Marjolein van der Kruk
As a child, I slept on the floor because my bed was full of my "sick" stuffed animals. During the day, I fixed the broken flippers of Joupy my seal, patching up Snoopy's injured head and operating on Snuffy the kitty to remove his inflamed appendix.
As a student, I explored the human body inside and out to find cures for diseases. I studied biomedical sciences in the Netherlands. As an adult, I helped patients turn into people again. I worked for 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry, for Abbott Laboratories now known as Abbvie in positions ranging from Product Manager to Business Unit Manager to Innovation Manager. In the latter, I helped drive a transformational process to embed an innovative and human-centric mindset, process, tools, and ways of working. As a grown adult, I help people connect deeply to themselves, colleagues, clients, and loved ones. I've worked at THNK since 2015 as a faculty member and program director for both innovation and leadership programs.
Strangely enough, we have never been more connected to the world in the past than we are today – and yet, there is a strong need for empathy and compassion to foster meaningful connections in the VUCA world we live in. I strongly believe in this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from the book "Le Petit Prince" published in 1943: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
At home in The Hague, I connect with the heart to my 16-year old daughter, and our two cats. Another saying I adhere to is "One bite of chocolate a day keeps the doctor away." Also, I find calmness in taking long walks on the beach and crocheting presents for friends and family.