Valeriano Donzelli, Founder, InSpiral Club Budapest

  • 26 Oct 2021 4:09 PM
Valeriano Donzelli, Founder, InSpiral Club Budapest
Vale is a Corporate Executive with a long experience in Operations who successfully shifted his career toward Human Resources and Inclusion & Diversity. 

Vale is passionate about leadership and communication skills coaching, personal growth, people development, and creating communities.

In 2016, Vale has created InSpiral Club, a Budapest-based foundation that delivers weekly events to help people connect, learn from each other, and have cheerful times together. InSpiral’s events include Storytelling, workshops on different dimensions of personal wellbeing and growth, and facilitated conversations on different relevant topics for the community.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?

On April 30th, 2006, I drove 1000 kilometers from the village where I was born and raised in the North of Italy, to Budapest. Little did I know back then that 15 years later I would still live here and feel at home in Budapest. I came because I really wanted to make new, significant experiences in my life. I wanted to finally become an adult man. I could move thanks to my company being open for me to move here, where, back then, we had the headquarters of the division in which I was working. 

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?

Yes, in 2016–2017 I worked in Switzerland for business reasons, in Baden, north of Zurich. I deeply enjoyed my experience there, I have fond memories of my regular walks in nature and the peace I felt there when, for the first time in my life, I was spending a lot of time by myself.

 3. What surprised you most about Hungary?

I guess the friendliness and warmth that welcomed me when I came. I received a lot of kindness and support from friends and colleagues.

 4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend  -  what must they absolutely see and do? 

This isn’t an easy question because there’s plenty of options. Beyond the standard sightseeing spots, I would certainly recommend them to experience the nightlife, the view of the city from the Citadella (best ever!) and take an evening cruise on the Danube, ideally with dinner and music. I also find the Sziklakorház (hospital in the rock) a very interesting site to visit, it’s certainly unique.

5. What is your favorite Hungarian food?

My favorite is probably lecsó, but I also like tárkonyos raguleves. Ok, I’ll admit it, once or twice in the summer you can catch me eating a lángos, but rigorously “sima” (i.e., without sour cream and cheese on top). Oh, and I also love kürtőskalács, particularly around Christmas.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

I don’t store much food in the refrigerator, actually. But out of the refrigerator I certainly need to have a minimum stock of different types of pasta (obvious, right?).

 7. What is your favorite Hungarian word?

I’ll name three: szivárvány (rainbow), pillangó (butterfly), izé (slang for thing, or “thingie”). The first two have a beautiful sound, the third one is very useful when you don’t know a word in a sentence, and you can plug it in it… in most cases, people will understand what you’re thinking about from the context (e.g., “can you pass me the izé?” while you indicate what you need)

8. What do you miss most from home? 

“Home” is a fluid concept to me. I now feel more at home in Budapest but of course, I miss my family and close friends from Italy. I also miss the variety of good quality, local dishes that you can find in the different regions of Italy. 

In the past, I would miss good bakeries, but the situation has improved a lot here in recent years.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

I think I would have enjoyed a lot being a professor at high school or university. Thankfully, I get to hold a lot of educational sessions and workshops for adults in the last 5–6 years, mostly thanks to InSpiral, and that’s a very fulfilling activity for me.

10. What’s a job you would definitely never want?

Doctor. I empathize a lot with people and their pain… it would be emotionally unbearable for me.

 11. Where did you spend your last vacation?

In September I spent a week in Alicante, Spain, and I fell in love with it. I actually love Spain in general.

 12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?

Probably in Spain again, maybe in the Basque region. 

13. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?

I am really grateful for having founded InSpiral. In the last three years, we’ve held almost 200 events, helped many people find meaningful connections, and learn from each other. We’ve delivered value to people's lives through stories and conversations on topics that matter to them, while keeping a safe, cheerful, diverse, and open-minded environment for everyone. I’m really delighted about the outcomes and looking forward to more of this in the future.

14. What element or activity in your life brings you the most joy?

Oh, many things. I think joy is essential. Several years ago, I made the decision that I would only take jobs and choose hobbies that makes me enthusiastic and joyful, and I’m happy to say that I feel I’m in this place right now. 

Deep and diverse human connections bring a lot of positive energies to my life and particularly my 4-year-old daughter, Annaluna.

15. Red wine or white?

Both… and more: red for meat and deep conversations, white for celebrations, rosé for fröccs.

16. Book or movie? 

Book, it’s a no-brainer. Just finished “Civilized to Death” by Christopher Ryan and I strongly recommend it to everyone. I rarely watch movies and for that, I either rely on friends’ recommendations or check IMDB rates above 7.0.

17. Morning person or night person? 

As you might have noticed, I don’t necessarily like the “or” type of questions. I am a life enthusiast, I mostly think in terms of “and”, or, better to say, I try to think “non-dualistically”. I can’t really identify with any of the two, but I can say I like mornings for meditation, reflection, creation, and sports. I like social gatherings, friends and family, and enjoying good food in the evenings.

 18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

This is a difficult question because I feel strongly about many social issues. If I were to pick something which I see as the overarching problem that underpins many of the other challenges we’re facing as a species, it would probably be economic and social inequality.
19. Buda or Pest side?

Pest. Always lived here and love its vibes. 

 20. What would you say is your personal motto? 

I have a number of mantras that I use to stay connected to my purpose and values. Probably the most important one is “Teach only Love, for that is what You Are” (A Course in Miracles).
Another one I like is this (and it is my own): “In every challenge, there’s a lesson. And when you can’t find what the lesson is, then the lesson is acceptance

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