Hereunder are the four people who started the #play14 movement. They are guilty as charged. Blame them for all games you play, all the fun you get, and all the friends you make. And if you want to know more about how it all started, continue reading this page and discover the key moments of this story.
After all the tickets for play4agile were sold out in a few hours, Yann, Pierre, and Cédric gathered at the Alpha Mercure hotel bar in Luxembourg to give serious thought about organizing a playful event of their own. It turned out that, all it would take was a venue, a date, and a cool name. The date would be March 14th, 2014. The name, just guess... And yes, the hashtag is actually part of the name.
We had a cool name, but to begin marketing the event, we needed a cool logo. For that, we asked Christian Jolas, Cédric's co-worker. He was nice enough to spend his precious time imagining different propositions for the #play14 logo. After some hesitation, we decided to go for the simple and colorful logo. We never regretted it. When we saw it for the first time printed on the black t-shirts, we knew we had made the right choice. When we looked at the pictures after the first event, we realized that Christian had not only given us a great logo, but a remarkable visual identity.
- 2014March 14th
The first event
After only 3 months of planning, the first-ever #play14 event welcomed 34 players in Esch/Belval, Luxembourg. Thanks to Diego, CEO of the Technoport, we had our venue... for free. We also received a lot of logistical help from Diego, which proved pretty handy for first-time organizers like us. We wouldn't have done it without him. That is why Diego is, to this day, considered a founding member of #play14.
- 2015March 27th
The second time
Once was not enough. We wanted more. So we decided to go again. We actually announced the date of the second event right at the end of the first one. We were so happy with how the whole thing turned out that we asked Diego if we could book a date for the next year. He said yes. That second time, a lot of people from the first year came back. It was also when we met Chris and Christina from London.
- 2015September 11th
The first time in Europe
At first, we had no idea that #play14 would spread to different cities. In the beginning, we thought we would grow the Luxembourg event to bigger numbers. And then in 2015, we met Chris Caswell and Christina Ohanian from London. Then, it became clear that with our help and their motivation, they could import the #play14 format and organize the same kind of event in the UK. The idea was to provide the same experience for participants, just with a slightly different British flavor. And it worked like a charm. The two Chrises did a great job at replicating what they experienced in Luxembourg, and we realized the players enjoyed it just as much. From there, #play14 started on a completely new journey. After London, a whole bunch of other cities became a nest for #play14.
- 2015November 20th
The first time in the Middle East & Africa
With Beirut, we started spreading outside Europe, into the Middle East. Pierre Hervouet was one of the players who participated in Luxembourg 2014 and a friend of the other Pierre. When he decided to experiment with running a #play14 event in Beirut, we supported him. The format was shortened to a single day. But even though, people enjoyed it a lot. And we started to realize that independently from the cultural background, learning by playing was really a universal concept and worked everywhere.
- 2019March 1st
The first time in Oceania
It took four more years for #play14 to get exported to a new continent in 2019. But everything was actually set in motion in 2018, when Hanna Karlsson, a Swede living in Australia came back to Europe for her summer tour. Looking for interesting conferences, she registered for both Madrid at the beginning of June and Hamburg at the end of June. She got hooked right away and swiftly decided she wanted to bring the #play14 playfulness down under, to Sydney. We helped her to make it happen and the first event in Oceania was hosted in March of the following year.
- 2019May 31st
The first time in America
The same year, Ulises Aguila who had attended the London event in 2018, decided he wanted to bring #play14 to Mexico. We were thrilled with the idea of organizing the first event on the American continent. Ulises gathered a great team and with the help of his teammates, organized yet another very successful event on that side of the globe.
- 2019October 25th
The first time in Asia
Fred Ducros was one of the players present in Sydney. While French, he was living and working in Kuala Lumpur and decided it was time to bring #play14 to Asia. What a year was 2019 for #play14. We opened the year with Sydney in March, continued with Mexico in May, and finished beautifully with Kuala Lumpur in October, therefore opening three new continents in one year. Back in Europe, our mentoring program was making wonders and 16 events in total were organized that same year. Only it did not last.
The first COVID cancellation
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was with a heavy heart that we decided to cancel the Luxembourg event for safety reasons in early 2020. Turned out we were right to cancel before the lockdown was enforced by the authorities on March 15th. Unfortunately, it was only the beginning of a long series of cancellations.
- 2020May 9th
The first online event
After a moment of freaking out, like everyone else, we all tried to find some ways to reproduce online what we were doing "in real life". So to try and restore a little normalcy and in order not completely lose our momentum, we organized our first online event. With the help of Pierre, the team who was supposed to organize the event in Stuttgart got to it. Using Miro and Zoom, they managed to bring a bunch of #play14 alumni and new people together. We were all trying to figure out how to translate our games online. And we learned a lot from that day. Some of that was captured in Cédric's article.
- 2020July 25th
The BIG one
Now that we had hosting teams around the world, but since we could not move around anymore, we had to try something out. It was actually Pierre who had the idea to have a 24-hours-around-the-globe online event. The event started in Sydney at 9 AM AEST time and finished at 4 PM in Mexico and Los Angeles PDT time. Hosts in each time zone took turns facilitating the whole thing.
- 2021November 11th
The first post-COVID event
It was the team from the Netherlands who took the heavy responsibility of maintaining the first post-COVID event. A small window of opportunity presented itself, and they managed to organize a safe, yet joyful and obviously playful event in Utrecht at the end of 2021. It felt gooooooood to be back. And now we just wanted more.
- 2022and after
The story continues
Fortunately, in 2022, things got (almost) back to normal and we managed to have 7 events throughout the year. We are back, and hungry for more.