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I am passionate about:
learning, innovation, change, social impact, my family, good food, startups
A little known fact about me is:
In 2012 I wrote and published a poem each day. That's 366 in total.
Show my name on the attendees list for events I am attending:
Ter Aar, ZH, Netherlands
Story teller and OpenIDEO Seasoned User
"Never stop learning."
Long-time OpenIDEO user, once Atrocities Prevention Challenge Community Champion.
Passionate about sharing the stories of startups and off the beaten track startup ecosystems, starting in Düsseldorf Germany. Also, I'm a lead community mentor in a MOOC called Beyond Silicon Valley. But most of all, a very proud dad.
A kid asking her dad to confirm that a piece of litter doesn't belong in nature, a popular mobile app and there you have it: the start of a movement. Add some smart use of hashtags, geotagging and google maps, and you have a tool to start a conversat
Smart meters and reports on energy usage can bring people to reduce their usage, and thus emissions. This is not only good for their wallets, but also for the environment. What can we learn from the initiative such as described by Alex Lasky in his T
In our previous place of residence, life was slightly simpler in terms of household waste. Simpler, but with a slight feeling of guilt, I must admit. Because Riga had no real, or at least: not a mature, recycling policy, all household waste ended up
In the Land of Creativity, a storm is brewing. The guilds of storytellers, painters, musicians and many more creativities are gathering around. They’ve sent out their ambassadors to all corners of the world, and now are waiting for a call to action.
Litterati is an international movement that makes fun of picking up litter from the street, by using existing technology and mashing it up. Simple, fun, good for the world, and inspiring creative confidence.
Evolutionary psychologist Peter Gray has devoted his work to study the importance of play. And while we often see it as a break from important things like school, he argues that play is actually the most important way to learn.
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to have a book published. A ‘real’ one, on paper, bound, with a cover and - something that came later - an ISBN. Because I love stories, and like to read novels, I always thought it had to be a novel, too.
Parents are important enablers of creative confidence. One part their role, is being an example. Parents with creative confidence, can help enable it in their kids. And that is exactly what I think that this dad did.
Building on the Life in a Day inspiration from Hoang Nguyen, I wanted to share the One Day On Earth project. A similar participatory film, in which people were asked to film part of their day (10.10.10).
From a previous challenge, but certainly a good inspiration for this one as well: The Casserole Club. Cook an extra serving of your dinner, share it with your neighbours to provide healthy meals, foster the community and prevent isolation.
Earlier this year, Fauja Singh retired from competitive running at the age of 102. Last year he became the oldest full marathon runner at 101. He took up running at 89, according to reports. His secret: happiness from within
Studies by psychologist Ellen Langer, published in her book Counterclockwise, showed that by bringing people back to their younger selves, they actually phsyically feel better and perform like they are younger again.
Sometimes, when it’s hard to get direct information from an area, information from everything around it (or the lack of it), can be very helpful in painting a detailed picture. This Idea looks at collecting, analysing and displaying this information.
What if we can enable people who live in hard-to-access areas to gather and send information, by giving them the information and tools to do so before violence erupts? Building on several inspirations and ideas, Enabler Cards explore that question.
Some people flee their homes, and end up seeking asylum far away. My sister works for the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers of The Netherlands, so I thought it might be good to interview her for this challenge. I share some points.
Theresa Flores shares her experience with human traficking, and helps girls escape and heal from it. Her story illustrates the importance of recognising warning signs, and offering help at the right time, in the right language, in the right place.
"I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions". Anne Frank wrote this in her diary many years ago. It sounds like it's written today.
If you want to change the world, you might want to start with the next generation of leaders. And as OpenIDEO is popular in several schools, maybe there's one that can start the Masters of World Benefit program.
Last year, Finnair and Helsinki Airport ran the second season of Quality Hunters. Seven people were selected to travel to Finnair destination in search of opportunities for service improvement, later joined by an eighth (me).
A design festival in Hong Kong last year exhibited designs that were focused on using less materials, and therefore having less negative impact on society. It was all about recycling, upcycling and reuse.
The TEDxRigaSalon events are organised to connect people who are interested in making the Riga community even better. The events revolve around a selection of TED talks, and there's always place for discussion.
Every year, on the Dutch Sustainability Day, newspaper Trouw releases a Top 100 of sustainable Dutch influencers. Chosen by 14 experts based on who acted and was most influential in promoting sustainability.
Recently I stumbled upon an interesting looking package of chewing gums. A sucker for trying new things, I bought it, and that's how I got to know Peppersmith. And before I finished my first pack, I was sold.
Celebrating businesses that innovate for world benefit is not just about awards, it's also about getting their message out there. One example we could look at is the way #BL media spreads the CSR message: the CSR Minute news videos.
