donderdag 4 april 2013

TEDx Barcelona Change

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world." A quote of Mahatma Gandhi is the core message of this TedxBarcelona Change evening. The main theme is health care. Together with 200+ persons I sit down in the Col-legi Official d'Odontólegs. Hoping to hear about the future, to get a glimpse on how we preserve our health in 40-50 years from now. Will it be similar to the science fiction books and movies we are able to read and watch on screen? Will the new basis be 3D printing or gen manipulation? Or is it something we can't think of today. What if health care wouldn't be necessary, because diseases and ageing no longer exist? Let the story telling begin. Lay back in the olive green chair and listen to the TEDx talks: here and now. But before that, get in the right relax mood to make you receptive for disruptive thoughts that will stretch your mind. The Mediterranean music fills the room and the soft voice of Susanne warms it.

Big lighting. A white screen turns black, white and all the other prism colors. We get thrown into the galaxy and suddenly we are live in Seattle with Melinda Gates, Halimatou Hima and Roger Thurow. They talk about social allies, illimi, women voices, disease of the soul when looking into the eyes of someone dying of hunger, youth leadership and  the role of influence.

Roger Thurow, a factivist, is putting the following bold question out in the world: Why is famine still happening in the dawn of the 21th century while we are producing more food than ever before? Ending hunger must be the singular achievement of our age.

A great story about influence, using social media and a happy ending is 'Damn. I need a kidney.' A guy from Minnesota was helped to bypass 7 years of waiting queues, because 19 people reacted to his tweet and there was a perfect match. This is what I mean with creating your own future.

You should really see the gifted poet David Fasanya to get convinced on how facebook could help change to see scarcity and give a real call to action or share knowledge on a compelling story so that the voiceless gain voices (instead of posting I just brushed my teeth).

And last, but definitely not least two fifteen year olds telling on how they prevent polio and ensure clean drinking water in their slum in India. And what do they want to become? A moviemaker and a lawyer, because lawyers know everything.

Besides talks, promoting is being made. The catapult platform got introduced to crowd fund projects worldwide to help girls, women, communities, businesses - just everyone. And also the pop up fellowship
good. is about creating your civic community is worth a visit.

It is amazing how by our connectivity achievements, all around the world we can listen to these words on hope and positive disruption. When a story in Seattle finishes, applause is heard in venues in Dunkerque, Brussel, Dubai, Oslo, Vienna, Khartoum, Berlin. At the same time, on the bottom of the screen you can see reactions from all these places. Commenting on twitter on the talks or quoting phrases.

Back to Spain, to the creative, dynamic city Barcelona to experience the power of ideas worth spreading from 14 presenters real time.

Such as the danger of HIV, since still more than half of the youth population doesn't know how to protect for it. The alternatives for food help, giving cash so local people can decide how to invest and spend it themselves. About challenging negative stereotypes by seeing the good thing of a radiator (radi-aid) and the danger of the response 'oh dear'. How finding peers can help to build a system to take control and provide solutions for diabetes type 1. What the best job EVER looks like. How a single drop of blood can help to deal with the fact that every 5 seconds a person is considered obese, every 2 seconds someone dies from cardiovascular diseases. To collaborate on large scale as an approach to resilience revolution in the horn of Africa. On how to increase informed decisions. Makeing inthe crowd a solution for discovering malaria parasites by gamification. And, that all children should have the possibility to flourish as a genius 14 year old kid from Spain.

Some are worth mentioning more in detail, because they had a spark, a real disruptive world changing idea or just turn a smile on your face, because things can be done differently as well. Others were remarkable, such as Fran Equiza. He talks about rethinking how to give aid: 'How patronizing to assume that we know better for the poor what they need and want. We trust banks with millions of dollars and they deceive us. Being poor doesnt mean being bad with money, just not being able to have access to it.  They should decide upon themselves; giving cash gives hope. No strings, no restrictions, no advice. Just an investment to prevent hunger.' However, in order to make this cash flow solution possible, he relies on the banks. Hence, the message was somewhat contradictionary and I wasnt convinced.

A message that was clear on changing stereotypes was from Sindre Olav Edland-Gryt. Now it is Africa for Norway: Radi-Aid. The message: mess with peoples mind to get new thoughts. He concluded his talk with lets laugh ourselves to a better world. Just watch this movie, you wont regret.

