citizen of the world
I have always considered myself to be a citizen of the world. Although I was born in the Netherlands, I feel closely connected to people from other cultures, particularly Muslims and cultural minorities in the Middle-East area. For me, culture is separate from religion. I feel especially at home with the Mediterranean way of life, its expressiveness, its kindness and warmth. I studied Turkish part-time in Istanbul and I lived and worked there for some periods of the year between 2005 and 2011. This allowed me to experience Turkish culture at first hand. The experiences I gained there enabled me to take my work to a new level. This applies in particular to coaching and the training courses on diversity that I give in the Netherlands and abroad. As a child I already viewed the world through different – non-Dutch – eyes. I also use the same approach when I encounter other cultures.
In my vision, diversity means: bringing cultures – and people – together. The focus for me is on this connection. To this end, it is important to establish interaction between people. Among other ways, this can be done in the training courses I provide. When we look for the binding element together, our differences no longer seem so great. Exchange bolsters understanding and by becoming acquainted with one others cultures, in a non-judging manner, we can establish a connection and raise awareness. This awareness can be achieved by the trainings and masterclasses as well as through coaching, peer review or mentoring.