Who are you and what do you do?
I consider myself a marketer with a passion for sustainable food retail. After a career in multinational companies (KPMG, AB-Inbev), I changed course after witnessing the negative impact of our globalized economy in rural India and Brazil. Through my educational background in economics (KUL Master 2005) and marketing (EADA MBA 2009) I understand the power of business and how it can impact people’s lives for the good or the bad. Today I am lecturing strategic marketing & business ethics at University Colleges Leuven Limburg (www.ucll.be) with a research focus on finding practical ways to drive sustainable shopper behavior in food retail. Furthermore I am one of over 10.000 committed Belgians volunteering for Oxfam where I use my expertise for the development of the Oxfam Fair Trade food brand and specialty stores network (www.oww.be).
What competences would make you a good Generation T?
As a former FMCG marketer turned into university college lecturer I see it as my role to connect today's and tomorrow's business managers in order to grasp the complex task of bringing the much needed transition in our society. Especially in the domain of our food system much needs to change: I personally am committed to find, together with all actors involved, quick wins that lie in understanding and impacting shopper behavior in food retail.
Give specific example(s) on how your projects or activities make a difference and initiate change.
As a marketing lecturer I stimulate students to think beyond the typical career path of a future business manager that focuses on personal development and financial reward. By showing how marketing can be a tool to push/pull society in a different more sustainable direction they realize the power they hold in their minds/hands.
An example of the power of marketing is Oxfam Fair Trade / World shops were as a volunteer I could use my skills and business experience to lead the restructuring of the local Brussels movement into a financially healthy organization. As this is now the case again, I focus on participating in the national commercial policy making as Oxfam needs to find it's place in the ever moving retail landscape.