What is the best thing that I love about my work?
The best thing about my work is that I am free to do what I find important. I have my own design studio, but I had the liberty to make a book about how to live a sustainable life.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Being content with what is. That is not so difficult for me because I have a wonderful family, I get to strive for a better world through my work and I have the means to support this all.
What is my greatest fear?
Deep down I fear our safe world is under stress. My father survived WWII and as a child I learned about the horrors of war. All around the globe dangerous populists are emerging and taking the lead. One of the main underlying drivers is climate change and other impacts on the global ecosystem. These things undermine our prosperity and our wellbeing. People feel something is going on, although they often don’t recognize the causes. It makes them uneasy and it is a common reaction to blame others, which populists feed on.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
I find it difficult to relax and to stop thinking, so I am on and off on the brim of being overworked. I guess I’m a perfectionist, which doesn’t help…
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
Well, I have stretched ‘my profession’ from being a industrial designer (my study) to a communication designer (the agencies I worked for, my studio) to becoming an author on sustainability. So what profession to choose? I don’t know anyone who did all of these things. As an author I love Martijn Katan. He is a scientist who knows how to engage people and he discerns fact from fiction in an easy-going way.
What is my greatest extravagance?
Oh jeez, I’m such a good girl… A sandwich with peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles.
On what occasion would I lie?
Only when it does more good than harm to everyone involved.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
That would be sitting behind a computer all day. I broke my back last summer and to recover I have to walk a lot, which is great. But the better my back gets, the harder I find it to take those walks.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
Since my book was published, I give a lot of speeches. The best moments are when I’m on stage and I feel I’m reaching peoples’ hearts. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does it’s like magic.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
Ha, nice one. I would like to have a smaller nose. No, just kidding. I’m actually constantly trying to improve myself. That goes from the way I walk (up straight) to the way I treat my kids (kind and fair). At the same time, I try to take things as they are, even myself, which is hard for a perfectionist 🙂
What is my greatest achievement in work?
That would probably be my book ‘The hidden impact’. In this project I could use most of my passions. Design, writing, drawing, making complex information simple and sustainability.
Where would I most like to live?
I love living Amsterdam, but we have a plan: We’ll stay in the city until the kids have grown up. That’s ten years from now. Then we go on a cycling tour for one year and after that we’ll move to the countryside and live in a forest for the rest of our lives.
What is my most treasured possession?
Hmm, probably my nice felt slippers. I wear them whenever I’m at home.
What is my most marked characteristic?
You could say I’m rather tenacious. When I put my mind to do something I hold on like a pitbull and don’t let go.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
If you’re asking me what’s the location where I get the best ideas, that goes between the toilet and the park where I take my walks. Both aren’t the most inspirational places I’m afraid, although I have a beautiful toilet 😉
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
The next one I’m going to discover, since I like going to new places. But we do have this nice place in the park: Hotel Buiten. It is a rather undiscovered jewel on the shores of the lake.
What books influenced my life and how?
The first one was a children’s book I read when I was about ten years old. It was about a world in which women ruled a nation in complete harmony with nature. The idea stuck. The second one was a management book on marketing for a better world. It showed me business and ideals can go hand in hand. The third one was the book Collapse by Jared Diamond, in which he describes how thriving civilizations have collapsed throughout history, due to their impact on the ecosystem. Those were local problems. This time the whole planet is under pressure. Diamond showed me the urgency of our environmental impact. We need to change everything and we need to do it fast.
Who are my favorite writers?
Gosh, that varies from Houellebecq to Nesbo and from Jane Austen to Hector Malot, to name a few.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
I love the Jane Austen heroines, because they are so considerate, wise and sweet. They seem utterly unrealistic but perhaps culture was different back then. They inspire me to be a good person.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
My dad was a troubled person, but nevertheless he had such a positive attitude. His life’s work was to make the world a better place; As a psychiatrist he helped other war victims and as a survivor he talked about what had happened to prevent recurrence. He inspired people to embrace love, not hate.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Strangely enough, we are into Westerns lately. So if you ask me now, I’d say Once upon a time in the West, because that’s my favorite Western. Westerns play in the timeframe just before the world as we know it emerged. There were no roads, no cars, people travelled on horseback through a seemingly never ending world with stunning nature and in utter freedom. Yummy.
What role plays art in my life and work?
Not as big a role as I’d like. I hardly take the time to experience art, but when I do, I feel refreshed and inspired.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
My husband Rick was the one who opened my eyes to the phenomenon of hidden impact. He didn’t use that term yet but he described some of the environmental problems we are facing. He is always there for me and he is my most important sparring partner.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017?
With whomever can support me to reach more people and inspire them to make the necessary changes for a sustainable world.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017?
Hah, Al Gore would be nice 😉
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?
At the moment I am in the process of translating my book to the US situation. I don’t just have to adapt the language but also the information itself and it’s great to be investigating again. It would be so cool if I could reach many Americans with my message.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
Hopefully The hidden impact will be available in every bookstore in the US by the end of 2017, but for now it is available in Dutch bookshops.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
You kidding me? What else?
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Did you ask Bernice Notenboom yet?
How can you contact me?
You can find my details on Linkedin or on both my websites:
Love to hear from you!