About Me

 

merel_dec_2016I am committed to leave the world a better place than I found it. I help organisations and networks to engage in benign innovations, to become better at shaping a healthy planet with happy people.

I help my clients to open up meaningful opportunities in a changing world. I like to think of the bigger picture, from experiencing the dynamics and feeling the tensions in the system. I am a pragmatic (intangible) problem solver and curiosity-driven experimenter. My style is soft spoken, yet tireless idealistic and tempted to dig deep into the heart of the matter. By working with me, you will gain confidence to leave the status quo behind and will become eager to take a daring, leading role in transforming the future for the better.

My work is always tailored-made by building results focused and qualitative relationship with my client. I joined forces with shiftN to work on ‘wicked’ problems and innovations in organisations and networks. For product-related innovations, I work via the C2C Platform. I am also experimenting with setting up for-profit and non-profit transformations on a self-employed basis. Being discrete, respectful and unprejudiced are key ingredients in my work.

I think best on my own and feel the most in a team. I work at the place that is necessary to do the task. This means that I need personal contact with the people within your organisation to start the work. And before I can give you effective advice, I will process the input on my own at home, in a coffee bar in Ghent or a secret quiet place.

I am convinced the truth can only be experienced. There is not one truth, but many nuances and these are not always expressible in words or pictures. An absolute truth is impossible because the context is always changing. Therefore, the truth is a constant pursuit.

I am a lifelong learner (and un-learner!). Besides a Master of Product Development and an MSc. in Innovation and Design for Sustainability, I followed multiple transformative courses at Schumacher College and I am regularly attending summer schools, conferences, evening classes and hackathons.

In the past ten years, I had Belgium and the UK alternatingly as home bases. I conducted assignments for SME’s, local and regional governments, intermediaries, institutes of higher education and non-profit organisations in more than ten different countries. These experiences familiarised me with a wide spectrum of (societal) challenges in a variety of sectors. On my work samples page, you can get a better overview of my work experience.

Despite my international, digital and societal outlook, you will not easily spot me on a plane, on Facebook or in a rowdy bar. I prefer a minimalistic, mindful lifestyle. A (foldable) bike and tent give me real freedom. Music has been a lifelong passion. In recent years, I am also falling deeper in love with mountains, art and life.

If you want to see me in action, have a look at my blog and follow me on social media. If you feel like I can help you, get in touch@merelclaes.com or via the form on this page. We could go for a drink or organise a skype to get to know each other.