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Ad-Hoc Expert

Generic Skills

B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
I am a field expert “making cities together” with vast experience in community design, co-creation, and as a local policy maker. For over 20 years, creativity and "working together to move forward" have been a focus in my career, in the social sector, in policy making and in the activities I initiated as a social entrepreneur. As a designer and facilitator, I am skilled in participatory design. As the former deputy mayor of the city of Genk (Belgium), I proved myself to be an innovative policy maker to activate change and transitions at city level with a specific focus on participation, neighborhood development, sustainable development, environment and equality. Since 2017, I live and work in Marseille (France), a city shaped by 2600 years of experience in migration, diversity and resilience. In Living Lab Moving Marseille I use the city as a lab to learn, but also to connect people and projects in and with Marseille. It is in this context I organise urban field trips, introducing visitors to this fascinating city with inspiring city-makers building the city from diverse bottom-up projects. I am an experienced and driven "transitioneur", “matchmaker” and "facilitator", who like to share my experiences with and help others in sustainable urban development.
B1. Assessment: 
1: The applicant has a solid understanding of urban development through her role as a deputy mayor in Gent (2013-2016). She has a background in urban social projects, initiatives and policies.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
As a designer and facilitator of co-creation projects, as a city maker and as a former policy maker, I have experience with exchange and learnings at transnational level. Three examples in three different roles: as a policy maker - ARTS-project This is a EU funded projects with 5 European cities (Genk, Dresden, Stockholm, Brighton and Budapest) to research strategies to accelerate urban innovative and sustainable actions in cities. I was an active contributor in the exchange between the 5 cities of their strategies and experimentations. as a designer/facilitator/curator - Wetopia-project This is a collaboration as a curator of projects around “Wetopia, making city together” with Festival van de Gelijkheid in Gent (BE) and Open design Afrika in Cape Town (SA). Transnational learnings between Belgium, Brasil, Italy, France, South Africa, The Netherlands and several African countries. Formats: inspiration days, city activations, Wetopia school. as a city maker in Marseille - Citizentwinning with Rotterdam With Verhalenhuis Belvédère Rotterdam and my Living Lab Moving*Marseille we designed and enrolled an exchange program between city makers from both similar cities (migration, port, superdiversity, working class,..). Formats: urban field trips in Marseille and Rotterdam, exchange meetings.
B2. Assessment: 
1: The applicant has experience in and understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level.
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
I am Dutch speaking, living in France, working in an international context, so I use English daily in my work, professional collaborations and contacts. Oral: I have been a speaker about transitions and urban sustainable development at several international conferences, gatherings, workshops and panels such as: Belmont Forum in Boulder Colorado, Green Week of the European Commission in Brussels, Workshop at the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, Conference Sustainable Cities in Bilbao, Informed Cities Forum in Dresden, etc. I have been a facilitator at the International Days of Deans and Design Experts in Barcelona, at Wetopia academy preparations workshops in Cape Town, at Le Grand Barouf numérique with Ouishare at Lille Métropôle, etc. On a daily basis I exchange in English in meetings, skype calls, urban field trips, interviews, mails, whats app messages, social media posts. Written: I wrote several texts in English, for example Impact Through Design interview for Social Fare, working documents for projects as Wetopia Academy project in Cape Town, preparations for interviews Mel Magazine, BMW Foundation, international applications for funding, texts for our websites, for social media and mails.
B3. Assessment: 
1: The applicant has proficiency in English through working on transnational projects, being a facilitator in transnational events and an author in international magazines.

Expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing & delivering integrated and participatory policies

