The Purpose Timeline Workshop

Or: “why I co-designed a workshop on purpose, and how it works”.

In November 2015, when I left Chile to head back to Europe to get involved in the collective response to the Refugee Crisis, I experienced the most deep and challenging period of self-doubt of my life.

I can hear you thinking: “How come? The only fact that you have decided to head back and take action is pretty driven…”

Well, that’s another thing I have learned past winter: you can decide to follow your intuition, act for what you believe matters and take a leap of faith believing that things will get clearer, but that doesn’t mean that you feel like things are clear already.

It took time for me to see my multifaceted background, spanning from professional volleyball to Fine Arts, from Tech Startups to Social Entrepreneurship, as a resource and not a limitation. Questions like “OK, so… what do you do exactly?” or “when are you going to finally focus on one thing?” always challenged me, till I managed to identify the beauty of being a “hybrid”… but that December, for some reason, I felt overwhelmed and I just didn’t know direction to go, both professionally and personally.

Luckily enough, when you are in doubt and you somehow manage to raise your white flag, some people come around and manage to light up your path a little. To me, one of these people has been Davide “Folletto” Casali.

He came to me and asked me to have a 1:1 meeting, something between a coaching session and a workshop, to try to figure out things together with a model he had in mind. The session had such a positive effect on me, and I found it so simple yet impactful, that I felt the need to share it with others. And that’s how Davide and I decided to team up and work on the model together, to spread it as a tool to get a clearer vision on personal and work goals, and put them in perspective.

We called it “The Purpose Timeline Workshop“.

Just like he says in his posts about the model:

People are often asked or expected to have one clear purpose driving them. We know that this is just not feeling right, or possible, for many of us, for a multitude of different reasons.

“The Purpose Timeline is a workshop designed to allow you to identify the multiple values, passions and purposes that drive you, and to identify how to build what’s missing to connect all of them to your current situation. It’s about mapping out what you really want in your work and life, and connecting the dots to design the right strategy. It’s about fulfilment and balance.”

As mentioned, the exercise was originally designed for 1:1 sessions with a coach, but I became increasingly interested in exploring the possibility to do it with groups:

what would be the dynamic in a “less focused on one person” environment?
What if being with others, and not being able to dive deep in a 1:1 dynamic, would actually create a less stressful condition for each person, leading them to reflect and pull out thoughts more easily?

Once I started running both, individual and group sessions, I could immediately see how different the two dynamics are. Of course none of them is “better” or “worse” than the other. They are just different, and it’s up to each person to pick the one that fits better his or her preferences, as much as it’s very important for who drives the exercise to guide people in making this choice.

In the group sessions, every learning and breakthrough becomes a collective one: barriers and divisions get teared down by seeing others sharing very similar fears or doubts, and by exploring these feelings from different perspectives the learning experience gets enhanced.

In the 1:1 sessions of course everything is more tailored, personal and proportional to one’s needs and focus. Many people who participate to group sessions ask for 1:1 follow-up sessions or coaching.

One final note:

on March 2016 we started to spread the Purpose Timeline workshop, and we have decided to leave it open source: every person interested in running it, anywhere in the world, will be able to do it and will have all our support in doing it.

Here you can find the step-by-step process described by Davide “Folletto” Casali in his blog, intenseminimalism.

Contact me if you’d like to know more about this model (we can send you the blueprint!), or if you are interested in a 1:1 or group session! 🙂

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

The ultimate Santiago life-toolkit. For foreigners, by foreigners!

“Give back” they say.

Pretty simple and powerful, right?

It’s kind of what I’ve thought when I’ve realised that it’s been more than 7 months since I moved to Santiago to join the Start-up Chile community, and that there is stuff that I could “give back” in terms of tips and advices on the life here.

Especially now that I’m finally meeting the members of Start-up Chile Gen11 and Gen12 (welcome guys!) I can see in them the same funny struggle I had while trying to settle down in Santiago: “it’s so european and still so different from what I’ve ever experienced”.

