I have over 12 years of experience in real estate development in The Netherlands and Canada. In The Netherlands, my work involved the revitalization of distressed neighbourhoods and industrial waterfronts of several Dutch coastal cities. In 2011, I moved to Vancouver BC to work as a consultant and project manager in affordable housing, sustainable building innovations and economic development.
I joined the Dudoc Vancouver team in November 2014 to help Dutch and European businesses with proven solutions for sustainable, healthy and affordable buildings, find partners and clients in the North American market. I find it very exciting to work with cutting-edge sustainability innovations from Europe on a daily basis and to see the appetite from Canadian and American clients for fresh ideas and solutions.
With a multitude of complex world problems that require holistic solutions, every day I get inspired by the Walas approach to urban development that explores sustainable ways of living, incites conversations of how to improve our cities, and creates synergies between different opinions. What ignites my passion is the Walas vision of having the people, the ultimate end users, at its centre. My background in social science and economics always pushed me to question our current practices and to provide answers through tangible applications.
In my work, I get to represent inspiring cutting-edge European innovations, assess market conditions and oversee aspects of their business development. I also work with a multitude of socially-, environmentally- and economically- conscious individuals through the Dudoc platform and get my energy from these interactions. I have been working on the Canadian side since 2013 as an Assistant, Project Manager, and now the General Manager of Dudoc Vancouver – the position that I hold until this day. Dudoc strives to be the platform to achieve the goal of creating healthy, non-discriminatory and livable communities for all. I am truly honoured and excited to take part in creating better cities.
Working at Dudoc Vancouver is an opportunity to focus on issues I am passionate about. Over the years, I have managed a wide range of multi-faceted programs and am fortunate to have worked on projects I believe in. These include unique human rights events, local community development projects and ground breaking international programs. Many projects involved strong elements of sustainability, sometimes social, ecological, economic and cultural interests intersected. At Dudoc, these priorities are integrated.
I thrive on strategic planning and developing partnerships which has been part of helping coordinate Dudoc events and contributing to the the formation of Earth Charter Friends Canada. In addition, my project management and communications skills support Dudoc activities such as promotion of sustainable Dutch products. My background includes working with innovative, diverse and sometimes challenging groups. Throughout, collaboration has been key and has involved community organizations, government and business. A Vancouverite, I have considerable cross-Canada experience and have travelled extensively in Western, Asian and Southern countries.
I am inspired by the Walas vision and the openness to exploring ways to build better communities locally and internationally. I value working with the immediate team and affiliated partners towards achieving a more sustainable and just world.
I have over 20 years experience working with technical innovations and small businesses. As an entrepreneur and mechanical engineer, I know the challenges of building companies and bringing good solutions to market. Dudoc opened in 2014 to help European companies bring their sustainable innovations to the North American market. It is a large and growing market that has a lot to gain from our advanced technologies. Dudoc offers a physical space for companies to show their products with supporting services to help grow internationally, including business modelling, sales support and more. It’s an exciting project that’s part of the Walas vision to create communities that are environmentally, socially and financially successful.
I have worked in urban and community development since 1991, and founded World of Walas over 5 years ago. We have grown quickly, with over 20 companies, successful projects and a global network of partners focused on economic, social and cultural development.
With a strong focus on fair business and sustainable solutions, the Walas group develops new ways of doing business. We focus on innovations, projects and sharing information through our own efforts and in collaboration with leading specialists. Some of our partners are showcased in Dudoc Vancouver, where Walas is focused on new ways for integrative sustainable developments in Canada and the USA.
Since 2009, I have been involved with the international Earth Charter movement to create a strategic vision for global urban sustainability. I am the author of the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto. I am also co-author of the much appraised book Nieuwe Ideeën voor Oude gebouwen (New Ideas for Old Buildings, NAi publishers NL) on creative economy in urban contexts, and Contemporary Perspectives on Jane Jacobs (Ashgate publishing) about the work with Hafencity University, at Hafencity Hamburg.