Ik kan vliegen: wow!

ik kan vliegen
Met vliegen heb ik niets, maar ik heb wel iets met Jeroen Komen. Dus toen ik zijn nieuwe boek Ik kan vliegen kreeg, met een mooie persoonlijke opdracht voorin geschreven, ging ik het lezen vanwege die persoonlijke band hoewel – ik geef het eerlijk toe – ik dacht dat ik er niet veel aan zou vinden. Nou, dat kan ik meteen rechtzetten: het is een spectaculair goed boek. Ik heb het van a tot z gelezen en dat was alleen maar een genoegen.
Daar heb ik een tijdje over nagedacht: wat maakt dit nou zo’n goed boek voor mij? Dat zijn verschillende elementen. Jeroen heeft er bijvoorbeeld een erg persoonlijk boek van gemaakt. Het is een boek over levenslessen in de brede zin des woords; allerlei aspecten van het leven passeren de revue. Jeroen neemt ons mee op de verkenningstocht van zijn eigen ontdekkingen, zijn twijfels en zijn doorzettingsvermogen. De schrijfstijl, mooi en zonder opsmuk, werkt daar versterkend bij. Dat op de eerste plaats maakt dat ik het ademloos gelezen heb. Andere kwaliteiten van het boek zijn de afwisseling: als vlieger komt Jeroen op allerlei plaatsen (lees: culturen, mijn grote hobby) wat superinteressant is en zeker een bron van goede anecdotes. En dan zijn er natuurlijk de prachtige foto’s die hij zelf vanuit zijn vliegtuig gemaakt heeft. Het meest intrigerend vond ik die op pagina 68-69 (koop het boek en kijk zelf) om de simpele reden dat ik me tot in mijn slaap afvroeg of het hier nu een openbaar zwembad betreft of niet.
Veel boeken hebben zeker kwaliteit maar die zit vaak in deelaspecten en is niet consistent. Ik kan vliegen is van begin tot einde ‘af’. Ik hoop dat Jeroen of de uitgever eraan gedacht heeft dit naar de Koninklijke Bibliotheek te sturen want een plaats binnen het nationale erfgoed is verdiend. Warm aanbevolen!

Why vote for Grethe as chair?

could use an update-jpg Follow my youtubes here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbzPkJaMyAX36DcgDfqAoSw

Mensa International is going steadily but slowly > it needs to speed up!
A more effective and faster reacting organisation; as a business leader I can realize this. We missed opportunities but now we can really grap the opportunities > gogogo!!!
Do you expect this from a chair of Mensa International, then vote for me:

  • More interaction between the national Mensa’s, more international activities and a better learning community.
  • Less re-inventing of the wheel: clear and findable communication and presentation of solutions found.
  • Next step in our International Leadership Program: develop it further to the benefit of all countries.
  • Transparency and accountability in decision making.
  • Focus on what matters (Mensa International has limited sources) and be good and visible in that.
  • An Excom team that cooperates effectively including generations and cultures.
  • IBD meetings streamed worldwide for all members to be informed and inspired.
  • IBD meetings that inspire
  • Have fun while working – laugh while you achieve things together, I love that! Please join me 🙂

Spanish Princess and Spanish Mensa

princess letizia and princess (now queen) máxima August 2011 we were 15 Mensa women to visit our Princess (now Queen) Máxima, a meeting in which we could tell all about the life of high gifted people in our society and listen to the ideas of our Princess on the subject. It was a very nice visit at her home De Eikenhorst in Wassenaar: http://www.mensa.nl/informatiecentrum/nieuws/20110822-15-Mensa-vrouwen-bij-Maxima .
It inspired Mensa Spain to take a similar step. In 2012, during the 65th anniversary of Mensa International, the chair of Mensa Spain requested a meeting with the Spanish Royal Family. Next 8 May, Princess Letizia will receive a group of Mensans to better understand the Mensa Spain association. Congratulations Mensa Spain!
I hope this meeting will be relevant to Mensa Spain and to Mensa in general and that it will be a very nice meeting, like we had with Princess Máxima. See also (in Spanish)

50 Years Mensa the Netherlands

visual_goud-Mensa  This weekend (and in fact during all 2013) we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mensa the Netherlands. There is so much to be proud of! We are steadily growing, counting now exactly 4450 members. We are flourishing, almost every day a Mensa activity is organised so no Mensa member needs to be bored 🙂 What is really great is how members enjoy the intense contacts and great atmosphere in Mensa the Netherlands, as shows our new movie (in Dutch):   http://t.co/XASeZ85SUi
Please enjoy the movie and when you’re a Dutch Mensa member: happy birthday! Let’s toast on many more beautiful Mensa years in the Netherlands.

