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World Tuberculosis Day: the power of storytelling

World Tuberculosis Day: the power of storytelling

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Yesterday it was World Tuberculosis Day. For most people, tuberculosis is “a disease from the past” and something very distant from their life. But did you know that tuberculosis is the number 1 most deadly infectious disease in the world and one of the ten most common causes of death? The numbers don’t lie: every year 10 million people get infected by the disease and more than 1.5 million people die from it. That’s more than 4,000 people a day! Totally unnecessary, as tuberculosis is preventable and curable.

Years ago I worked on a tuberculosis project in some favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

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Alternative Ways to use storytelling

Alternative Ways to use storytelling

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Paris. City of love, the Eiffel Tower, grand cafes and the best croissants in the world. More than 21 years ago I was here for the last time. France had become world champion for the first time by beating the Brazilians with 3-0. Deliriously happy Frenchmen were hanging from windows everywhere, singing the “Marseillaise” out loud and waving their red-white-blue frenetically. The city was one big mayhem and you could feel the unity right within the depths of your body.

Now, 21 years later, the reality is quite different. “Please be careful,” I hear more than once, when I tell people that I’m going to Paris for work.

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What’s in a (company) name

What’s in a (company) name

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The magpie. Can you think of a bird that generates more disgust and distrust than this noisy chatterer? According to many, the number one enemy of songbirds, a plunderer of nests, a thief of shiny objects and in some cultures even an omen for bad luck.

Why would you ever name your company after such a bird?

In fact, I can not do much about it: I was born with this name. Yes, this notorious bird is inseparably connected with me, as my surname means magpie in Dutch.

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From jobseeker to entrepreneur in 365 days

From jobseeker to entrepreneur in 365 days

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Today exactly 365 days ago, I was at the beginning of a whole new phase in my life. After working abroad for almost two decades, it was time for a career in The Netherlands. It was 1 October 2017 and I was officially looking for a job.

From day one I found looking for a job a thought-provoking and interesting activity. Again and again I had to find out what really interested me and if my skills matched what was asked for in the job description. I had just turned forty and applied for a job for the first time in my life.

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The longest 10 days of my life, or: my introduction to meditation

The longest 10 days of my life, or: my introduction to meditation

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Mindfulness is hot. More and more often you hear and read about training courses and workshops, where you learn to live more consciously, based on different meditation techniques. I also wanted to learn to live more consciously and had already started meditating a number of times. Without success. Time and time again those damned issues of the day distracted me. I stopped as many times as I had started.

Yet I continued to be drawn to meditation. “If I quit my job, I will do a meditation course in Asia,” I once promised myself.

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Early bird catches the worm: how waking up early changes your life

Early bird catches the worm: how waking up early changes your life

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Waking up at the crack of dawn and enjoying it? It seems impossible. Especially if you suffer from a little voice in your head in the morning that says you can stay in bed a bit more. Because it is still dark outside. Because your bed is warm and your bedroom floor is cold. Or because you think that sleeping longer is just necessary.

However, if you manage to master that voice, waking up early will soon become a habit. A habit that doesn’t take much effort anymore. And that can change your life.

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