Last september, we had the privilege to have 3 friends from Iran attend the Permanent Beta Festival. One of them, Alireza Jozi, had this to say about it…

As a tech entrepreneur and in the field of innovation, I have always socialized with groups with innovative and forward-thinking mindsets, those minds that usually turn out to shape the future world. Quite randomly at a TedxKish event in Kish Island in the middle of the Persian Gulf, I met a quite interesting and very tall Dutch guy named Mark Meinema who throughout years of friendship introduced me to an “event” called Permanent Beta. At the time before knowing what it really is I thought of it as an “event”, before actually understanding that it’s far beyond that and it’s more like a way of thinking, a mindset and even a culture. An idea that uses technology, art, people to move the world in a better direction.

Permanent Beta concept is encouraging folks to always be in a permanent state of beta when it comes to thinking, initiatives and anything that may lead to “progress” of the world. I missed the Tehran local event, though I did see many videos, and I did have a very great hang out with Martijn which truly made me even more excited to attend the festival. And at some point, I saw myself in a middle a forest in north-eastern part of the Netherlands.

In the past 4 years, I’ve probably been to more than 100 events with various subjects like startups, finance, idea sharing, TEDx events and so on. But I can say this was the most different and unique event I’ve ever been to. For starters, there was no event organizing team. The attendees were the organizers which I really loved. I was at the event for 3 days and not even in the main days. But during the day I found myself socializing and exchanging thoughts, washing dishes, helping with moving around tables, listening to live music, and being in workshops. Not a typical thing that happens at every festival.

Bright minds attract bright minds, At least I know I was between bright minds though I wasn’t one of them. Being in nature and far from technology and civilization really helped people connect, click and exchange thoughts which were extremely incredible.

There were 5 points that really impacted me and what made Permanent Beta Festival a great experience for me.

1. Thinking beyond the “before” and “now”. The event was all about shaping the future. Whether the topic is new education, startups, self-improvement, art and so on.

2. Forward-thinking crowd. Though almost all the participants were Dutch, as an Iranian who lived in 5 different countries, I didn’t feel like I was in a dutch oriented crowd rather a truly multicultural and international crowd that shows how great the quality of the attendees are.

3. If you want to connect and think deeper, then to nature you go. And I experienced that first hand at Permanent Beta Festival. The whole camping experience truly helped the festival to be more impactful.

4. The concept of consistently being in the state Permanent Beta alone is something that really got me thinking and I could say it has shaped my thoughts.

5. Very friendly and open attendees. The attendees alone were a great highlight for me as we had sometimes 2 hour long conversations about different topics. I have learned many things from the attendees and the great people at the festival which again shows how great the selection process of the event is.

I strongly believe this event should be expanded internationally, having multiple local events in different cities and ultimately one annual festival in each continent.

The event was an amazing experience for Hamed and I and we thank Martijn, Kim, Mark and the great team and minds behind this. We were really privileged to have this opportunity to be at this event and we hope we can also attend the next year event and also other local events.

November 2018

Alireza Jozi