Many companies, especially those public traded and listed on stock exchanges, care a lot about 'shareholder value'. This leads to them doing much that investors like to see. For investors interested in sustainability, there are these indexes.
The Good guide is a website and app on which all sorts of products are rated by scientists on green, health, safe and ethical values. You can browse the website, or better yet, install the app and scan products while shopping.
One of my favorite TED talks, and one I've shared before on OpenIDEO, is the one in which Ray Anderson explains how and why he turned his carpet company around from being a polluter. If there's one example...
Teachers are important to equip young people with the right skills. In Latvia, Mission Possible brings talented graduates in special programs to start their careers as teachers. And with that, they're changing the impact of education.
This is maybe my favorite TED talk, and I believe I've shared it on OpenIDEO before. Nevertheless, this talk of Ray Anderson on how he turned his company from a polluter to negative waste is very applicable in this challenge
Inspirations like Microsoft's Imagine Cup and Googles Summer of Code have something in common: they're project from (big) companies that can help students show off, but also discover and develop, their skills and competencies. L'Oréal has Brandstorm
A while back, we had the son of a manager visiting our office for a week, to experience the life in a workplace. This week was an integrated part of his education. Obviously, we created a nice program for him, so he got to see many facets.
Staro Riga is an annual festival of lights in Riga, the capital of Latvia. This year it coincided with the celebrations of the first independence. It brought a lot of vibrancy to Riga, in a country hit hard by the economic crisis.
Right, I'm a foursquare user. And I know I have used it as an example in other challenges as well, but here it is such a good fit again. The list functionality allows you to collect vibrant places and share them with the world.
Tel Aviv is a vibrant city. Maybe it's the culture, or the climate, or the fact that it is a beach-front city. Sure is that part of the vibrancy comes from the inhabitants that seem obsessed with fitness.
He has been already mentioned in several earlier challenges, but I think TED Prize winner JR can serve as a good example here as well. His work is not just art, but it is also aiming to connect people. And make places more vibrant in the process.
With a hard-hit economy, Latvia tries in some ways to make the best of it. The parks are swept clean daily by pensioners and jobless people, who get a small addition to their miniscule social benefits, by actually doing something valuable to the city
Have you ever stayed in prison? Maybe not. And then it's hard to empathize with those who are unlawfully detained, right? Well, now you can come to a prison, used by the KGB amongst others, that currently serves as a hotel.
Bribespot is a mobile app with which people can easily, and anonymously, report instances where they are asked for a bribe. Not only is it a way to make corruption visible, it is also a way to share stories and show the effect of corruption.
Meeting Ruben Martinez, and learning about his documentary project, opened my eyes to a social issue in the country I'm living in. Having skilled people research and tell a story about injustice is extremely powerful.
Having Open Source concepts as a result of challenges, for anyone to use to create positive social impact, is great. But apart from doers having to be able to find this wonderful repository we created the past year, we should also make it easy for th
In this memorable TED Talk, Interface founder Ray Anderson explains how he turned his company around to have a positive impact on environment, in stead of being a plunderer of the world. This man is the embodiment of impact.
In his book, The New Capitalist Manifesto, Umair Haque talks about a new form of capitalism: constructive capitalism. It is a capitalism that truly serves the key stakeholders: people, communities, society, the natural world and future generations.
The Garage48 events are quite popular in the Baltics and Nordic countries. By bringing together different talents, in 48 hours they manage to build first versions from concepts. Would this be a model to look at?
The Pass It On concept in the bone marrow challenge stuck with me. I really loved the idea. When later the OpenIDEO team launched the This Inspires Us initiative, I saw an opportunity to celebrate change: participatory business cards.
My first meeting with OpenIDEO was during the Jamie Oliver Challenge. I was blown away by how so many amazing ideas came together and inspired others. And I was hooked. So, in the category great moments, this challenged deserves a spot :)
At the beginning of the realisation phase for GreenBook (now known as +U), Sony and IDEO organised a great workshop to really bring together several disciplines and sketch out the future of the GreenBook app.
One of the main events leading up to the final phase of Open Planet Ideas was build hour. A power hour of collaboration on Twitter, Facebook and the website, where some OpenIDEATORS could put forward their concept and get input from the community.
Draugs Draugam, or Friendly Deeds, is an online market place for sharing knowledge, experiences and goods. For free. Marketplaces like this can be used in regions like Caldas to connect entrepreneurs to be and let them learn from eachother.
The VScan is a device the size of a mobile phone. You can take it, easily, everywhere. Even to remote mountainous areas. And you can send the data to a central point to get analysis of the images or a second opinion.
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is widely regarded as one of the best coffee types in the world. It certainly is the most expensive, apart from maybe Kopi Luwak. Maybe the climate of Caldas offers a similar opportunity?
