Ten Faces of Innovation by Tim Kelley – book review in five tweets

Ten Faces of Innovation, signed by Tom Kelley himself

Ten Faces of Innovation, signed by Tom Kelley himself

A short while back, I received a signed copy of Tom Kelley’s book The Ten Faces of Innovation. This is my review of it, in five tweets.


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Make an EU Senate: Andreas Klein in European Portraits

Andreas Klein on stage at the Freedom Film Festival Riga

Andreas Klein on stage at the Freedom Film Festival Riga

Strengthening democracy is one of the goals of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. And that is exactly what Andreas has been doing for a while now. In different places in Europe. I met Andreas while we were both living in Riga, and had the great pleasure to see him in action on a Baltic conference he organised with the aim of strengthening democratic institutions in the region. Andreas also initiated the Freedom Film Festival in Riga.

What does the EU mean to you?
First of all, the EU means freedom to me: freedom to travel without borders, freedom to study at numerous universities throughout Europe, freedom to choose the place where I want to live and work and raise my family. Secondly, it means to me solidarity with our friends and partners in Europe. And thirdly, it gives me a great feeling of security and safety for me and my family, especially since the world is witnessing what happens around Europe’s neighboring countries.
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Manchester is not just about football: Ivana Sendecka in European Portraits

A surprising side of Manchester - photo courtesy of Ivana Sendecka

A surprising side of Manchester – photo courtesy of Ivana Sendecka

With her aptly titled blog Inspiring Shipments, Ivana has been creating waves and inspiring many people since 2009. I got to know Ivana as an enthusiastic colleague on a corporate social network. She left the company, and went on to do many great things. She’s the founder of the Next Generation of Leaders in Slovakia movement and is one of the 40 Under 40, Young Leaders of Europe for 2014. She calls herself a confused citizen of the world with a Slovak passport, who grew up in Slovakia and ived and worked in Dubai and Bratislava. Currently she does the most important job in the world: being a mum to her lovely son in Manchester. He is half Slovak, half English.

What does the EU mean to you?
The EU means I carry a purple passport around airports without a need to stop at border checks, when in Europe. The EU means fI can move countries freely. The EU means the chance to be paid better, when you have the courage to leave homeland.
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Florian in European Portraits

Florian from France - European Portraits

Florian from France – European Portraits

A Frenchman living in Japan, Florian has a strong opinion on what democracy should be like. He defends his opinion with fire, but also with an open mind and a willingness to listen to others and their opinions. I met Florian in the discussion forums of the MOOC Understanding Europe, and even though his opinion often differs from mine, I value his insights very much. I also think it’s good for this series to present different points of view, and I’m very happy Florian wanted to share his thoughts.

What does the EU mean to you?
To me, the EU is as much an opportunity as a hindrance.
An opportunity when it can spread good practice, rationalize transport and trade links, expand the single market and opportunities for corporations and citizens alike. In that respect, the 2004 enlargement has been a huge success.
A hindrance when member states cannot act in some areas where they want to, because the EU has the competence in that area, and the EU is blocked by its slow and/or weak decision making. To me, the most tragic example of this is the continued importation of Chinese goods falling short of EU norms (toxic toys for our kids probably being the worst), or artificially cheap through the cheap financing Chinese state-owned enterprises enjoy (when there are no outright subsidies for production and exportation…). The French government has repeatedly alerted the commission about this, but any action has been blocked by countries which fear trade reprisals (primarily the Germans: they are those who export the most to China).
I think member states should retain much more leeway to act, especially when the EU doesn’t apply its own standards…

What’s your (tweetable) vision for the EU?
A confederation of sovereign nation states, with harmonization in all areas to minimum common denominators acceptable to all states.
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European Portraits – a selfie first

In 7 weeks, voting will start for the European Parliament. This directly elected EU institution plays a big role in the daily life of Europeans. But how much do we really know about Europe? And what does it really mean to us. I’ve asked a couple of people to share their thoughts on it, which is resulting in a nice – and still growing – collection of portraits of Europeans. I hope that through these portraits, together we can share an idea of what Europe means to us, what it can mean to you, and eventually give you a basis to exercise your democratic rights and vote in the European Parliament elections in May. Today, I’m kicking off this project with a selfie.

