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FriendUp *** 2. Phase ***

Platforms & programs, to match people with common interests and philosophies to better connect to others and build fulfilling social circles

The Barrier: It's hard to make meaningful connections. It's hard to make new friends to share hobbies or interests A gap between local and expat communities Those Affected: This barrier has been developed and applies to both locals and expats, who would like to meet and connect with people, make new friends, and fill social gaps between locals and expats. Having a fulfilling social life is important to individual's health and a better society. Your Team 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 Sales and Social Media Marketing Consultant 3 years experience in social events organizing, community building. Founder of Social Salsa group (1K + members)  𝗘𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗘𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 Postdoctoral Scientist 4 years experience in social events, community building. Founder of Socializing in Zurich group (3K + members)  𝗟𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘃𝗮𝗶 𝗟𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘃𝗮𝗶 Marketing Professional More than 3 years experience in social events organizing, community building. Founder of Outdoors in Switzerland (9k + members) Marketing 𝗖𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱: Marketing, community building, event organizing, established network / followers to launch this program. 𝗗𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀 Highly competent (native / fluent) German and Swiss German Knowledge in local media / advertising and local governance (with aim to gain support) Application developer Social scientists (great value but not a must) To the team, we would like to hear from you. Can not wait to work with you on this! Your plan: · Always target towards people's social needs and how to fulfill them Build online-offline transitional platforms and programs to match people with common interests · Build application as online to offline · Build a sustainable business model to obtain self-sufficiency in the near future ___________________________________ We have Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp ... why is it still difficult to build meaningful connections outside our normal life and work routines. What is the barrier? What is missing in the modern social system? What can be done to solve this barrier? Offline business as well. To create better and better connections in person. Questions to the community: What is your social experience in Zurich? What do you think are the barriers / limitation of modern social system? What did you like about social events / programs / platforms? What would you like to do in a social life for you? = = = Note from the moderator team: This idea was entered in consultation with us in English. It is fine for us if the discussion here is in German. For all German-speaking ideas we ask to keep the discussion in German.   

Resultate des Stakeholder-Mappings

Resultate der Strassenbefragung

Beschreibt bitte eure Persona

Fasst hier euer Onliness Statement zusammen

Fügt bitte ein Bild von eurem Lean Canvas ein


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  1. Holger Hoffmann-Riem (Moderator)

    I guess everybody experiences the difficulty of making new connections in different ways. I think for expats the barriers are a bit different than they are for Swiss people who are new to a place like Zurich. Do you think it is best to create a platform for „all kinds of connections“, or would it be better to focus on specific target groups like expats, at least initially?

    1. Michael.Ewing

      I think there is a bigger need for expats as „moving“ is usually considered one of the most stressful life events, in large part because the social support network is quite thin after a move. But loneliness is not limited to expats but is rather a general phenomenon. And expats who make friends only with expats risk falling into a cycle of having to find new connections repeatedly as many expats leave after only a few years. So I think it might be good to start with expats but narrowing our target audience too much does not provide as much social health as we prefer. In order to generate meaningful long-lasting connections, I think moving beyond expats is a necessary step, and one that should be under consideration from the beginning.

      1. Emma.Beath Autor/in des Beitrags

        Agree with Michael. The loneliness and the difficulty to build a new friend circle when need to is the same for everyone. From the feedback I have received from some locals in the communities I manage, it’s even harder for locals to make friends outside existing friends and family circle. As expats are more motivated/pushed to make new friends due to moving,there are naturally more social activities among expats. Therefor it’s easier for expats to reach out.

  2. Emma.Beath Autor/in des Beitrags

    I would like to raise the following questions:
    1) As a foreigner, how easy do you feel it is to make new friends, and integrate into local society?
    2) As a local Swiss, do you have the needs to meet new people or make new friends some times, how easy is it to achieve so?
    3) As a Swiss who just moved to Zurich or another city, what is your experience to connect with people there?
    4) As a foreigner who has been living in Zurich/ Switzerland for a long time (more than 5 years), what is your experience to connect with people here?

  3. Maurizio.Longo

    What is your social experience in Zurich?
    — I’m very happy with my social life in Zurich. Working, dancing, hiking help a lot
    What do you think are the barriers / limitation of modern social system?
    — Sometime I think people are not interested in real connections, virtual its easier and doesn’t required any efforts…. but in the end this doesn’t bring anything. Its my opinion.
    What did you like about social events / programs / platforms?
    — Outdoor activities but not with fixed days. I like meetup and FB group platforms
    What would you like to do in a social life for you?
    — Dancing latin american, hiking, cooking, traveling and jogging

    1. Emma.Beath Autor/in des Beitrags

      Hi Maurizo,
      – How do you usually find people to go dancing and hiking with, or did you build your friends circle for your hobbies?
      -I have the same experience with the digital socializing. We have social medias which makes it easier to find people. However at the same time, it makes people more interested to chat online, rather than spend some valuable time in person. Do you have any suggestions how to change this?

