Reflecting On 2020: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Written by
- 4 min read

2020 needs no introduction. So much has happened, it's time for a Corporate Rebels update.

article photo

Taking a serious hit

In March, our plans for Spring and Summer 2020 changed dramatically. Rebel Events were put on hold. Trips were cancelled. The calendar was wiped clean.

Our talks/events business took a big hit.

So, we decided to strengthen our business in other areas. We’ve been working closely with pioneering companies to help traditional organizations reinvent themselves. We strengthened our collaboration with Bucket List pioneers to research, share and spread their innovative ways of working. And we moved our business online as much as possible by setting up a studio in our new office. All of this paid off big-time.

The financial result? It's our best year so far.

The impact of our work on the spreading of a global workplace revolution? Probably not as much as we'd anticipated.

We've been less 'out there', not just physically, but also in terms of our appearances and building the movement. Instead, we focused on a new venture. We hope this investment will boost our impact on workplaces around the globe. Read on:

Corporate Rebels Online Academy

You've probably read that we are working on the launch of the Corporate Rebels Online Academy. We've had this idea for years. But, thanks to COVID-19, we have finally found time to work on it. The aim? An online training camp for Corporate Rebels.

The interest shown since announcing this has blown us away. More than a thousand people have subscribed. Soon, we launch the first course: 'Understanding and designing progressive organizational structures'. In this venture, we will work with pioneers like Buurtzorg, Haier, Viisi, K2K and Panelfisa. More courses in pioneering will follow soon after.

Our aim is to scale our impact so as to educate more people around the world to make work better.

Subscribe now to receive updates and more information:

Forced change

Nothing reveals character like a crisis. As corona spread, companies revealed their true colors. Some seemed rotten to the core. Others showed tenderness, love and care. Here are some  beautiful (and terrible) examples.

Another thing about crises is they create opportunities for change. In 2019 most companies said remote work was going to ruin them, and people would be unproductive working from home. 2020 has shown most of these were dead wrong. In fact, many have embraced the remote revolution and expressed never to go back to mandatory office presence.

Plus, we've seen interest in progressive ways of working rise. 2020 seems to have accelerated workplace transformation toward more meaning, autonomy and flexibility. Clearly, there's still a long way to go. But a year of reflection and confrontation could just trigger the acceleration we need.

The book

It's hard to imagine it's 10 months since we published our book "Corporate Rebels". On 02-02-2020 we released the English version and right from the beginning it was off to an incredible start. We sold more than 10,000 copies in the first week and received rave reviews from people who had been eagerly awaiting its launch.

Then, right after our book launch in London, the corona pandemic destroyed our plans for a global promotion tour. But even without the tour, the book continued to sell really well as we hit the Amazon bestseller charts in several countries.

Over the last 10 months the book has been published in other languages. The English version was followed by Dutch (March), German (June), French (September), Polish (October) and Italian (November). Next up: Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.

The appetite for more progressive ways of working truly is global. And we're excited to be able to contribute.

If you haven't read the book yet, make sure to order a copy now.

The foundation

For many, fun at work is a luxury they can't afford. Too many suffer the consequences of truly bad workplaces. From child labor and slavery to unsafe and harmful working conditions. This year we've established the Corporate Rebels Foundation as we aim to put an end to this.

As a company, we're donating 10% of our profits to the charitable foundation, annually. Plus, we're raising money from our clients and our readers (yes, that's you!). The Foundation's voluntary board members select projects with a direct impact on ending inhuman workplaces.

Soon we'll officially launch the foundation. Stay tuned.


We look forward to 2021. Not just to return to a freer, healthier world. But to increase our impact by creating better workplaces. With a growing community of rebels, organizations ready to change, the soon-to-be-launched academy and the meaningful work of the foundation there's a lot to excite us.

Or, as Col. Hannibal Smith would say: "We love it when a plan comes together".

We're off for a few days, so don't expect any blog posts in the next 10 days. For now, happy holidays!