Let me introduce someone who wants to recruit you for his cause and tells on how his job is very sexy. Quique Bassat: 'My job is cool. It is the best job in the world. Although I am not an astronaut, rock star, award winning writer or Michelin star reviewer, who gets great food for free. None of them, I am a global health researcher. It makes me useful, because I can make a change.' And he continues, why he can make a change with his research on health care: 'You are in the top media, they write about you. Influential people, famous people come to visit you. And concluding, research in global health is cool, because you can find your love. What are you waiting for, sign here. You'll love it! This probably was the best introduction of the evening, although, the following isnt bad either.

Spotlight on. A man in black. A capital venturist, the bad guy. Who says no to 98% of the ideas, makes a living of pulling down ideas. He doesnt  invest in ideas, he only invests in the execution of an idea with the right team behind it. But, change is on the way. He is on a mission to stimulate bold innovation. In what? In social health care, because you can make money out of it, but it also has social impact. So, he as well, offers a possibility to sign in.

Jordi Marti needs help. He needs a drop of blood to test for silent killer diseases. A democratization of prevention. A gamechanger in health care. His request: if you are a healthy medicine student, join us and help us to let the data act. Dry blood spot screening. Very inspiring when a solution is being presented, that enables millions of people to get insight in their medical condition to act upon.  

We love to game, so why not use it for a good cause like is being done with reCAPTCHA. Gamification as a diagnostic tool in health care: you shoot the parasites in the blood. Go to and help research. Goodbye to the lab rats, which take 20 minutes per sample, while just 1% of all gamers could investigate all the blood samples worldwide. And besides helping health care, this digital world creates employment and it can make our children specialist before they grow up.

Getting out in the fresh air, you realize that you heard a lot of stories. Serious stories, funny stories, stories that make you sit on the edge of your chair. And you realize, the TED preparation is good. Some speakers were really drilled in their presentation: go back in time and tell a personal story of someone you met back then, show the picture of Walter, Victor or Lara, and tell her/his sad story that made you aware that change is needed. And then say: I want to make a change!  Involve the audience by asking if they can identify with a cause by raising their hand, because they know someone or something: has anyone ever ...? When was the last time that ..? Do not talk too fast, do the Clinton walk by having your corpus to the audience at all times and use slides with beautiful pictures and almost no words.

The speakers I described more in depth made it unforgettable. They made it worth! But what about the future of health care, here and anywhere? For now it still seems quite incremental, not the giant step in mankind. But probably we need to build upon this small steps and one day inventions as dry blood spot screening and malariaspot will make health care accessible for all. They will show us the way to the future.

Quotes from the evening:

  • Challenges are no longer excuses, they are opportunities.
  • It is also my responsibility to contribute to a better world.
  • Believing in people creates possibilities
  • When you have enough to feed your family for a year, you have the chance to dream and work on improvement.
  • We must forget about fate and move forward.
  • Nowadays, influence is just as important as money.
  • You have to ask people personally to support and to act on it.
  • Invest today to prevent for tomorrow.
  • The future speaks to the present through the actions we take today.
  • When used wisely, angriness can be used creatively and spurs new ideas. 

donderdag 21 maart 2013

Unreasonable at Sea Barcelona

Het innoveren in Barcelona gaat gewoon door en zo ook het bloggen hierover. Onderstaande blog is geschreven om mensen enthousiast te maken om Unreasonable at Sea Barcelona bij te wonen, een project waarbij 11 ondernemers en 20 mentoren de wereld bevaren om hun boodschap te verkondigen, vanuit de gedachte: 1 believe that entrepreneurship will change the world. Klik hier voor een kort filmpje dat alles verklaart en lees vervolgens waarom het evenement in Barcelona het bezoeken waard is.

Why Barcelona hosts Unreasonable at Sea?

