My first day in San Francisco with #Team17InventingTomorrow was exceptionally dense and great.

It all started with a presentation from Dominique Piotet from @Rebellionlab.

The mission he assigns himself is:


RebellionLab is a digital strategy boutique.

At RebellionLab, we strongly believe that innovation is a journey, not a goal. And we see that innovation increasingly has a digital component to it. Our mission is to help our clients to take into consideration the digital part of innovation in their strategy, to create more value and consequently be closer to their market.

We bring to our clients the best of innovation and new technology from Silicon Valley and from all over the world. We do bridging between the US and Europe.

He is also writing the second edition of his book, in French… “How the Web Changes the World: l’Alchimie des Multitudes”

His presentation was powerful in that it provoked a lot of thinking and insights for me and out Team Members… We’re not there yet in France? Should we espouse this wave? What’s its impact? Is the die cast? If yes, what can we do to circumvent its perverse side-effects? Should we? If not, what can we do to influence its course, in other worlds: Can we still invent our Future?

We ran late, so multiple were the questions, so wide ranging the interests, so the program already changed…

Lunch at Whole Foods Market 4th street. Before that we had time to discover the shop. We discussed with clients, yes even in French. A lot of people in San Francisco are or have been “neo-nomads” (hi Yasmine!). I come here because the Italian Water (private label) is superior to San Pellegrino… I don’t buy everything here, the “responsible” diapers are not absorbent enough; I have a large family to care for…

Amazing talks, amazing lunch: you take whatever you want from hundreds of products, you mix everything in a carton bowl, and at the counter the weight what you’ve taken, and you pay… You go and sit where there’s place, providing you with opportunities to have conversations with chance encounters. I spoke to an Indian Entrepreneur from Palo Alto who was there for business… we ended deep in a philosophical dialogue. It was magic…

Maureen Everett was magic too… Marketing Team Leader of Whole foods Market 7th Street. Spent Almost two hours in a magic conversation… no subject was excluded, everything could be brought up, no question was “improper” (example: what do you earn, Maureen?) This in a corridor between the parking lot and the shop…Impossible circumstances when you think of it, magic…

What a lady, what a team, what a company, what an experience… Whole Foods Market – Whole in every sense of the word Food not only for the stomach, even much more food for thought… A market you’ve to discover so much more about… We had to leave after two hours of conversations…Maureen has work to do, her team counts on her, as she counts on her team… TEAM! She’s so enthusiastic about her work, het Team, her company, its mission, its possibilities, its responsibilities, its impact,

Next Best Buy…exploration, then the team splits, Trader Joe’s Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, Macy’s Williams-Sonoma, The container store, Apple store, Crate&Barrel, CB2, Albercrombie&Fitch, Hollister Anthropologie… I bought some shoes and a sweater at Nikeville (misjudged Californian weather) Wanted perhaps to go back to my young years…, then…. Ending with dinner at Fischerwarf, incredible experience… bounced upon another Team…late in bed, few hours sleep, day starts at 7, it is 6.30 I have to take a shower, otherwise I will not be up to the Team…

What a day… Curious about how it will be debriefed this morning… No time to re-read, this is shot straight from the guts, please be aware, my apologies in advance , please be generous and only look at the merits of this reporting work…


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 http://www.zeri.org and the @myblueeconomy Networks as CEO of ZERI.EU vzw (Non for Profit association)
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One Response to #Team17InventingTomorrow

  1. RalfLippold says:

    Hi Charles – sounds like you have a terrific day in San Fransisco and enjoy your birthday.

    While in SF why not check out NASA Ames Research Center and http://Singularityu.org ? Planning to make my dream become true and attending the 10-week graduate studies – on the waiting list, now I have to get the funding straight. Three weeks to go. Could use a really strong marketing approach in favor of customer.

    Have a great time and looking forward to talking to you soon.

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