It’s exciting news! SPEAK is going to BERLIN!

It’s raining in Berlin and someone stole my bed at 3am this evening (crazy, right?). I arrived at 2am to a hostel and chose a 4-bed dorm for my first night. Two beds were free, I picked one randomly. At 3am someone comes in and says: “hey, that’s my bed”. I did that wtf-face but moved to the other option with no resistance. The guy gets my first option preferring a used bed to a new one – sometimes the world is a funny place. Anyway, Berlin is beautiful and here we are!

SPEAK connects migrants & refugees with locals through a language and culture exchange program.

We have been working hard to connect migrants, refugees and locals living in the same city.At the core of the program there are (1) language & culture exchange courses and (2) events. Throughout this learning process, SPEAKers get to know other people, learn and explore common interests, break prejudices, misunderstandings and even promote comprehension as well as cooperation. The events are aimed at creating a bond between SPEAKers and there is room for dialogue, celebration, and friendship.

Together we created something that just works (at least at a small scale). Now it is time to try to help more people. It is just stupid not to try to take SPEAK to other cities where the project is needed the most. We know that countries are looking for solutions like these and we have one right here, we have tested the model in Portugal and in Torino (Italy) and there is no better city than Berlin to be the next stop!

Berlin is an opportunity to help more, to learn, understand which processes are slow, which documentation is still needed, and identify bottlenecks in this growth stage that we are facing.
It is a big challenge though. Blame us, we are ambitious but our community also has a culture to innovate, be disruptive, fail, and change fast. We believe that this kind of environment that sometimes looks a bit chaotic is the only way to disrupt things and increase the probability of helping at scale – isn’t it worth it?

5 ways on how YOU can help SPEAK Berlin:

  1. Be a Buddy! Are you people-oriented? Do you want to share your world and help people learning languages and cultures? Sign up here and read about other Buddies experience here.
  2. Attend our first event in Berlin and start living SPEAK experiences in your city.
  3. Join our Meetup in Berlin.
  4. Email us at if you know about any organization that can help us communicate SPEAK or provide space for our events or language exchange sessions. Thank you Migration Hub Network for stepping up and taking care of us and GoVolunteer for being our first communication partner in Berlin.
  5. Recommend SPEAK to your friends. Point them to

Thank you for your help. I’m pretty sure we will mess up with operations in Berlin a few times, but rest assured that we are hard workers and our community is always trying to improve the way we help at scale.

Author: Hugo Menino Aguiar

Hugo is co-founder of SPEAK, Global Shaper @ WEF and Ex-Googler. Awarded as best vegetarian lasagna cook in its street and surroundings. Uses #s like #socent #geek #adventure #nomad #kitesurfing and #lindyhop

Author: Mariana Brilhante

Mariana is Chief Marketing Officer at SPEAK, she loves nature and adventure, has a sort of obsession for typical sayings!

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