Profile

  •  Director of Development, and at Demsoc since August 2018.
  • Based in Brussels, and a frequent traveller and speaker across Europe.
  • An MA graduate in Political Science, and in Business Economics
  •  Worked in London-based technology companies for 7 years, specialising in consulting and partnerships around Social Media Insights.
  • A former board member of the Lewisham Refugee and Migrant network, the producer of The Hidden, a documentary on homelessness, and a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network.

3 things I’m good at or enjoy

  • Done is better than perfect. Keeping plates spinning, finding the essence of things quickly, and moving on in order to move a bigger collaboration forward is a talent I’m particularly grateful for.

 

  • Building partnerships, by spotting the common ground and spending time understanding what moves people. Strong human relations, with real trust and investment in a bigger idea we all believe in. It has become the fabric of my work, because I am convinced it is the most unmapped and inspiring dynamic of our age. When relationships across organisations (and families!) are wide open, straightforward and genuine, the sum is truly greater than its parts.

 

  • Writing is the skill that really came naturally to me, through a love or reading and observing conversations. Public speaking, networking, fundraising and project management were all acquired later, with far more effort, than the joy of stringing words together in order to convey meaning and emotion.

 

Something I’ve achieved/proud of

Building a partnership ecosystem in a previous position, all across the European, African and Asian continents, that employed 32 people and was at the heart of many small, local businesses. It was a truly remarkable experience, because so much of it was based on trust, and so many investments were made before any paperwork was in place. It taught me a whole new way of bringing on change in this world, and I am looking to replicate that many times over.

 

3 things I’m not so good at

  • Done is better than perfect 🙂 I have too much tolerance for chaos. I hop-skip through work and life, and the capacity of my inbox is inevitably many times larger than my brain.

 

  • I am straightforward, Dutch-style, and occasionally my edges could do with some softening, to make sure intent and empathy does not get lost.

 

  • I have too little patience with procedures. In what is arguably the capital of red tape, Brussels, that makes me a the fish out of water at times, and that can impact the team I’m in. But when the cause is worth it, I’m very happy to try and find the seasoned Belgian bureaucrat in myself.

 

What I’m currently working on at Demsoc

I lead on Development at The Democratic Society, which means that among the practice experts and community managers, I am the money person. I work to ensure we are a sustainable organisation with a solid portfolio of projects, real career prospects for our people and a story that can punch above our weight. I am personally passionate about ensuring we also build a network of practitioners to create momentum for our ideas, and evidence for how it could change our European political dynamic for the better. In my work, I have a particular focus on our developing markets, like Italy and Germany, and on making sure every person at Demsoc feels supported and enabled to speak publicly about our work, and find new places for our work to be useful.