Trusted partner for leaders and management teams. Coach for people looking for deeper purpose or moving through big transitions in life. Mentor to younger people growing into their way of contributing. Nature Quest Guide.
I work as trusted sparring partner with leaders and leadership teams, mostly to help in navigating sensitive strategic processes. I bring 15+ years of experience in leadership positions. I like to help (re-)create healthy and inspiring environments where people and teams can thrive through connecting to purpose and being radically honest with each other.
I help people find deep, lasting purpose (again) and I help people move through big transitions in life or work. My approach is inspired by rites of passage facilitating the letting go of a part of oneself that doesn't serve anymore, helping creating space for something new and more aligned to be born.
Next to this, I have space for a small number of younger people for mentoring or apprenticing.
People have retreated into nature for inspiration, transformation and renewal throughout the ages. In modern culture this has become less prevalent, while at the same time, the wish and need to break out of hectic daily life, to truly stand still or to mark a big transition is still as real as ever. I am guiding individuals and teams on such retreats, that always include spending time alone in wild nature. See Nature Quest Barcelona for more info.
Projects / CLIENTS
I work both in the mainstream and far beyond. Below a selection of clients I worked for, projects I was involved in and positions I held.
I'm one of the experts in 'The Lab' @ Welcome to the Jungle, writing on purpose and work. WTTJ is a leading media company in the area of work, that aims to inspire every individual to thrive in their professional lives.
I served as Interim People and Culture Lead in The Wellbeing Project. The Wellbeing Project is catalysing a culture of inner wellbeing for all changemakers. I helped the leadership with assessing and setting priorities for creating an equitable, caring and safe container for the global team and helped prepare the ground for a more structural fulfillment of the HR function in the project.
At The Hague University of Applied Sciences I supported the Centre of Expertise Global & Inclusive Learning and the Centre of Expertise Mission Zero in the process towards their 6-yearly research audit (visitatie) and facilitated processes of forming shared research agenda, narrative and future vision for the Centre of Expertise Global & Inclusive Learning.
In 2017 and 2018 I was part of PlayGround's director's committee taking on responsibility for building up the People Department, especially focusing on leadership, talent, culture and learning. I helped build a vital and vibrant, creative and entrepreneurial tribe around PG's mission: inviting people into a new awareness and empowering them with the tools to build a more ethical, creative and participatory world. PlayGround has become a global player with over 16 million followers, #1 video channel on Facebook in Spanish, in top 15 worldwide.
I co-founded KaosPilots.NL - an international school for young entrepreneurial talents who want to make a positive difference in the world. In 2010 KaosPilots.NL transformed into Knowmads and it has been running under that name in Amsterdam since.
I have been envisioning and prototyping a community and platform to support people journeying beyond the status quo of their lives, seeking for meaning, purpose and a personal answer to real needs in the world – The Journey Network. Inspired by the ways many cultures help their people move from one phase of life to another – rites of passage.
With Tsila Piran I have been supporting Woodstock School - one of the top international boarding schools in India - with advancing an ambitious strategic vision for an empowering and holistic education that truly elicits the greatness of the students. Until now we worked mainly with the staff (leadership, teachers, boarding staff, administration) to foster the culture and community that has to be the context for such an education.
For the United World Colleges in the USA and in The Netherlands I initiated and co-created the Social Entrepreneurship Incubator / Impact Lab. A space where the most entrepreneurially talented students could work on their projects and grow as young changemakers, within the IB curriculum. We introduced a new action learning methodology to the UWC’s, sharing responsibility for the learning space with the 16-18 yr old students.
I started my career at Utrecht University where I was part of the founding team of University College Utrecht as a tutor/teacher, worked as a project manager in the support staff of the university board and then became managing director of the Faculty of Philosophy.
I help people find deep, lasting purpose (again) and/or move through big transitions in life or work. Below a few examples of specific coaching processes I offer. These are examples of what is possible. Don't hesitate to reach out for a (free) introductory conversation to get to know each other and to explore what guidance would work best for you. It can be anything from one or a few conversations to a longer more structured program. I'm always looking to make my programs and my guidance best meet your specific needs.
My talk at TEDx Barcelona Education January 2015 'What the desert taught me about crafting a life of purpose'. A personal story of my walking out of the status quo of my life, seeking for new answers on ‘what is my role in this world facing so many challenges?’ and ‘how do we best help young people find theirs?’
Some of the main people and organizations I am collaborating with
- With Tsila Piran (Israel/Poland) I guide nature quests and do consulting work, for Woodstock School in India for example.
- I am advisor and learning catalyst for Mycelium, a disruptively innovative living learning laboratory to ignite positive action, based out of Asheville, NC, USA.
- In collaboration with Manish Jain, co-founder of Shikshantar Andolean and Swaraj University in Udaipur, India, Tsila Piran and me hosted one of the first nature quest programs in India.
- I have been collaborating closely with Kathia Laszlo (Mexico/USA) in developing the vision for The Journey Network.
I believe the world craves for us to fully embrace our inter-dependency with each other and the earth and to follow a deep call of service rather than a career and status. I dream of a vibrant new culture full of meaningful and life enhancing activity. My work is about empowering people and organizations to help this new culture emerge.
My sources of inspiration and training
- The many amazing people I have been fortunate enough to work and share the journey with.
- The projects that I have been involved in along the road.
- The work of Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer around organizational learning, systems thinking and transformational change, including Theory U.
- The work of Bill Plotkin around life phases and finding ones soul purpose - "the largest conversation you’re capable of having with the world”. I trained with the organization he founded Animas Valley Institute.
- The work of Meredith Little and Steven Foster bringing rites of passage to modern society. I trained with the organization they founded - School of Lost Borders.
- The work of Margaret Wheatley et. al. around embracing complexity and leading in emergence - I was part of Meg's 'Warriors for the Human Spirit' training, cohort 5 in 2018.
- Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hahn, Pema Chödron, Tara Brach.
- My own journey through life, looking for meaning, purpose and healing from childhood wounding being bullied at an early age.
- And so many more...
See my LinkedIn profile for an overview of my work experience and training.
- My writing as expert of The Lab by Welcome to the Jungle (2021-)
- Chapter on rites of passage in 'A Transformative Edge', a book on transformative learning (2020)
- Article in InterED magazine on our staff development and community building work at Woodstock School in India. (2016)
- Article in El Periodico de Catalunya featuring digtal nomads. (2015, in Spanish, mostly accurate...)
- Article in United World College USA's Kaleidoscope Magazine about the Social Entrepreneurship Incubator program at UWC USA. (2014)
- Article in the Austrian magazine 'Bestseller' about my work. (2013, in German)
- The magazine we produced at KaosPilots.NL in 2009, giving a feel for the journey we were on.
- Article in the Dutch magazine 'Slow Management' about KaosPilots.NL. (2008, in Dutch)