Earlier this year we got in touch with the organization of the biggest fair venue in the Netherlands (Jaarbeurs, Utrecht). They were charmed by the EVY network concept and promised to look out for opportunities for us to join care conferences and/or other meetings and were also willing to offer us venue space for future EVY-meetings or events.
October 8th and 9th, the ‘Strategic Health Summit’, an annual conference, was held in Hotel ‘Duin en Kruidberg’ in Santpoort, the Netherlands. Somewhere around one hundred healthcare managers – including care and cure CEOs, board managers, HR-managers, supporting services managers and senior consultants – were attending the 24h summit. Because the Jaarbeurs organised the summit, they invited us – as youngsters with a mission to challenge the status quo – to join this ‘old boys network’ summit. So we, David Grim and Maarten Janssen, took the opportunity.
Checking in with inspiring conversations
As part of the program David was briefly interviewed about the ideas of EVY and the ambition our network has for the future. The summit started with a few plenary sessions and talk. The most inspiring talk came from Eric de Blok. He provided insights in how organizations can learn from nature in their change efforts. Nature has a way of always finding optimal means to organise itself with the least amount of waste, without unnecessary or complex pathways to follow and with a high degree of flexibility.
The day ended with an interview on how to manage and innovate in the care sector, a nice dinner and a few drinks in the bar in an informal atmosphere. The funny thing was that, although we are not experienced as healthcare managers (yet), our knowledge, ideas and fresh thinking, was attracting attention from the summit’s attendees. We were able to join in on conversations about almost any topic, as long as it wasn’t too ‘political’ or ‘bureaucratic’. Discussions, also in the round-tables session throughout the day, on how the health system should be organized both financially and structurally, gave us the opportunity to share our knowledge and ideas on these topics. For example: why not change the fix-it paradigm, into a healthy living and prevention-focused health (care) model? Why do we finance based on executed interventions instead of an outcome based system? Why not focus on how to anticipate more on technological and societal changes around us and incorporate them within the way we provide health care? What can we learn from other EU countries who are faced with the same issues? These questions led to great conversations and discussions in which we – the new generation – got involved pretty easily.
The early morning interview
After a short night of sleep the first thing on the program was David being interviewed by the chair of the meeting and moderator, Fons de Poel. The main aim of the interview was to bring across the EVY vision and mission; that we are an interesting network, that our generation as a whole and the young individuals that are part of it, should be seen as sources of inspiration and as opportunities to get into conversation with. David, mentioned, for example, that due to robotics and artificial intelligence 47% of current jobs are on the brink. This could be considered a threat, but why not consider it an opportunity and think about what such a change means. Challenging the status quo could also mean that we organize our society differently and not work for 40+ hours a week, but build a future together in which people have more time for real human interaction and pay more attention to the existential demands of our patients/citizens rather than focussing on keeping the system running with all its rules, guidelines and regulations.
Sharing experiences = connect to inspire
Next up were two interesting sessions, one on personal leadership by Jelle Dijkstra and one on hospitality management by Hugo Keuzenkamp. Looking back on the summit we were very happy that we were invited and able to join in the interesting program and discussion. To us it showed what EVY is about; connect to inspire. Making connections that would not be made without EVY. As individuals we would never be able to join the summit, however, (the ideas behind) the EVY network is what got the attention of the organizers and participants. Most people we spoke to encouraged us in further developing the network and were curious to learn more about it. The summit was closed by a lunch and a very inspiring speaker: Leo Bormans, who wrote the book: ’The world book of happiness’, and more recently: ’Hope’. His almost theatrical presentation provided insight in the definition of happiness and how to pursue it in work and personal life. If happiness is one thing it is a shared experience. This conclusion, when reading it in this Summit summary must seem like the biggest cliché you ever came across, but due to the way Bormans structured his talk and his skills in performing rather than just telling it, it felt awesome to realize the simplicity of life itself, packed in this brief message. Furthermore, for us, the EVY motto echoed through it. Sharing experiences is resembled in ’connect to inspire’. We will do this again on Friday, November 13th, at our next EVY Connect to Inspire event; Always look on the bright side of change. Come and inspire!
David Grim & Maarten Janssen
Signing up for the event: EVY: ‘Connect to Inspire’ event 2015 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/evy-connect-to-inspire-event-2015-tickets-18753687785
Inspiring speakers at the Summit:
Erik de Blok, Jelle Dijkstra, Hugo Keuzekamp en Leo borgmans.