I experienced the transition from high school to college as a real liberation. At last I could make my own choices, faced more challenges and complexity, had fewer obligations and plenty of time for commitments in youth work. I chose sciences as a way to better grasp the world. After earning my master's degree, I had the opportunity to pursue a PhD in quantum chemistry. The complexity and unconventional thinking of that field attracted me strongly, the bureaucratic system of a university much less so.
After my PhD I started in the wonderful, and for me totally unknown, world of the chemistry giant BASF. I soon discovered that chemistry was more about people than molecules. I was given responsibilities over teams and projects in the most diverse roles and domains (production, technical services, purchasing, communication). Shaping things, overseeing the bigger picture and mobilising people in new directions were key. Again and again I felt the urge for more challenges. I obtained an Executive MBA with an intense personal development program and became a staff member of the CEO of BASF Antwerp. Despite the many opportunities I was offered, I felt ever more strongly that this corporate game was not mine. I wanted to take my career into my own hands. And so it happened.
Early 2012, I left BASF and started a company to help organisations address strategic issues through dialogue. We brought people together, provided new frameworks, exchanged perspectives, and connected all the elements into a congruent whole. This way I kept discovering new environments, including the world of social entrepreneurship. I wanted to get to work with that. Training to become a coach awakened my interest in people even further.
In 2015, I started Co-Vibes. We developed The Young Vibes, a talent incubator that ensured that highly educated young people without work experience could enter the job market in a self-confident state of mind. This allowed companies to experience the power of talented young people with an open mind. In total, 55 young people worked at The Young Vibes and we did assignments for 75 companies.
Meanwhile, I increasingly took up the role of growth catalyst, a multifaceted role in which I support pioneers to shape new initiatives or smart collaborations. In addition, I started reading a lot again, running marathons, painting and playing the piano.
In the past decade I discovered and integrated more and more dimensions of myself from the different roles in my life and from many coaching sessions and trainings. Themes like multipotentiality, intensity and the developmental psychology of Dabrowski were important elements in my personal quest, as well as the impactful course 'Leading by Being', which brought me an important leap closer to my essence.
My insatiable appetite to continually discover and learn new things and to continually create new things remains a great challenge in an economy that focuses on preserving and building upon the known. How can we more fully embrace and integrate the versatility and contradictions in people and between people? How can connecting people not result in a form of conformism, but rather in a colourful, richly chequered palette?
This challenge does not only apply to me. There are many multiversalists who are looking to contribute meaningfully to this society. With the startup of Multiversity, we want to provide an answer to that and I myself see an opportunity to integrate many of my talents and past experiences into this new story.