If I distill all my work to its core, it is essentially about inspiring people to embark on small and big adventures. Whether I collaborate with children, students, teachers, or executives of large multinational companies, I always seek to connect with their entrepreneurial spirit. It is recognisable in the courage to explore, the daring to experiment, and the bravery to make mistakes and learn from them. For me, these are the keys to co-creation, innovation, change, and transformation.
I grew up in a village where, from the roof window of my bedroom, I had a panoramic view of several major roads heading north. The main street of the village with a bus stop in front of our house, a provincial road where all the fast traffic passed by. I only saw the A28 being built behind our house later. The railway line to Assen and Groningen. And above my head, the flight routes to Scandinavia. This raised the question for me: what motivates all these people to move from A to B? On beautiful summer evenings, I would sit there, perched on the edge of the windowsill, pondering this, or during the day, looking out at the treetops across from our house (photo). One of the tallest trees had a branch pattern that allowed for easy climbing to the crown. Swaying gently in the wind, you would feel at one with nature.
Understanding what motivates people to move from A to B and how we organise ourselves has become increasingly important. Observing and considering multiple perspectives has remained. Being more human in an ever more complex world is my motto. Systems are more extensive, challenges are greater, and human connection is more important than ever. I have let go of trying to fully understand the world. When I look at the stars now, I dream of a little more understanding for each other and the value of all the perspectives that everyone contributes. Our systems are making that increasingly possible.
Another favorite pastime was playing with Lego. After building multiple sets following the instruction booklets, I started creating my own creations. My inspiration came from my surroundings, and I would try to replicate them as accurately as possible. It was a way for me to understand the world. Observing carefully, combining multiple perspectives, and knowing what building blocks I had created possibilities. A little bit of perseverance helped when I got stuck and had to start over because the picture in my head didn’t quite fit, or I didn’t have enough Lego pieces of a certain shape or color.
Let me take you back to February 14, 1990. On that day, the Voyager camera turned back towards Earth to take this photo from over 6 billion kilometers away. Do you see Earth, an almost microscopic tiny pixel in an incomprehensible and vast space? This pixel was called our ‘pale blue dot’ by the American science journalist Carl Sagan, our little blue dot of light, and he wrote about it:
Take a close look at this tiny dot. This is our home. This is us. All the people you love, all the people you know, all the people you have ever heard of, all the people who have ever lived, have lived their lives here. All the joy and sorrow, all the religions and ideologies, laws and rules, have been created here. (…) Like it or not, the Earth is the only place where we can live together.
This image underscores our collective responsibility to live with each other in a more peaceful and kinder way, and our responsibility to preserve and cherish this pale blue dot – the only home we will ever know. Sagan shows us that if we choose a different perspective to view our reality, we can see different things and think about our reality in different ways. That is exactly what we want to do with MeYouWeDo as well. Switch perspectives, experience our world in different ways, so that we can think about it in different ways.
With MeYouWeDo, I want to contribute to education where all stakeholders, children and young people, teachers and parents, bring and develop their love for the world. Hannah Arendt calls this Amor Mundi; Amor Mundi, which is necessary to not only ask ourselves the question: what is good for me? But also to open ourselves to the question: what is good for the world?