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Happinez Artikel En

Happinez Artikel En

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Published by Martijn Aslander
An interview with dutch magazine Happinezz
An interview with dutch magazine Happinezz

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Published by: Martijn Aslander on Jun 03, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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happinez happinez
Commit yourself to others, use your talent as yourcompass and don’t be afraid to give before you receive.That’s how you can help build a new economy, says‘committer’ and ideas wizard Martijn Aslander.“The possibilities are unprecedented;all we have to do is learn how to use them.”
‘Give away
what you
people & society
to do on this planet? My boyhood dream o becoming amillionaire had lost its lustre by then. I wanted to developmy talents and do un things with un people.”On his website he calls himsel connector and resourcerer,a wizard with resources. You can call him a philosopheral-though he never nished college; he was too busy star-ting his companies. You can call him a born entrepreneur,but it’s not his mission to make a prot. He calls himsel aboy scout more than anything, still abiding by the scou-ting rules rom his childhood: ‘A Boy Scout goes out intothe world together with others to discover it and make it abetter place.’One day he decided he was no longer or rent and stop-ped sending tenders and invoices. From now on he wouldshare his knowledge, ideas and networks with the worldand let others decide aterwards how they valued his con-tribution. He still makes a decent living regardless. “It’s amistake to think that you have to ask beore you are given.I learnt to have aith that I would get what I need and itworks miraculously: giving results in more.” Talent is an important compass in a knowledge economy,says Martijn, and social capital is the currency. In a nut-shell, social capital is the sum o your network, your repu-tation, your visibility and your capacity to bring peopletogether. Martijn moves like a juggler. He is involved indozens o projects every year, he ounded the Elvenstonenetwork and works anywhere and everywhere. “I link uppeople, ideas and inormation. That’s my passion: to getpeople thinking and get things moving.”His lectures are sometimes rewarded with a sum o mo-ney, other times with a book token, some oce space, anairline ticket or a subscription to a magazine. “But what Ireally get out o it is a reer contact with people instead o the classic customer-supplier relationship. I don’t work ora person, but with a person. Clear communication resultsin a short eedback loop. I I’m o little value to someone, Iwant to know about it. That way I can learn what I have tooer and to whom I can oer it. I don’t ask mysel: whatwill I get out o this? Instead I get to the real question: do Imake people happy?”
From profts to values
 The rock band Radiohead uploaded its CD In Rainbowsand told people to decide or themselves what they wan-ted to pay or downloading it. This playul approach topayment is part o a much bigger change, according toMartijn. A shit rom prots to values, rom possess to ac-cess, rom shortage to abundance. “Our economy is goingthrough a transition phase. Technology, lower communi-cation costs and greater awareness are undamentallychanging our way o discovering, playing, cooperatingand organising. Our economy used to be based on short-ages: anything not available goes up in value. The currentnetwork and inormation society has dierent rules. Bygiving knowledge away, you don’t lose out; on the con-trary, you get eedback and that makes you grow. In aknowledge economy you compete on content, so lear-ning and being open to others is very important. The rea-son Obama ound so many people prepared to help himwas that he used modern technology to reach them. Thepossibilities are unprecedented; all we have to do is learnhow to use them.Give away what you can give easily, what you have andknow in abundance. It makes you a better person. Peoplehave been deriving their status rom possessions and howmany nice things they acquired. In a network society, yourstatus will be based on having access, having somethingto oer. Having access to a boat may make you eel weal-thier than actually possessing the boat. There’s no main-tenance and insurance and all that to worry about. Peopleare discovering that it’s not how many houses you pos-sessed but what you experienced that will count on yourdeathbed. Did I seize the chances and opportunities I wasgiven? Did I develop my talents? And did someone elsebenet rom that?”
Organic collaboration
In this ‘economy o giving’, as trend watcher Justien Mar-seille calls it, inspiration is an important drive. Martijn no-ticed this in his contacts with volunteers; they can’t bemotivated by obligations and duties. “Organisations witha hierarchic structure try to make a prot by using control,ear and mistrust; these days it’s much more about trust,interaction and connectedness. This type o organic col-laboration, in which everyone can ocus on their strengths,runs a lot more smoothly than the rigid old boys’ network.Working rom nine to ve and then joining the trac jamsis a thing o the post-industrial era o physical labour. Johndoesn’t have to get to work at nine sharp to pick up ascrew so Jim can then twist the next click. John might bea lot more productive at night. Golden ideas are born in just a ew minutes. Exchanging time or money is outmo-ded. Time is relative. Picasso once put a squiggle on can-
mens & maatschappij
 Talk to Martijn Aslander or ten minutes and he’llhave your head spinning. He talks ast and enthu-siastically about many things at once. His whirl-wind o words, ideas and unexpected links seemsto open up all sorts o drawers inside your head. The basic drit o his account is that the current inormationsociety and knowledge economy oer way more opportu-nities than we realise. We have come to regard old habitsand xed ideas as incontestable patterns; that the economyis always about shortages, or example, or that time is mo-ney. Aslander states that the knowledge economy has newrules. Smart players are fexible, commit themselves to manypeople and pour their talents out onto the world in a con-dent manner. It’s about daring to give rather than just wan-
Ideas wizard
Martijn Aslander (37) is aspeaker,thinker and adviser. Hegives lectures andseminars on thenetwork and informationsociety, writes columns and does a‘stand-up inspiration’ performancein Toomler(Amsterdam). His websites,
offer tips oninspiration and simplemethods to work and livemoreefficiently, better and moresustainably.
‘It’s not what you possessed but what youexperienced that will count on your death-bed. Did you develop your talents?And did someone else benefit from that?’
ting to receive; about sharing what you have and being ge-nerous to others. “I’ve always loved working with otherpeople to get things done, even as a child. There was a play-ground a couple o blocks rom my house, but our streetdidn’t have one. I remember cycling over to the town hallwith some riends and asking to speak to the mayor. Wewere given lemonade and a ew weeks later the municipa-lity built a playground in our street.”
When Martijn was 30, he decided to build the largest me-galith on earth, by hand. He inormed his riends and a-mily o his idea and gathered hundreds o volunteersaround him. They thought up the Gathering Stones Festi-val and the megalith was built in two weeks using rocksbrought in to Drenthe rom Germany, amongst other pla-ces, with the spontaneous help o thousands o estivalvisitors. The project’s budget was a million guilders (about680,000 dollars) and the preparation phase took twoyears. “Once we had managed it, I thought: What do I want >

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