Barcelona is a vibrant breeding ground for inspiration and creativity. In the arts, it has produced some of the best such as Picasso, Dali and Gaudi. Their revolutionary impact and artistic initiatives helped form a foundation for innovative thinking, which is constantly evolving and pushing the limits of what can be achieved. Barcelona is a place where liberal arts and technology meet. Currently, the city is absolutely ablaze with entrepreneurship, supported by a strong international industrial scene (logistics/ automotive/ fashion/ biotech/ pharmaceutics). This transition can be witnessed through initiatives like SeedRocket, la Salle Technova, ESADE Creapolis, special MBA regarding social entrepreneurship and European initiatives, such as KIC Innoenergy having their residence in Barcelona. From an entrepreneurial perspective, the government (Barcelona Activa) is supporting the right atmosphere by offering free training and consulting to anyone willing to get involved. Lastly, due to the current economic situation, there is a new sense of urgency to be outstanding and think outside the box.

Barcelona is on its way to becoming the new European Hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. It has all the ingredients. To capture this spirit and celebrate the emergence, Unreasonable at Sea is making its last stop in Barcelona. After a journey around the world, they will talk of lessons learned, obstacles overcome, and share their reflections to inspire us even further. The 11 social projects are focused on four main themes: health, education, renewable energy, and water & materials. Best of all, we invite you to take your place and do your part in this journey by registering for the conference which takes place on April 26th, 2013.

Why should you come?

Because entrepreneurship is a developing art in Barcelona and Unreasonable at Sea Barcelona offers a glimpse into our planet’s future. By attending the conference you’ll have a front row seat to this global innovative experience, meet international entrepreneurs, and learn from some of the most accomplished mentors on the planet. You will profit from interesting networking opportunities, get inspired by current and potential new solutions, and become aware of the greatest issues facing our world today. The conference is a unique event that will bring together more than 400 people from around the globe. This is an opportunity to learn about a journey that demands our attention and our commitment to make an unprecedented global impact.

Do your part. Make a difference. Sign up here.

zaterdag 22 december 2012


Het eind van het jaar staat in het teken van afronden, zodat er in het nieuwe jaar een nieuwe start gemaakt kan worden met nieuwe voornemens, kansen en mogelijkheden.
Dit jaar neem ik dat heel letterlijk. Ik rond mijn werkzaamheden bij Deltares af, zeg de huur van het prachtige appartementje aan de witte de with op en schrijf me uit bij de gemeente Rotterdam. Ik strek de zeilen en hoop op flink wat wind voor een voorspoedige tocht. In het land waar Columbus vandaan trok voor een nieuwe toekomst, ga ik aan wal in Barcelona.

De stad van zon, zee en zand. Van Guadi en Miro. Van cultuur en natuur. Van tapas en vino tinto. Alles is er. Behalve een baan zie ik u denken. Maar ook alles kan er. Sinatra's woorden licht herzien; if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere!

Gesterkt voel ik mij door de twinkeling in mijn gesprekspartners ogen en de dromerige zucht dat had ik vroeger ook zo graag willen doen. Nu de Maya's het bij het verkeerde eind hebben en de Apocalyps achterwege blijft, is dit het moment voor het risicogen om zich te manifesteren. In 2013 ga ik op ontdekkingstocht en ondergaat mijn schip een metamorfose naar huwelijksbootje.

Het klinkt dramatisch om te zeggen dat ik de brandende schepen achterlaat en huis en haard verlaat. In Nederland is alles goed geregeld en worden gaatjes snel gevuld. En met maar 2 uur vliegen, geen tijdsverschil en continu digitaal contact kan het dichterbij voelen dan Beetsterzwaag. Maar toch hoort bij weggaan afscheidnemen. Te beginnen bij het werk. Het is onbekend of ik een klant of collega nog tegen zal komen, zeg ik dan tot ziens, tot ooit of vaarwel? Het is spannend of een gedachtegoed dat ik heb ingezet vervolgd zal worden en tot ontkieming komt. Het is niet meer vanzelfsprekend dat het ooit weer zo zeker en veilig als bij Deltares wordt.

Afscheidnemen  brengt ook mooie herinneringen mee. Zoals de hartverwarmende afscheidsborrel. Wat een mooie woorden van waardering. En wat fijn dat er zoveel mensen op afkwamen. Bepakt met presentjes en mijn tas vol papieren (precies genoeg om te kunnen flexwerken) houdt een directielid de deur voor me open en zwaait me uit. Een mooiere manier om een hoofdstuk af te sluiten is er niet.

Op 28 december verhuizen we naar ons nieuwe huisje aan de Calle Poeta Cabanyes.
Alle nieuwe verhalen worden bijgehouden op