There is a story that is visible.
What do you do?
I am a Brussels-based facilitator, trainer, artistic harvester and artist. My interventions in organisations and teams focus on cultural and relational transformation, dealing with topics such as collaboration and communication, leadership,
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 where the unspoken can surface and profound transformation can take place.
Besides training and facilitation, I also use my writing skills and my audiovisual creativity for harvesting purposes, and I co-create and facilitate special moments of celebration for families, friends and organisations, to mark important transitions in a powerful way.
I am an experienced and skilfull practitioner of approaches and methods such as
- The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Meaningful Conversations
- Open Space
- Deep Democracy
- Theory U
- Appreciative Inquiry
- Systemic Constellations
- Rituals and Ceremonies
- Audiovisual Harvesting
- Storytelling and Poetry
I have a broad network of colleagues with complementary skills, allowing me to co-create and collaborate where needed.
I also founded a band, the Poets Playground, combining music with poetry, and Compagnie Tisserin a.s.b.l., a theatre company that weaves links between disciplines, places and people. I directed my first play in september 2015 (Silence Complice) and combined this creation with a crowdfunding campaign and a social dialogue project. I am the co-founder of the Civil Movement Circles : We have the Choice: meaningful togetherness in the aftermath of blind violence.
What is your background?
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. I set up my enterprise Ziraffa in 2007 and founded the Compagnie Tisserin asbl in 2015. In 2012 I started using the name The Riverkeeper for my work in organisations – thereby referring to the systemic and organic nature of my intentions and interventions.
What have you studied?
I have Master in Linguistics and a Postgraduate in Cultural Studies, 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, Multi-party Conflict Mediation, 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.
What languages do you speak?
Flemish (Dutch) is my mother tongue, I am fluent in French and English and I stand my ground in German.
And there is always another story.
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.
love letter to a random wanderer – Stien Michiels
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 am a practitioner of the spoken word, a writer of poetry and stories and a creator of audiovisual art. Or maybe I am just plain happy when in the flow of creating beautiful and meaningful messages to the world.