Presentation at EMAG about Mensa Foundation

Mensa NL 50 years  Are you visiting EMAG in Bratislava this week? Feel welcome to visit the Dutch presentation about the first Mensa Foundation in Europe. The Dutch Mensa Foundation was launched in April 2013, see also my blog about this great momentum http://grethevangeffen.nl/2013/04/21/mensa-nl-fonds-born-yesterday/
Many questions were asked after that: how did you do it, tell us your tips and tricks, what if we want to start a foundation too… So we promised to explain all about it and that moment will be on Thursday 2 Aug at 15h. It would be great when many Mensas develop similar activities; we would strengthen each other’s initiatives and PR, inspire each other and our societies while creating a new vision on the benefits of HIQ.
Are you not in Bratislava but interested anyway? Write me an email and we can exchange ideas.
By the way, the first version of the new Foundation’s website (in Dutch only) has just been launched: www.mensafonds.nl. And it announces the first awards; you can nominate teachers, employers and colleagues… let’s all cooperate to turn these new activities into a great success!


Mensa NL Fonds born yesterday!

Mensa Int 65 yrs  I am very happy to tell you that the business meeting of Mensa NL yesterday supported strongly and with great enthusiasm the creation of a Dutch Mensa Foundation. The decision that we want a Foundation was taken at the business meeting 2012 and we worked hard to realize it during the last year. It was my dream already during a long time to create a Dutch Mensa Foundation, and it takes time and effort to win people and turn it into a largely supported and well worked out idea: and I could!
Mensa members really feel that some things in society concerning high intelligence should change or be encouraged much more. The aims of the Dutch Mensa Fonds are:
          show / make visible the significance of high intelligence for society
          support research and best practices to use high intelligence optimally
         create positive awareness about high giftedness and societal opportunities

A 4-year program has been made and quite some Mensa members have offered financial support!The Mensa Fonds will work within the Netherlands and only outside in cooperation with Mensa Foundations in other countries; sofar, just American MERF (www.mensafoundation.org) but maybe, hopefully other countries will follow. Mensa is such a beautiful project to work on!


Companies do not use the full potential of HIQ (yet)

don't see (yet)  High gifted people who work freelance are much happier in their work than high gifted people who work in a company, actual Dutch research results reveal (see www.koosvanderspek.nl). In general, high gifted workers are positive about the work they do, they have a good work-life balance and not too much stress. However, when it comes to passion, HIQ’s who work independently are much more passionate than the average Dutch worker and HIQ’s who work in companies are clearly less passionate than the average Dutch worker. This is a big contrast.
Mensa members are not really surprised about this outcome. We knew this already and what we like is that there is now scientific evidence for it! 1250 HIQ’s cooperated for this research, 80+% of them being Mensans as Mensa the Netherlands supported this research of the University of Utrecht.
Another outcome: 37% of HIQ’s in companies are bored and lack challenge; this is again much more than average Dutch workers. So there is a lot of neglected potential in companies, even in times of crisis where companies absolutely need all available talents to survive and if possible innovate. HIQ’s are innovators. So most probably these research results (that are the first part of much more results to follow) indicate that Dutch companies are not good enough and not fast enough in innovation – yet. HIQ will be discovered in the near future as an excellent source of that, I am sure!

Dutch Professor Mönks receives international Mensa Award

  The Mensa Foundation (www.mensafoundation.org) has given the Mensa Foundation Life Time Achievement Award and a US$ 1000 cheque to Dutch professor Frans Jozef Mönks. It was handed out by the international Mensa chair Willem Bouwens at the ECHA conference in Münster, Germany last Thursday. Professor Mönks was himself one of the founders of ECHA (see also http://www.echa2012.info), now the biggest and best conference in Europe about gifted children with over 1000 visitors.
Professor Mönks wrote his first article on highgiftedness in 1963, a time when highly giftedness was far from getting any attention. He pioneered in this area, and he has an impressive track record.  He was also the founder of the excellent Centre for Research on Giftedness at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (the Netherlands), and at the age of 80 he is still working at the Radboud University on ‘psychology and pedagogy of the gifted child’.  Also he continues publishing on the subject.
Mensa the Netherlands (www.mensa.nl) is very proud of him and the Life Time Achievement Award that recognizes the immense benefits of his work for gifted children!
We are working to start our own Mensa Foundation in The Netherlands, in cooperation with MERF that has its roots in American Mensa. The launch is planned in 2013 when Mensa the Netherlands celebrates its 50 year existence. Further news about that will follow….
For now, I like to congratulate professor Mönks and thank him for his ‘life time’ work!