  4. Ankit.Anand

    Social experience in Zurich is challenging in general. Too much structure in the modern system is one of the barrier I feel which restrict the possibility of improvisation in a society which human being enjoy in general. On the one hand, it is considered very difficult to socialize in Zurich; on the other hand, several groups and organizations are trying to facilitate that, which I found more than any other city I lived before. Socializing for the sake of socializing kills the fun several times. I enjoy social events which are just related to the activities I am interested in, and then connecting with likeminded people happens organically. In social life, I would like to have access to spaces where cool things are happening regularly, and cool and open-minded people are hanging out. I can walk in without any plan and walk out with a happy face.

      1. Ankit.Anand

        I am running one of the groups myself as a subgroup of our international Falling Frames Community (named Zurich creatives on meetup). We have a physical location in Langstrasse called Freak House- LanngstrassenKultur, where we organize various events. However, it is still not so straightforward to spread the word about it. Even we have loyal community members who visit our place regularly and appreciate their experience with us they hardly go out to spread word of mouth about us (which reflects they either don’t have many friends or they are not interested (or finding it difficult) to share their experience with their friends). We are still trying to get to the root of the problem. There are other groups which are also trying their best in this direction, e.g. Socializing in Zurich, Social Salsa, Zurich together, etc.

  5. Cristina.Lendvai

    Hi Emma,
    Great topic, thanks for sharing.
    Please find below my answers to your questions:
    – What is your social experience in Zurich? >>> My first social experience was quite difficult. I have moved to Zurich from French part of Switzerland with my Swiss boyfriend and we both struggled to really make close friends. Things changed when I’ve started to take initiative and organize social events myself. Now I can proudly say that I have a nice circle of close friends and I’m meeting new people on a constant basis.
    – What do you think are the barriers / limitation of modern social system? >>> Specifically to Zurich, high turnover for expats as they tend to move out after a few years. Also, social media tends to make some connection superficial. So, extra effort needs to be done to build meaningful connections.
    – What did you like about social events / programs / platforms? >>> As none of the platform was answering to my needs, I’ve decided to create my own Facebook group: ‚Outdoors in Switzerland‘ and it looked like I wasn’t the only one looking to discover Swiss outdoors with fellow outdoors people in a social and friendly environment. The group will soon reach 10000 members.
    – What would you like to do in a social life for you? >>> Most of my social needs were answered by several Facebook groups such as Outdoors in Switzerland, Social Salsa, Socializing in Zurich. It would be great to have a maybe a buddy program for people who just move to Switzerland so that they can get advice on bureaucracy, law, insurance, groups to join depending on interests.

          1. Emma.Beath Autor/in des Beitrags

            After several years building communities and organizing events, I realized both online interactive community platform and offline community activities are both important for building an community and giving people meaningful connections.

          2. Emma.Beath Autor/in des Beitrags

            Meetups: gives information, but not good for real time online interaction
            Facebook: gives information, and some real time online interaction
            Instagram: not good for information, give some one to one interaction but not good for group interaction
            Whatsup: not good for information, but gives real time online interaction
            Website: very good for information, but bad for real time online interaction

            To allow people find each other online and build real connections in person. I have used all above as a combination. However, multi channels require high maintenance and can be confusing to members.

            A digital platform offers all features needed for community building will be good.

          3. Holger Hoffmann-Riem (Moderator)

            Have a look at https://human-connection.org/ – at least that’s something where the source code is available, so you can get rid of elements that you don’t need. I agree it helps to have everything in one place. I don’t think you need instagram, but something like Meetup + Facebook + Whatsapp integrated into one website could help. For Whatsapp you probably want to integrate the real whatsapp because everybody is using that – you can probably find a plugin to connect this to your website. For „Meetup“ and „facebook“ I think it would be best to create your own versions so that there is onle login for both functionalities. I also believe there is an advantage in setting up your own site so that you don’t run into trouble when Facebook changes their functionality, their payment model or whatever.

  6. Shreeya.Nema

    Hi Emma
    Thanks for raising this very important topic. I feel proactive people can survive well in Zürich but there is also not so active/outgoing mass, which still faces difficulty especially in local integration apart from language barrier. So hope your initiative is taken forward!

    What is your social experience in Zurich?
    — I have been living since many years in Switzerland and speak the local language, so I have a social circle but for new comers meet-ups are a great start.
    What do you think are the barriers / limitation of modern social system?
    — People are basically in my feeling bit shy or reserved and not too much in the need to look for socialisation as the social media has also taken it’s toll.
    What did you like about social events / programs / platforms?
    — Meetup and FB group platform are pretty flexible without any obligations. The best part is you always meet new and interesting people and the exchange is always very enriching.
    What would you like to do in a social life for you?
    — Badminton, Dancing, hiking, cooking, travelling and cooking.