In the coffee and cacao industry, normally a too small part of the profits made in the supply chain ends up in the hands of the farmers. Fair trade organisations, like Max Havelaar, try to balance that better.
The beauty of social business, in my humble opinion, is that it aims to create sustainable solutions to social issues. I think, that this is the most important part of it. For me, the no-dividend principle is a possible blocking point for that.
It is important to understand the risks and causes of some of the problems facing Caldas. One known issue in premature and underweight newborns is retinopathy, which can lead to blindness if not detected and acted upon.
Madara is not a social business, but a business nonetheless. Their products, all certified ecological, use mainly ingredients from Baltic plants. And for a reason: climate specifics of the regions make ingredients more potent.
A Girl Story is an innovative fundraising campaign by Nanhi Kali. They created a video story about a girl in India who wants education. Just like their target group. Chapters in the story were unlocked by donation levels. Just as in reality
It might sound strange, but there is a lesson in this 1980s movie. The lead character is ordered to go to Australia to fill that one blank spot on the world map where Coke is not yet available. And the same idea can be applied to healthcare.
Drug addiction is a problem for youth in many ways. Health, but also career wise. Once you overcome your addiction, there is the stigma.
Mano Guru is a slad bar in Vilnius in Lithuania. They serve great food. And employ ex-addicts.
Following a comment by Meena, this concept aims to connect local food to the surf culture in Australia. Admittedly, this is a very incomplete concept from the start, because I think there are many people out there that have a far better understanding
Easy labeling has been a recurring theme in the concepts. After repeatedly mistyping the word footprint, I thought of the Foodprint label. The label can be put on food items, and represents the carbon footprint of a product, calculated on the basis o
Storytelling is a powerful way of getting a message across. On TheSunshiners.au stories on anything local food related (food production, farmers, harvest festivals, food consumption) and made by professional story tellers are collected and shared.
A centuries old proven way to celebrate local food production are harvest festivals. There even is one in Queensland: the Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest festival. This concept proposes to expand that to all regional hubs in Queensland on the same
The Queensland Local Food Exchange is a food exchange modeled after better known stock exchanges. Producers can register their crops/produce and consumers can buy directly from the producers. Prices, of course, will vary with supply and demand.
There are many hidden costs in having mass produced low cost food, as some inspirations have shown. This concept is to leverage a sales tax on non-organic, non-local food products, and use the revenues to subsidise local food production.
Create a foursquare page that people in Queensland can follow. Add tips for local producers, farmer's markets and other interesting places where you can buy, enjoy or learn about locally produced food.
And suddenly I remembered this brilliant food blog. Clotilde Dusolier lives the internetminded foodie's dream: she started a food blog as a hobby, and now is a full-time and celebrated food writer. And, she connects local food suppliers with her fans
Do the green thing is a website that revolves around 7 ways to lead a greener life. They have an amazing collection of tips and campaigns. Ninjin is one of them, and a very inspiring way to focus on seasonal vegetables.
This might not be the most sexy inspiration, and the campaign has met with quite some justified criticism, however, I think there is something to learn from the mechanism. In NL, food producers can apply for a mark on their products.
Situated at the edge of an urban area, this organic farm has made being an attraction as part of their business. They are open to any visitors, and many people come there with their kids to have them interact with the animals.
One of my favorite concepts, and a very popular one, of Open Planet Ideas was the Sustainable shopper concept. A rather detailed plan for the ability to scan codes on food items and learn where they came from.
Located on the island of Spitsbergen, not far from the Northpole is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It holds spare copies of seeds stored in seed banks all over the world. The vault is to serve as a safety net to preserve diversity.
Time to get personal. I'm wondering how you get the most out of the things that you buy. In the picture is something that looks like just another plastic container with frozen stuff. It is. But it has great value to me.
Boer zoekt vrouw is a highly popular Dutch tv show in which single farmers that are looking for a partner are presented and followed through the gamefied search for a companion. It is a sort of dating show, but also documents farm life.
In the Netherlands the school garden is a well known concept. Often it is not a garden at the school, but a special collection of small plots of land where children can go in schooltime to grow their own vegetables. It is an educational tool
People that are donating blood, or are preparing for non-lifethreatening injuries or treatments are often having their blood or other health indicators tested. Why not make not becoming a bone marrow donor an opt out in that process.
Christien Meinderstma made a book about a pig. Not just any book, but she researched how a pig that was produced for food was used in everyday things. In the TED talk in the video, she summarises some very surprising uses of pig parts.
Visiting a producer of food, having a tour of the production site and learning more about the product helps in appreciating and understanding your food. In many wine regions across Europe it's very customary to just walk in at a wine maker and taste.
Restaurants have a great power to educate. By putting fresh products from local producers, purchased at the market daily on the menu, they can raise awareness. Not only about good food, but also about local production and producers.
