What are my plans for 2023 and how was 2022? In this article, like last year, I share what stood out and caught my eye. Both in my own business and in my personal life.
My main source of income is lecturing, both online and offline. In the process, I also started giving more workshops last year.
Because of the pandemic, I gave several more webinars in the first few months of the year. These assignments stood out for me:
- L’Oreal Poland and Baltics. For the management of L’Oreal Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, I gave a webinar on biohacking. The new CEO had just started and wanted to get to know his colleagues better. In this two-day event, they did all kinds of (team-building) activities. I got to give a content kick-off on the morning of the second day about (technological) developments and their impact on L’Oreal.
- Diakonessenhuis. This hospital was in the process of developing a new strategy. To get outside trends, visions and opinions, they organized a series of digital inspiration sessions. My contribution was about healthcare professions of the future. Fun: afterwards, I received compliments on my energy and interaction with the viewers.
- Visma Nmbrs. My speaker coach Rutger Mollee tagged me on LinkedIn in a post from Visma Nmbrs asking for fun topics to include in their webinars. In fact, the company is based in the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. I was then allowed to give a webinar! For me, it was interesting to note the different nationalities’ attitudes toward Human Augmentation.
Fortunately, companies were organizing events, conferences and symposiums again fairly soon. These assignments especially stick with me:
- Heyday. This facility management company organized a day for its employees. The location in particular stood out: the Military History Museum in Soesterberg (although it was also somewhat surprising, since Russia had invaded Ukraine a few weeks earlier).
- At Volker Wessel Telecom (VWT), they had it prima-de-luxe. Thinc Ahead organized this event for relations of VWT. At their facility in Lieren, just below Apeldoorn, there was a large tent with a nice stage, excellent catering and audio-visual support. It was cool to link to their work and lifestyles in my lecture on the Superhuman.
- Data at the heart of policy. This is one of the themes in the central government’s I-Strategy. But for ministries, it is sometimes still a matter of figuring out how to do that. In my lecture for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W), I talked about the relevant technological developments for this purpose for the ministry’s policy officials and their colleagues in Information Assurance, Consulting, Functional Management, Information Security, Archives and more.
At the beginning of last year, I started profiling myself with scenario planning workshops, a nice addition to lectures and webinars. I got to teach several workshops, these stood out:
- Police Next Generation. This police project challenges participants to think about the challenges of the day after tomorrow. So they were interested in thinking about the future from their own perspective, so I was able to quickly go into depth with the group.
- Top Sports Community. This made this assignment fun: the location on the KNVB campus in Zeist, three groups and 20 minutes of time, and fellow speakers such as Humberto Tan, Sarina Wiegman, Guus Hiddink and professor Nico van Iperen.
- Hogeschool van Amsterdam. In the 10K incubator, they coach students at the HvA each semester who want to work on an innovative startup in their own time, making tomorrow’s world a little nicer. Cool to have these intrinsically motivated students also think about the impact of their business idea.
What are the developments in my business besides working for clients?
Other things I do
I am often asked what I do when I am not giving lectures, webinars or workshops. Well, then I prepare those assignments, do research, create a podcast, write a newsletter or work on my blog.
This year I’m highlighting the podcast and the newsletter:
Podcast: good vibe with Susan
Since the beginning of 2021, I have chosen a new format for the (Dutch) podcast. My friend Susan hosts and asks me questions in a number of set sections. Funnily enough, I heard from a number of people that they wondered if it could be done: your partner as a moderator in a podcast. But right after that, they usually give me back that it works very well. Susan is experienced in this work and also knows enough of what I am working on to be able to ask good questions.
Newsletter: style found
At the beginning of 2022, I started a new format for newsletters. One of the changes is that I share my future scenarios in this. In the first six months, I did that once a month and another newsletter mid-month based on a new podcast episode.
In the summer, I noticed that it became a bit much. That’s why I scaled back the frequency. One month I share a future scenario with background and the other month is more of a deep dive on a topic, often recurring in the podcast.
Another change is that in the first period, I listed upcoming speaking engagements or webinars. I was asked by someone what this list adds. He advised me: show, don’t tell. In other words, readers do know that you lecture; it doesn’t have to be laid on so thickly. So that list has been deleted.
What are my plans for 2022 and beyond?
I usually do one lecture at a conference or event for a company and that’s all. There are a few organizations where I return every year or every two years, but mostly it’s a one-time thing. Therefore, I think it would be fun and useful to occasionally be associated with a project or organization for a longer period of time. For example, in the role of consultant or content specialist. In my opinion, you can contribute more to an organization then anyway, and collaborating with colleagues, including office humor haha, is also valuable.
By the way, a role as a teacher at a college seems like a lot of fun. So if you know of a feature, I’d love to hear about it!
