image: Hans Stockmans
I am a Brussels-based facilitator, writer, storyteller and theatre maker with three main passions: human relationships, language and stage.
My interventions in organisations, society and teams focus on relational and cultural issues, and more in particular team- and leadership development.
I also use my writing and performing skills to create memorable moments and artistic reports during events.
I feel at home at all organisational levels and in any environment, be it business, government or non-profit. I love working with groups of any size, creating safe spaces to allow what is beneath the surface to show itself and open the way for new perspectives and transformation.
I am an experienced practitioner of approaches and methods such as the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that matter and Deep Democracy. I am consciously and continuously deepening my learning and practice, not in the least by being involved in team-work myself :
I co-founded Compagnie Tisserin a.s.b.l., a theatre company that weaves links between disciplines, places and people and I work together with Kollektief Ofzo as a playwright and a director. I am also a co-founder of the civil movement Circles – We have the choice.
Flemish (Dutch) is my mother tongue, I am fluent in French and English and I stand my ground in German.
My previous working experience includes being a PR officer in an international arts festival, a language trainer, a translater and copywriter, a consultant at the Belgian Post, a coach for entrepreneurs, a facilitator of brainstorms and multi-stakeholder processes and a trainer in participative and co-creative methods. After 6 years of employment, I began working as a freelancer in 2004 and I set up my company Ziraffa in 2007.
I have a Master in Linguistics and a Postgraduate in Theatre Science, and I have completed numerous continuing education classes. trainings, seminars, intervision- and exchange days on Solution Focussed Communication & Approaches, Creativity & Brainstorm Techniques, Project & Process Management, Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter, Multi-party Conflict Mediation, Group Dynamics, Theory U, Deep Democracy, Spiral Dynamics, Open Space Technology, Future Search, Change Journey Facilitation, Graphic Facilitation & Harvesting, Embodied Facilitation, Systemic Constellations, Mindfulness, Intuitive Intelligence, Advaita Vedanta, Human Design, Rituals and Ceremony, Singing, Declamation, Directing, Storytelling & Presentation.
I have a mind that loves understanding patterns, connecting dots and capturing essence. A body that kind of senses what is off. A heart that wants to serve the whole. And a soul attracted by what stagnates and falters, by what needs to be seen and expressed to move on. I guess that means that I often dare to name the taboos, such as grief, sadness and fear. When the time is right. And with no other aim then to clear the air so we can all breathe again and do what needs to be done.
I was born in 1974, shortly after the culmination of the Watergate scandal and on the day Leda was discovered, one of the mysterious moons of Jupiter. I am rather inquisitive by nature, and I love a good mystery. I like to think that the events at the time of my birth have greatly contributed to these aspects of my personality.
In addition, I was the youngest in a family of 4 children, 8 cats and 1 dog, my mother passed away when I was 14, I experienced first hand what it is to be at the top as well as at the bottom of the schoolyard ‘food chain’, I spent a great deal of my childhood in youth movements and moved houses several times. No wonder I am intrigued by human nature, group dynamics, conflict, change and leadership.
Maybe because of all those experiences and all those riddles of life to be solved, I became a collector of inspiration, insights, stories and wisdom. I have an eclectic educational track record, a house full of books, endless lists of websites to visit and videos to watch, and many friends with the same symptoms who share with me their knowledge, books, video’s,… omg, I need another life or five.
I am also very grateful to have met some wildly interesting mentors and masters. Amongst them Mr. C., alias the famous illness that took me by its hand and showed me how to live. And lucky me: I am constantly reminded of the miracle of life by my partner, his daughther and my two cats, by nature, friends and family.
People call me ‘creative with words and images’. I would say I am still amazed that my university schooling as a linguist and a theatre scientist has not squeezed all the artistry out of me: I practice the spoken word, I write poetry, stories and theatre plays, I direct, act and sing and I create audiovisual art. Or maybe I am just plain happy when in the flow of creating beautiful and meaningful messages to the world.