As a child I was sleeping on the floor…..because my bed was full with my “sick” stuffed animals. During the day I was fixing the broken flipper of Joupy my seal, patching up Snoopy’s injured head and operating on Snuffy the kitty, to remove his inflamed appendix.
As a student I explored the human body inside and out to find cures for diseases. I studied Biomedical Sciences at the Medical university of Leiden in the The Netherlands.
As an adult I helped patients turn into people again. I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 17 years, for Abbott Laboratories, now known as Abbvie, in positions ranging from Product Manager to Business Unit Manager to Innovation Manager. In the latter, I have driven a transformational process to embed an innovative and human centric mindset, process, tools, and ways of working based on Design Thinking.
As a grown freelance professional (since 2016) I help people connect deeply to themselves, and others
I started as a Design Thinking facilitator. Along the way, I have discovered that strangely enough, we have never been more connected to the world in the past than we are today. And yet there is a strong need for empathy and compassion to foster meaningful connections in the VUCA-world we live in.
Empathy helps us to better understand customers and therefore innovate with impact. In addition, empathy helps us better understand team-members, colleagues, and peers. It is like seeing with the heart....
That is why empathy is at the heart of emotional intelligence.
I strongly believe in this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from the book “Le Petit Prince” published in 1943:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.”