I am working with TEDxAmsterdam Women as head of their speaker team this year. I get a lot of inspiration out of TED talks myself, and my favorite moment to watch them is in the early morning, when I just woke up. A great start of the day!
It was a little bit surreal to be the one who announces the first confirmed speakers of a TEDxAmsterdam, and I was honored to do so. This was during the “Friends of TEDxAmsterdam Women” event in june. We announced the first three confirmed speakers there and announced the theme of this year: Unraveled: The story behind the story.
Missed it? You can read all about TEDxAmsterdam Womens friends event here on the blog. We’re always open for new friends!
I am the manager of Dutch artist Marten Fisher, and I just wanted to let you all know that I am so proud that he is doing so well! Last week he launched his second official single, not counting his first unofficial single ‘Boulevard‘ that got him to the frontpage of the Coldplay website (!) But his second official single: Crazy!
I’m practicing my Spanish with a new app that I can recommend to anyone! It’s called Duolingo, and if you speak English, you can learn many new languages, from Spanish to French to whatever you want to learn.
I’m practicing Spanish, and for a very special reason. I found my wedding dress in Spain! We’re getting married in November (yes! another great event to organize!) and the sales lady did not speak English, not a word. We were just passing by her store on our trip to Bilbao a few weeks ago, and there was this beautiful flowery dress, made in Spain, tailored to fit. And now, I am returning in September with my mom to go and do the final fittings.
Last Thursday we made a start for the European Local Makers Network (ELMN)! Let me tell you a little more about this initiative. I started a Meetup group a while ago with makers from the Amsterdam area. There is so much potential in this group! So when Makerversity Amsterdam hosted an open night for new members, we decided to tag along and speak about the things we could do as a group of enthusiastic makers. Psssst.. did you know that Makerversity Amsterdam membership is free for the whole month of April??
So we have lots of ideas for projects, knowledge sharing sessions and collective discounts now. I’m so curious what the future will bring!
We need some help in getting these things done. Do you want to co-host a session or help out with a certain project? Do let me know at email@example.com!
Since I got my new Fairphone 2… (I love my new phone!) I reinstalled the apps that I really like and thought of sharing them with you. Nothing in this post is sponsored, except for the link to Amazon & Audible. Just to be sure: I loved Audible before I discovered the possibility of a sponsored post by Audible, but I just wanted to let you know that this post is sponsored so if you register with them I get money, so is that clear, so if you want to support my business and goals you could click on this link, but also if you want really good audiobooks. Now on to the apps:
Headspace Meditation App
The Headspace app teaches you about meditation and guides you through meditation sessions. I find meditation very hard. I dislike sitting down and doing nothing. But the headspace app has cute little icons that explain what meditation is and how it can help you to get a calmer mind. If you know me, you know I need it.
And it is not unimportant to note that Headspace has Andy. Andy is the voice of headspace. (I want to say that he’s the voice in your head but that sounds creepy). He appears in little clips in the app to further explain some of the practices (you do not have to sit cross-legged on the floor in order to practice meditation). Andy also has a funny accent. And a funny last name. For a monk. Anyway, it’s not about his last name (its Puddicombe!) But his voice and accent make the app feel real personal to me.
It feels like a real person is talking to you, helping you, and guiding you trough the meditation session. Of course Andy Puddicombe is a real person, but a real person whose recorded voice is guiding 18,098 people through meditation as we speak. And, he was also a circus artist once. Anyway, it might seem strange, but I like to listen to this funny lad with his funny accent. It helps me to learn how to meditate.
I looooove listening to audiobooks. Why? Because you can listen to them while your vacuuming, cooking, doing laundry, painting your new house (in my case), and while on public transport. I use the Audible App by Amazon. They give you the first two books for free and after that, you can decide if you want a subscription.
I love listening to books on my daily commute, because although I usually like people, I appreciate a distraction from all those random people who come so close to you on public transport. That’s not very mindful of me, I know. But while they’re all discussing the latest gossip on their phone, grinding their teeth or cleaning their nails (that’s the worst!), I can relax and listen to a book. I can assure you that it’s been a long time since I have read so many books!! My favorites so far:
“But Annabel! I can’t believe you hadn’t read -Fill in title here- yet?!”I know. Because there are so many things to do, I just didn’t have enough time to hold a book in my hands. But now I just listen to these books while I’m doing all kinds of tedious tasks and I’m really glad I did! I feel so well-read. And I wish you the same!
If This Than That
And then the last app of my current favorites: it’s called: If This Then That. Or IFTTT. Programmers would be familiar with this terminology, but it sounded like a mystery to me at first. I’ll try to explain it simply. I would ask the app: If I post any picture on Instagram Then you will post it as a visible picture on my twitter account for me.