Fortunately, my desire for an advisory role is taking shape:
- I have been a member of the advisory committee of the future exploration Future of the Body of Foundation Image Future of Technology since mid-2021.
- In late 2021, I was asked to be a member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Health, Nutrition and Sport of The Hague University of Applied Sciences.
I look forward to seeing how I like these features!
In addition to a business review, below is a personal review.
In my private life, all kinds of things have also happened. Two things stand out: the fragility of life and on the road with my son Hidde.
Vulnerability of life
Every morning I read an email from the Daily Stoic. One theme that often recurs is memento mori. Freely translated: think about your mortality.
This theme is also reflected in a book I read last year: 4,000 Weeks. When you reach 80 years old, you end up living 4,000 weeks. According to the author, this is “absurd, terrifying and ridiculously short. The message of the book, which I also know rationally, is that I need to live more in the here and now.
After all, it could be over just like that. This was also evident in my environment last year. Fortunately, things are going relatively well, but a number of occurrences have made the fragility of life more apparent to me.
Good friends of mine
A good friend of mine is in his early twenties. He studied, organized meetings and had a full social life. Until suddenly he deteriorated and could do almost nothing. After various tests, he is found to have a neurological disorder. It is improving step by step, but he has to pay very close attention to his diet, exercise and energy level.
Another good friend, whom I have known since high school, suddenly became unwell the other day. Doctors could not find an identifiable cause, but think something in the brain. He is not allowed to drive a car for the time being and must resume his work slowly.
Even closer was what happened to my father. He passed out on the bicycle. At the hospital, it was found that two of the three coronary arteries surrounding his heart were clogged. During open heart surgery at UMCG, surgeons placed two bypasses. That was an exciting day for both himself and our family. After rehabilitation, fortunately, he is doing much better.
In all these cases, it does come close: life is fragile. Therefore, I also like to look back on some of the fun things I did with friends and family, such as lunch, biking and hiking:
Our son Hidde
Last September we celebrated our son Hidde’s first birthday. It is extraordinary to notice how quickly time passes. Susan and I started keeping track of his age in weeks, then months, and by now I say “about a year and a half.
The best thing about such a little boy is how much happens in his life and how quickly he picks things up. From a needy baby lying down all day, to tigging, crawling and now to climbing and walking.
A few fun things from the past few weeks:
- That he puts toys on his walker and then runs with them;
- That he recognizes more and more things in his environment. In the bedtime reading book, it’s about a bottle of milk. Each time he then enthusiastically points to the bottle he drank himself a few minutes earlier;
- That he enthusiastically wants to put on his hat because then he knows we are going outside.
Perhaps you recognize it from your own children or grandchildren, but those little events are special. Every night before bed, Susan and I ask each other what moment of the day we are thankful for. Almost always it’s about small but special moments we had individually or together with Hidde that day.
Out and about in the backpack
One of the most enjoyable activities I do with Hidde and Susan is taking long walks. During our vacation in the Ardennes last summer, our mornings often consisted of going on a nice hike, with Hidde taking his first nap in the backpack. Very fun to do, but challenging at times with steep trails, slippery rocks or overhanging thorny bushes.
Since I love watching series, a little extra: what did I think were the best series in 2022?
Bonus: top 3 series from 2022
These are the three best series I watched in 2022: The Dropout, Better Call Saul and Severance.
Almost everything surrounding the rise and fall of the biotech company Theranos I have read (book Bad Blood), listened to (podcast The Dropout) or watched( documentary The Inventor). So it was waiting for a film adaptation. Fortunately, the creators opted for a series rather than a feature film. Although I already knew the course and ending, I also really like the series The Dropout. Including a delightful role for Stephen Fry.
Better Call Saul
‘The very best series ever. That’s Better Call Saul(Netflix) according to Susan. The series is a prequel to Breaking Bad, but then again, not quite. Because in the final season, you also find out how lawyer Saul Goodman fared after Breaking Bad.
Where in Breaking Bad the chemistry teacher Walter White lapses into crime, in Better Call Saul you see how Saul Goodman slowly loses himself in shady dealings. This is what makes the series sublime: delightful landscapes in the southwestern US, integrating characters (not only Saul, but certainly Lalo and the actual star of the show: Kim) and surprising episodes (in terms of content, filming style and camera work). Absolutely recommended, especially if you are a fan of Breaking Bad.
My friend Susan and I were hooked on the brilliant series Severance. The idea: on a voluntary basis, employees of a fictional biotech company can have a chip inserted that creates a hard separation (severance) between office hours and outside them. Wonderful to watch: good acting, spectacular design & cool intro.
Do you have another question, comment or tip for me? Leave a comment!