09-05-07

BNoX - Barcamp Brussels

This Saturday I was for some hours in Brussels. A short night-before phonecall with Clo, a former colleague of mine at Skynet, got me over to the Brussels Barcamp (since I was travelling in I could only be there for 2hours). When there, she invited me to do a powerpoint karaoke – a presentation of slides that you have never seen before. Fun to do, not prepared – a good lesson in self-relativation, with a video that I will enjoy watching even more in 10 years or so.

 

Someone asked me afterwards why I would do something like this. True, I am only a couple of days per month in Brussels anymore. But let me explain you why.

 

Reason1:

Creativity and entrepreneurialism unleash the passion in people. Initiatives like Barcamp are not only great to present your thoughts, findings, ideas or realizations – they create an atmosphere of shared searching and discovering. About 2 years ago, Peter Forrett – the organizer of Barcamp Brussels – presented his ideas to the Skynet team for some support (back then was still CEO of Skynet). We supported the idea completely, because Skynet is company that lives on the creation of new ideas: from free internet to ADSL, from consumer to corporate solutions, from portals to interactive television, from search to permission marketing… but also because we thought that sometimes you have to role to support initiatives that enable creativity in Belgium. Barcamp1 was born.

 

Reason2:

Clo was one of  the persons I did quite some effort to hire at Skynet. It hearts a bit to see that see is leaving together with some others, but seen my switch I understand completely and all people are going for what they believe in. They are not leaving Skynet, they are going towards something else.

 

I believe that creativity can only thrive when you are a passionate believer of what you do. When I was very young, my grandfather told me something I would never forget but only understood some years later.

He told me the following: “Bart, in your life you are going to have to deal with some difficulties. In whatever you will do, you will meet people that are better than you. In studying, playing football, managing or whatever. There is always someone better. Except in one thing,… and that is being yourself.’

I think we can all do incredible things, if we are not acting, if we are not doing things for the sake of public performance, but because we truly believe in them. Clo’s blog (bnox.be) can be pronounced in different ways –but for once let us read it as ‘Be No X’. Be no number. Be no actor of public expectation. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Just be yourself. Just like my grandfather told me.

I will try to bebart.be.

 

Thank you Clo for a short but good time at Skynet. We’ll meet again. Thank you Peter for the effort in getting it organised. Keep it up. But thank you most of all the participants of daring to share. That’s the only way forward.

 

bart.

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