This concept draws heavily on the Video to change the world concept (see related concepts) and the One Day On Earth project. Why not ask donors and recipients to film stories about a day in their lives in which the donation played a role, upload it t
This concept combines with the Interactive map of registered donors. Please see http://3bl.me/az3ghz or click the colourful US map under 'Built on this' and give comment and feedback there. Convincing people to register as a donor is one thing, but t
Two years ago, there was a campaign to press the world leaders to act on the MDG promises they made: 'In my name'. This '... is a her' campaign concept translates that to the bone marrow donation challenge.
With accounts on social networks come profiles. Or in the case of sites like foursquare: badges. And in profiles and badge collections people tell things they're proud of or have done. By showing that you are a registered bone marrow donor, it can be
LinkedIn has over 90 million users. We (I am on of the 90 million) store a lot of data about ourselves on it. What about having a special secured section in which you can store a coded version of your dna, so that the system is not only used to match
A few years back, I used to be a blood donor. It was relatively easy to do, plus I got a light health check regularly for free. But then I moved, and things got complicated. To the point that I'm not a blood donor anymore.
On world AIDS day, foursquare users could earn the Join(red) 2015 badge. A simple reward for helping the campaign to raise awareness and come closer to their goal of having an AIDS free generation by 2015.
In India, and also in Africa, there are several services for farmers. They can send a question by SMS, and will get a reply. How to fight certain plant diseases, or which crop is best to plant in a season. Some examples are mKrishi in India, and Farm
In some of the rural areas in Latvia, people have less access to specialized medical care. Both culturally as financially, traveling to cities to seek medical care when needed is difficult. But also preventive care, like vaccinations, is less accessi
Conflicts and natural disasters have displaced many, many people. In their yearly report, the UNHCR now uses the number of 43.3 million people that have been forced to leave their home. An estimated 30 % of them lives in refugee camps, some of them f
The European model of economic cooperation has worked pretty good in preventing war and conflicts in the region. The example of collaboration between Israeli's and Palestinians I posted in the inspirations is also contributing to a better mutual unde
Social enterprises, and the more socially active regular companies, are at the forefront of change in societies, and even across borders. In recent years they have proven to be more efficient in improving lives than governments have. I believe that t
Businesses, especially multinational enterprises, but also individuals with global social networks are willing, and very able, to take on many of the challenges that the Millennium Development Goals were set to tackle. Maybe better than national gove
The story of stuff project makes very insightful videos on the story of how stuff impacts our world. The latest video, The Story of Electronics, explains how devices are designed for the dump, and how externalizing costs often means dumping the toxic
Ghost - see http://ghost.cc/ - is a company that provides cloud computing services. Not super special in these days, maybe, although they have won several prizes for their product and service quality. What makes Ghost special, and interesting for thi
The European Union was started as an economic pact, to promote peace and prosperity in a war-torn region. And, with growing integration and collaboration, it has worked. The EU serves now as a model for other economic pacts, despite some of the chall
The Netherlands has a multi-party political landscape, and for many voters it is hard to keep track of what each party stands for exactly. Especially in election time. Stemwijzer (vote guide) lets the user answer to several questions and then lists t
I've posted this also as an inspiration over at Open Planet Ideas, so some of you may have seen it already. But it is both something that I am proud of, and that taught me that it is not too easy to stream donations from different places in the world
Healthcare in India is a shining example of frugal innovation. One of the characteristics is a subsidy system in which those who can afford it pay more to finance a lower cost health care for those who cannot afford it. One of the ways this is done i
On September 1st we celebrate the day of Saint Fiacre, patron saint of food growers. On this day, children of all ages come together to make a full dinner out of fresh food for the party of their choice: a group of friends, their (grand)parents, the
We all love a science experiment. Why not combine it with using fresh ingredients to make some wonderful snacks or meals. If we take inspiration from the molecular cooking movement, and combine it with regular science education, we can create the Mad
Fresh Food Empire is a social challenge game around fresh food, integrated with social networking sites like Facebook. Challenges accepted and done gain points, with which the player can upgrade their Fresh Food Empire. The goal of the game is to gro
Wow, what a detailed an great idea. You might want to check out the babycenter website. You might already know it, but they have something similar. They send out a weekly newsletter that actually follows the development of your baby, and then your newborn. It provides info on developmental steps, what to look out for and what to expect. See https://www.babycenter.com/
By the way, in Germany, each expecting mother gets a "mother pass", in which all her details are recorded, including examination and test results relevant to the pregnancy. She's asked/required to keep the pass with her at all times. Every time she visits a doctor or medical service, but also in case of an accident, medical professionals have direct access to all the information they need. It is still quite old-school, as it is a little booklet in which info is (hand)written. But sometimes low tech works best.