The past few months I have been very involved in a project in the city of Beverwijk called ‘Broedmachine‘. Literally Broedmachine means ‘Incubator’, in English people call it a makerspace, start-up hub or artist community. Broedplaats might be a very Dutch concept.
I help the volunteers in this place organize. Broedmachine exists of 100% volunteers, it is a 2600 m2 building, managed, run and built completely by volunteers. The sense of community behind this project is very strong, so there are tons of opportunities for me to mess up. The people who participate in this project have a very high intrinsic motivation to make this project a success. Together we work to become a self-sufficient and professional organization. To accomplish this I stand on the shoulders of giants such as Frederic Laloux, Martijn Aslander, Erwin Witteveen, Rutger Bregman and Otto Schämer.
At the moment I’m involved with Young Engineers in the Netherlands to teach kids about science, engineering, programming, and mathematics with the help of LEGO bricks and LEGO’s educational program WeDo. I looooove it. I never knew I loved working with kids so much! They make the most amazing creations and have so much creativity to make the adjust and improve on their creations, I can’t even begin to explain. So here are some pictures for your entertainment:
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.
This is so inspiring! And I am not even an artist. But in the spirit of Neil Gaimans Speech, I am just going to pretend I was one of the graduates in the audience who listened to that speech. And you can do that too!
Last Sunday I hosted my very first Open Space. I have attended Open Spaces before, but never had I organised and hosted an Open Space by myself. The participants were +- 25 creative festivalorganizers. They are active! Enthusiastic! Loud! Quick! Full of ideas! And it was great to work with them.
Young Art is a cultural organization from the city of Beverwijk, in the Netherlands. Once a year they organize a festival, and I have been a part of it in one way or another for 11 years now. I started as an ‘artshopper’, in a course on documentary making, then worked backstage, and last year I was their stagemanager for the B-stage! I grew with the organization and the festival, and now I was able to try out one of my current ambitions; to practice Art of Hosting and Open Space Technology.
If you want to know more about Open Space Technology, have a look at this website:
It’s about providing a framework and a method to let the attendees talk about subjects that are important to them. One of the main principles is that attendees should feel like they are either learning from, or contributing to the conversation that they are attending. If they feel like they are not doing either of those,
they should use ‘The Law of Mobility’ and move on to a different group or conversation.
It works great if you have a complex question, want to generate new energy in a group or if you want to know what the burning issues are for your employees, community or organization, this is a great method to try out.
If you want to organize an Open Space (or a different meeting / brainstorming / planning) model for your organization, contact me!
It is a good way for me to think of 2015. We worked, struggled, slept, ate, and build half a house. Next year, I hope to continue to live, in the glass bottle of life. That’s all. I nééd this sometimes. I need to get away from the news and focus on the nows.
Just a little addittion for any Dutch readers, the Daily Delusions by the Dutch news blog De Correspondent does exactely the same thing. But then in an hour and instead of a philosphical retrospect you get all the non-news (waan) of the last year. Fun to watch, same result. We work, struggle, and then continue to live.