That’s why I have actual pictures on twitter instead of links to instagram! And then it can solve all kinds of other riddles. If I am close to my house, Then turn on the lights. If the weather forecast reports rain tomorrow, Then send me a message. If I’m home, Then unmute my phone. Simple, easy, works. Get IFTTT here.
Last Monday I was the day host at a conference about citizen-driven research called Beyond RCT. RCT’s are Randomized Controlled Trials, a method that is often used in medical research. The goal of the conference was to expand the scope of research, and to find ways to include findings by patients and non-medical professionals into research. In this way, by sharing more knowledge and understanding each other better, we should be able to find new ways of helping patients to feel better faster.
I was just the host of the day, I announced the speakers, held the space, and with the help of my co-host Floortje van der Linden we guarded time and tried to keep all the activities within the time limit. In the afternoon Floortje and me organised a World Café session to facilitate knowledge sharing and discussion between participants. But although my task was small and mostly facilitating, I felt very proud and happy to be able to help out these ambitious, hard-working and brave people in their quest for better wellness and health for everyone.
Unfortunately I was too busy to make some good pictures from the World Café Process, but in general I can say that I was once again surprised at how well this method works. We had 10 tables, and because the audience was so diverse (consisting of about 80 patients, scientific researchers, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, and more) we were able to have very rich knowledge sharing sessions. Because the organisation of the conference had appointed table hosts for all the tables, we will get a rich harvest from all the discussions. The organisations will send out summaries of all the tables & other conference outcomes to all participants.
I’m really proud to have been part of this movement for one day. I expect many ambitious outcomes for this tribe of people! It reminds me of the talk and book of Seth Godin about Tribes:https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_on_the_tribes_we_lead.html
I feel like I was present at the start of one of these tribes. Fabulously led by Gaston Remmers of Inspire2Live & Platform Patient en Voeding. I expect many great things of this group.
Oh yeah, and I want to say that I found out about Tribes through the book of Martijn Aslander and Erwin Witteveen, called ‘Nooit Af, Permanent Bèta’. I’m telling you, it’s a must-read.
Last weekend I was in Sweden! And although I studied abroad in Sweden (in 2004/2005), I really didn’t remember much of my Swedish language courses. I did remember how to ask if we could pay by card in the train, but the Swedish answer was so long (and so Swedish), that I was forced to ask the salesman to repeat his answer in English. This much to the amusement of my fellow travelers by the way, who were from Mexico, Germany and Slovenia, and were headed to the same training as me.
The Art of Hosting training attracts many international participants, and participants from all walks of life. I do think that many of the people you meet at trainings such as this one are mostly honest, open and passionate individuals who care about the world and each other. When my partner identified my training weekend to his friends as ‘Hippie Camp’, I protested at first. But to be honest, it is a bit like hippie central. There is just a lot of hugging and sharing going on! And although that’s a little out of my comfort zone, I was very thankful that one of the organisers shared her house with me, so that I didn’t need to pay for an expensive hotel in the city. Also, whenever there were hugs, I was mostly grateful to share a hug.
Art of Hosting is a way to facilitate (host) meetings and conversations for groups of people. In this line of teaching there are very many useful models that you can use when you want a big group to share knowledge and inspire them to have valuable conversations. This monday, for example, I will be hosting a World Café for a conference on health & research.
In this training, I learned many things about hosting groups, presenting to groups and learning with groups. We practiced:
Check-in & Check out
Collective story harvest
Designing for wiser action
All of which I plan to use in future sessions with either my students or external groups. Furthermore we had teaching sessions on:
The 4-fold practice
8 Breaths of design
I am so excited to put into practice all the new models and methods I have used! Are you curious what we could do together with Art of Hosting methods? Just invite me over for a coffee!
Pricing products that you made by yourself can be very scary. Are you really going to charge this for something you made by yourself? It’s so easy to undervalue your own products and so scary to charge a higher price… I wanted to organize a meeting to support all of us around the city of Amsterdam who are going through this, and so I did, one event in Dutch and one in English:
I figured it would help to all get together, bring our products, have tea and cookies, and I will set up a system where you can get everyone’s input about the price of your product. Hopefully you will feel better and more confident about your price, once you know what everyone else thinks of it!
There are many different ways to determine the price of your product; market research, determining your costs and adding a certain percentage, your own opinion, your moms opinion, etc. And there are so many values that customers attach to the price of a product! They think the price represents the quality of a product, if it is really handmade, and, if they will buy your product! Mostly, you are on your own, with your product, in your house. Let’s struggle with our prices together and help each other out here.
Mike & Wims furniture has arrived at its first official selling point! Lokaal Spaanders in Amsterdam Noord sells beautiful local products and delicious coffee and cake. We’re so proud! Thank you Roos for giving our furniture a place to live!