The hardest struggles are actually caused by the simplest things: here it’s not so immediate to find those daily references that enable entrepreneurs to keep pushing the boundaries and to focus on the projects that they are carrying on, instead of focusing on trying to find good coffee.

Therefore, I’ve thought to list here some of these international references for entrepreneurs, innovators and  aventureros de la vida who have for some reason ended up living in Santiago de Chile.

If you have some other link or useful info to share, please post it in the comments or send it to I’ll add it to the post!

1. (Good) Coffee

Of course.

The most different companies are universally united by this common denominator: there’s always at least one coffee-addicted member of the team whose sales/code/designs/whatever will simply not be delivered properly unless someone brings him/her good coffee. ASAP please.

I know you’ve gone to the closest supermarket and you’ve ended up depressingly staring at Nescafé/soluble stuff. I feel you, we’ve all been there.

But no worries. We got this!

You can buy real coffee at Jumbo (if you’re using a moka pot, the type of coffee you search for is the “molido”). You can find Jumbo in the Costanera Center (open everyday, from 8.30 am to 10 pm) or check here for other locations.

If, instead, you aim to buy coffee beans, please check this list of places where you can get it.

But you can also get good coffee comfortably sitting in a café. Here there’s a list of the best spots in Santiago:

Bloom Cafè

Cafè Mosqueto

Cafè Pedregal

The Original Green Roasters café

El Divan

Cafè Colmado

Fix Cafè (thank you @Diego)

Espresso Capitale Coffee Shop (thank you @Raul)

For some pretty extraordinary reviews and some further info about these places, please check this link.

2. Free wifi Spots

AKA: alternative offices and work-from places.

While nomadlist and workfrom are not that on-track (yet) about Santiago, we still have some pretty awesome crowdsourced info.

Here there’s a (massive) list of cafè with Wifi in Santiago, but if you want my humble suggestions on where to go to work check the list below.


One of the coolest cafes I’ve found in Santiago, extremely modern and international. Wifi is good and food too!

Cafè del Opera

Impressively good wifi (perfect Skype calls with video, not even one issue) and very good food. Both breakfasts (national and internationals) and sandwiches are very good, same for salads. Definitely a handy spot!


It’s one of the places where you will get not only the healthiest and more natural food ever (you have to try the juices and have a brunch there!), but you will be able to benefit of great wifi and a quiet spot where to work from during the day. It gets a little bit crowded around lunch time, but in the afternoon it gets peaceful again.

Address: Padre Mariano 125 – metro: Pedro de Valdivia.

Cafè Literario

On the most beautiful and relaxing spots for working. Located in the middle of the Parque Bustamante, it allows you to work with good wifi while enjoying the view on the park, its trees and fountains.

There’s actually a second one, located in Providencia.

Hint: do not order coffee there. Great location, awesome spot where to work from, but no good coffee yet!

3. Good/healthy (and vegetarian-friendly) restaurants

I’m not going to be rambling here, I know it’s a matter of taste and I will just leave here my three favourite restaurants where to get good, fresh food:

El Huerto

Delicious vegetarian place. The variety of options is immense, and if you don’t feel like choosing just go for the menu of the day. You can’t possibly end up disappointed, ever.

El Naturista

Kind of an hidden spot, but definitely a great one. From the checked table cloth to the atmosphere, you will really feel like home.

Senz Sushi & Nikkei

Great, fresh sushi, delicious juices and a great variety of combinations between the Japanese and Peruvian cuisine.

You can find a further list of healthy and vegan/vegetarian-friendly places here.

Last but not least, a special mention goes to Buffalo Waffles, the perfect high-quality cheap eat place close to Lastarria. (thank you @Layla)

4. Where to buy really good and cheap vegetables and fruit

If you don’t want (like many of us) to go to Jumbo to buy vegetables and fruits, you will have to go for the best option you have: La Vega market.

Cheap, delicious stuff, and a massive variety of options – you will actually find the 4% of the entire Chile’s horticultural market there. Yes, you will also be staring at some fruits of vegetables that you have never seen before.

For a detailed guide on the La Vega market, please check this link, while for the exact location click here.