendly environment. It is the brainchild of Marco Studer, a Swiss start-up founder. His idea is compelling: International cities have plenty of open-minded, young professionals who are willing to expand their networks – the Erasmus Generation. Spoontano wants to become the ultimate social networking platform, helping to bridge the very real gap between locals and expats.
The idea is compelling. Even though Spoontano has only recently been launched, Studer and his team are already organizing dinners in more than eleven cities worldwide, including Zürich.
At a recent pizza dinner here in Zürich, I had the pleasure of meeting four other young professionals from just as many different nationalities - including a real Swiss. I can see Spoontano as a great way to expanding my circle of friends.
Participating is easy: Check the Spoontano website, enter your contact details, pick a city and a date and give some information about what you like and what you do. This will ensure you are matched with people that share similar backgrounds and interests.
The next round of dinners takes place in May, so book your slot now and look out for the hashtag #Spoontano on Instagram...