Wicked – my first musical experience

   Wicked is a musical that can be seen in Dutch now in the beautiful Circustheater in Scheveningen, very close to the seaside.  It was a non-stop involving and surprising show when I visited it. I never saw a musical before, except school-musicals, well, this is something else. Every detail was taken care of, the scenery and the costumes are spectacular.
I was particularly impressed and also moved by a scene where the green witch in the story is going up into the sky surrounded by choirs and extremely beautiful lightning techniques. The message that there are no boundaries, that the sky is the limit for those who dare to be different was entering right into my body by sound, view, feeling all together.
I did not choose this musical myself so I can not be blamed for the fact that even when I go out I end up in a diversity thing 🙂 It was coincidence but as a diversity freak, it made me happy! The story is about two witches, one of them beautiful and one of them green of skin. The green witch has special talents that might benefit all of the community if normally accepted: but of course it wasn’t, otherwise there would be no story. The musical has some quite scary parts, at moments where it becomes very clear how group pressure can silence the voice and destroy the efforts of the individual – and how difficult it is in practice to resist against this pressure.
Looking for a show to go, try this one…  It made me think of the Efteling (that I adore) but it might be interesting for many more people than just Efteling lovers!

Cern, neutrinos and photons at Mensa

  Last weekend professor Frank Linde, director Nikhef helt two lectures (for the price of one) for a Mensa audience. It was a great experience both for the lecturer and for the Mensa members. See the comments of Frank Linde at: http://bit.ly/rvGMQO .
I was in the audience myself, preceding professor Linde’s lecture with the formal opening of that Mensa weekend. My impression was then already that Frank Linde was intrigued by the puzzle of Japanese Mensa that I gave away to the Mensa member who was first to solve a riddle – being intrigued like that, we call it: potential Mensa material. It is great that so many interesting people are interested in Mensa nowadays. We have transformed from a somehow inward looking club  into an organisation open in full communication with the world. High intelligence can be fun: it is more appreciated now than it was in the past and both the world and the Mensa members themselves will profit from that shift of perception!


Portraying highgiftedness

  A new Dutch book was published with 13 interviews of high gifted people: Ongekend hoogbegaafd by Jacqueline Lucas. She wants to show from ‘the inside’ what it is like to be high gifted, how this advantage can come with difficulties and under what conditions it will develop as a real advantage. The presentation of the book was last Friday, and the room was packed with participants. It was interesting to see how many people nowadays feel for this subject, even claim ownership of the theme. Quite some participants got recently aware of their high intelligence, and were in the middle of the process of ‘what does this mean for me’.
It is very good that talent development gets more and serious attention. The problem side of highgiftedness is still a bit over-represented in my opinion, but let’s hope and contribute so that that will stabilize. We need more policies to profit from the talents that we have in our country. A recent government study shows that our education system can do more than average for weak students, compared to other European countries, but it can do less than average for strong students…. And we claim that our future lies in a good and strong knowledge economy. There is some work to be done then! Let’s go for it, and include high gifted people both in our education and in our working environment.

Left Handers Day and High Giftedness

Last weekend, 13th of August, was Left Handers Day, meant to raise awareness for the special needs of left handed people. 15% of the worldwide population is left handed and that can create specific problems, for example cutting with ´normal´ scissors – designed for right handed people – can cause pain in wrists and other joints. One research even says that left handers die 9 years earlier than right handers, not because of stress as they have to adapt all the time, but because of accidents with machines developed for right handers.
Nevertheless nowadays no minority has only problems, every minority can prove its positive points. Left handers, they say, are more creative because they had to be inventive already in their childhood. Research also proved that left handers are more intelligent than right handers: 45% of high gifted people is left handed, says Sander Reijn, a shop owner for left handed products, in Het Parool newspaper last week. Well well: since a few years I am the chair of thé high iq association in the Netherlands, Mensa (www.mensa.nl), with 4000+ members and how come we do not know. So I looked on the internet and found this website: http://www.lefthandersday.com/intelligence.html, indicating where the rumour comes from and that it should not be taken too seriously. Intelligent people can be left handed: the article mentions Barack Obama, Leonardo da Vinci and Johan Cruijff as examples. But the reverse is not necessarily true.
When will groups learn that their emancipation does not depend of the supposed extra qualities they bring, but of the courage to be just who they are and create the necessary societal conditions for that.