How to describe the mix of impressions, thoughts, feelings, intuitions, emotions, learning coming up this Saturday morning, waking up from 3 full days spent in Lille at the World Forum there?

Why did I go there? Why was I so curious to discover a “World Forum” in Lille (Northern France). Without doubt, because the last two years I spent quite some time working there. This allowed me to discover this region and its people. I came to admire them, to believe that this region harboured real possibilities for successful breakthroughs on the path to a better future.  I still believe it, despite some initial drawbacks I had to face. These drawbacks do not change my mind, I learn from them, I attribute them to an excess of enthusiasm, an under-evaluation of the restraining forces on the way to progress. They don’t change my mind, I still do believe in this region and its people to pioneer and create opportunities, opening up the road to a better future.

I still do believe it after my three days at the World Forum. But I am much more realistic in assessing the magnitude of restraining forces that have to be overcome.

The Forum beautifully displayed what is called “The Challenge of Change”: How to Close the Gap Between what People Genuinely Intend to Do, and what They are Actually Able to Bring About.

And this brings me back to my work, since this is really the very core of what my work is about:

Helping people and organizations close the gap between their most deeply held human intentions (purpose), and their present possibility. How to do that has everything to do with unleashing the hidden capabilities that lie in every individual and in the collective. The success conditions are courage:

  1. courage to believe that we can all keep growing (humility to admit we are not there yet)
  2. courage to admit the absolute need to grow (change) to accomplish our higher purpose
  3. courage to want to adopt a genuinely developmental (growth) stance.

How strange this writing process: I was really puzzled when staring this post, I didn’t quite know how to begin, but I wanted to express the very strange feelings that lived in during and after this World Forum in Lille. I allowed my mind to freely float while writing. Out of this flow came a conclusion I never intended nor expected in the first place. But surely this conclusion is the key conclusion to draw from these three days in Lille.


About charlesvanderhaegen

I am a grandfather of an immensely inspiring family, thanks to the most incredible wife. To satisfy my family's needs, I was for 30 years business entrepreneur, roller coasting between success and failure. 17 years ago I was forced to stop and reflect. I dug into theory and discovered the World out there, that my involvement in Business had kept hidden to me. I feared that I will not escape remaining amidst my trans-disciplinary quest forever, bouncing back and forth from action to theory, always puzzled by Europe's apparent incapacity to free itself from its Institutional/Technological Lock-ins. My horizon opened up when Gunter Pauly, my intimate friend of 35 years, asked me to join him and take charge ZERI's development in Europe. I am now fully engaged alongside Gunter Pauli in the and the @myblueeconomy Networks as CEO of ZERI.EU vzw (Non for Profit association)
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  1. Free-writing seems to be good for you – keep it up!
    I’m interested to know what more you’d say about courage and change if you continued to dig into it.
    Best wishes!

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