Connecting and strengthening others are core values for me, just like trust, freedom and responsibility. I have a personal story on all of these concepts. Together they are my basis and my mission. The first thirty years of my life I spent knowing I would quite likely not become old. There are several ways to deal with that, but I developed a focus on essentials. Life is too short to waste on things that do not really matter. When I found out when I was thirty that I was not a bearer of the disease in my family, I discovered what it means to change one’s image of self, just how pervasive that is. I slowly found out what it is like to be unrestrained and unencumbered in one’s ambitions. This combination of essence and free-spiritedness permeates almost everything I do. Also an awareness that innovation is not only about doing things differently, but especially about looking differently at oneself and one’s role.
My professional background is that I studied psychology and finished my doctorate in social sciences in 1998 with a thesis on social exclusion and policies aimed at social participation of young people. After having worked at a university for ten years, I started working in social services and have done so for 15 years now. Meeting people at kitchen tables, in consulting rooms and offices; working with professionals, managers, directors, and ministries in several countries; as a researcher, policymaker, advisor and leader. Switching roles has become second nature for me.
Apart from my work I have some passions: my three children and music. As a musician I am used to playing together ('try to make the other musicians sound good'), to improvise, to rely on what we are creating together, and to work together with people from different cultures, quite frequently also abroad.
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