E.1. Knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices : 
I like to share the "Schansbroekpark project", I set up in Genk, where we made the choice to invite all the neighbours and users of the park to co-create the new park. it was an explicit choice to develop a very interactive co-creative process with very little givens or limitations in designing the park. My role: responsible policy maker, initiator to make this a project as an example of real co-creation by users and neighbours. The methods and tools we used in this project to explore topics and co-create the park: door to door talks, field walks, storytelling workshops, drawing workshops, brainstorming, collaboration with civil servants on regional and local level, expo, field work in implementation. As a designer and facilitator of co-creation with citizens in cities I set up several other projects, for example: De Put Brugge (placemaking by youngsters, brainstorming, inquireies, manifest for the city, brainstorming); Slow Antwerp (co-created vision by tourism sector, city makers and region); Ravenshoutbrigade (co-created mobility measures of employees of different companies on an industrial zone on the territory of four municipalities)
E.1 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shares more than one relevant activity of participatory methods, including her personal role.
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies: 
The "G360" was a civil brainstorm in order to gather input for the upcoming strategic plan for the city of Genk and to bridge the gap between local officers and civilians in their multiple diversities. Unrolled with 50 civil servants of various departments. Two brainstorms in the footballstadium on 8 topics. We were able to represent the diversity of Genk in the participants, this took time and a lot of personal invitations, one of the first intern, horizontal, participatory processes. 453 participants, 2000 ideas, 28 clusters/concepts. My role: responsible policy maker, designer of the project, facilitator, coach of the civil servants, process keeper after the brainstorms. The monitoring tools I used: - In order do have a good statistic picture of the inhabitants of the city, it was necessary to monitor the recruitment of participants. We did this by combining open access with remediation, involving community leaders and social organisations to encourage inhabitants groups we missed to participate. - Monitoring the ideas by a good design thinking process in order to converge the ideas or policy actions. We made a report with 28 clear clusters or concepts from the inhabitants. - Monitoring the implementation: policy tables of policy makers and civil servants with experts were set up for every department. It was my challenge to make sure all ideas were teken into account at these tables to make sure they would eventually appear in the city policy plan.
E.2 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shares an example in great detail of designing and applying monitoring tools to evaluate urban strategies/policies.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level: 
I keep up-to-date by means of various channels: - by my extended network and news from networks newsletters etc: DG Research and Innovation EC, Comity of the regions, Urban Innovative actions, Horizon 2020 programs,… - by actively following projects: Connecting Nature for example - by actively following website articles via Twitter and Linked In accounts like Green Week, Placemaking festival, Iclei, Drift, and many others - by personal contact with people in social innovation communities, in cities and in academic structures - by jury participations
E.3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shares various channels through which she keeps up to date on the main policy and funding schemes at EU and national level.
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities: 
A project in which I adapt the tool and content continuously is “Urban Field Trips Marseille”. Every year I set up about ten four-days urban field trips for groups to come to learn about Marseille, meet Marseille city makers and work together with this inspiration as a team. I adapt content and visits, but also approaches to the group and local reality they work in: architects, community workers, entrepreneurs, politicians, civil servants, migrant organisations. Content can be different: activism of the 21th century, nature based solutions, diversity and migrations, bottom-up urban development. Also approach can be different: visits, exchange, group challenge, creation etc. In my practice as a facilitator of design thinking and co-creation since more than 15 years I design customized processes for every group and every design challenge. This means: form of groups (small to very big), use of inspirations (creative web search, live inspirators, inspiration safari in the city etc), development of concepts (write concepts, creatie models, set up an activation etc).
E.4 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shares a valid example of adapting the approach and content of urban field trips to different local needs and situations.
Summary Expertise: 
You could call me a very experienced practitioner in participatory policies from three different roles: 1. as a local policy maker (former deputy mayor of participation, sustainable development, environment, neighborhoods and equality) 2. as a designer of participatory processes for cities, ngo’s, citizens, companies 3. as a facilitator of co-creation processes since more than 15 years. Three examples of projects I owned, developed and facilitate(d): 1. G360 civil brainstorm with +450 citizens in order to gather input for the upcoming strategic plan for the city of Genk and to bridge the gap between civil servants and local politicians and civilians in their multiple diversities. 2. Schansbroekpark is a multifunctional, but old and hidden recreative zone, owned by the Flemish government and in need of big ecohydrologic measures. Choice to invite all the neighbours and users of the park to co-create the new park. Explicit choice to develop a very interactive co-creative process with very little givens or limitations in designing the park. 3. Wetopia Academy Cape Town: In Wetopia we co-create more resilient cities from the bottom-up. Together, at Wetopia Academy, we learn to build Wetopia by inspiring others, exchanging ideas and setting up activations. That’s why we set up at Open Design Afrika 2019 in Cape Town, South Afrika three learning activities: 100% CPT/Langa/… - City Activations, Wetopia Inspiration Days and a Wetopia Learning Program for policy
1: The applicant is validated for E due to a score of 4 out of 4.


Residence location:
Dutch - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 

Area of expertise