Unexpected green along the river Ruhr

Unexpected green along the river Ruhr

A 40-something European, Arjan currently resides in Germany. He has also lived in Latvia, France, and of course his Native The Netherlands. He’s a consultant helping businesses make sense of new methods and technologies, and use those to get better results. He has recently published his first book of poems.

What does the EU mean to you?
For me, the EU means opportunity, but also a sensible way of addressing issues we’re facing. Traveling, living and working where you prefer is one example. Criminality, environment protection and consumer protection are other areas that need more than nation-bound institution to take care of them. And then there is peace. I think the main thing that the EU means to me, is that it brought peace to Europe.
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Getting to know Europe a bit better

In eight weeks time, we have elections for the European Parliament, the most democratic EU institution. But, how much do we know about this institution? And the candidates and parties we are voting for? Well, I believe a free and independent media landscape, focused on the European level (and not on the national level) is critical for this. That’s why I’m building a list of websites that report on, or create debates and discussions about the EU, how it works, who the players are etcetera. This list was originally started in a forum thread of the excellent MOOC Understanding Europe. If HEC and professor Alemanno decide to run it again, please enroll. It’s definitely worth your time, especially if you are an EU citizen.

Anyway, now for the list (and if you have suggestions, please let me know!):

Newspapers/magazines

Blogs

  • EUROPP – blog from the London School of Economics on European politics and policy

Useful websites

  • VoteWatch – how have MEPs voted in the European Parliament
  • FactcheckEU – statements from politicians and more about Europe examined on their factual basis. Very useful.
  • Debating Europe – debates about Europe and the EU
  • Venture Village – anything about startups in Europe

10 things you can do to be happy

Pure happiness: Homemade cookies

Pure happiness: Homemade cookies

Today is International Day of Happiness, to celebrate the fact that happiness is a fundamental human goal. Here are ten things you can do to be happy. Today, tomorrow, anytime. Have a great #HappinessDay!

1: Give people compliments
Start with the ones closest to you: partners, children, parents, siblings. Then move in to neighbours, friends, colleagues. Seeing the people in your circles be happy, will make you happy.
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Want to change the world? Here’s how to start


Playing with a Soccket, a ball that generates energy. Buying one means giving a child the opportunity to join a Soccket team and learn.

In the last six weeks, I was studying at Wesleyan University. Through Coursera, that is. I was enrolled in the course How to change the world, in which we have been looking at a broad range of issues facing our planet, and on ways how we can change the world for the better. In those six weeks, we have seen many great examples of how people are working to tackle issues like extreme poverty, epidemic diseases, gender equality and climate change. And in the final lectures, we saw some Wesleyan students share their thoughts and experiences on how to change the world. But with all these important topics, and big efforts to tackle them, it might become overwhelming for those who want to start making a change themselves. So, in this post, I wanted to share my views on how you can start making a difference, some learnings I took from the course and also some tips from change makers in my ‘crowd’ (I asked my social networks for a golden tip to start making a change).
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The small forest that needs a bit of cleaning

Pristine path last winter, but under the snow..

Pristine path last winter, but under the snow..

There’s a small forest in the town where I live. You can enter it without crossing any type of barriers, apart from the trees and bushes making it hard to access in most places. There’s a path through part of it, created through usage more than anything else. A good example of a desire path.

The forest is also home to several animals. I’ve seen several types of birds, including a wood pecker, but have also encountered deer there, who either live in this forest, or see it as part of their territory. I’m not completely sure if the forest is a commons, but it is treated as such. Thus, comparable to the pasture as described in ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ by Garrett Hardin, this forest can be treated as as a commons for the purpose of this post.

Many people who I have seen using this small forest, are passing through from a residential neighbourhood to a field. Almost all of them, including me, use it as a part of their daily dog walking routine. And then of course there is the wildlife. For me, a big part of the ‘usage’ I have from this forest, is the enjoyment of having wildlife so close to home; it gives me my daily dose of forest bathing, or shinrinyoku as it is called in Japan.
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