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Introducing: Nancy’s Speelplaats

Update 29 September 2020: As a result of the new Corona measures that were implemented in the Netherlands yesterday, I've had to put my crazy, wild, and o so incredibly exciting 'Speelplaats' plans on hold. It wouldn't be the first time I've had to completely rework my plans and I guess I'm not the only one having to rethink their schedules right now. Luckily, I have plenty more ideas bouncing around in my head to keep me occupied in the meantime. I'll keep you posted!

Stay safe everybody!


This year has been a year of trying new things. As a freelancer I’m trying to find my way and, so far, things have worked out great. To challenge myself even more, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and signed up for the Women’s Leadership Programme. Oh, and Covid 19 obviously was a huge game changer that made me rethink everything I do on a daily basis. All these things have had a big impact on me and set off a huge chain reaction inside my mind.

Happy Game Changers Superwoman

I found that I really like being my own boss and that I want to do more than just bill companies for the hours I worked. I want to share my knowledge in other ways too. I want to bring people together. I want to be part of a community of people who are willing to play, share, and create together. Because I truly believe that life is more fun that way.

The leadership program really got me thinking about what I want to achieve in my life. I had to create my personal leadership vision and there are a few things that stood out for me:

  1. Fuck de lijntjes (Fuck colouring inside the lines)

  2. Rebel of love

  3. Change the world - 1 game at a time

  4. Let people grow from creation

  5. Ignite a little crazy

Covid-19 helped me realise how important it is for me to be around other people. Working from home full time is not for me. I need to be able to talk to other people and bounce ideas off of them. I need to be able to take a break every once in a while and just have a chat. Being stuck at home all day will eventually drive me mad.

But Covid’s not going away any time soon and I’m not the only one looking for a place where we can come together in a safe way. Most companies are busy rethinking their office spaces to make them corona-proof too. When we were (finally) allowed to get together again, I organised a team meeting at Bureau Brand in The Hague for my team. And that was such a wonderful location. It felt so good to be in a place that just oozes creativity and feels so welcoming.

All these things have been bouncing around in my head the last couple of months. And then I came up with this wild and crazy idea: I want to lead a playful revolution.

But where to start? So that got me dreaming of a place where innovation, creativity and playfulness are key. A hackerspace full of technique, with room to play games and where corporate social responsibility is an integral part of the way things are managed. A second home if you will, where people can grow (and plants of course, because I've been propagating them like a maniac since Covid hit).

The way I work best is to just start doing things and see where they lead. So, I went online and scooped up the web domain name: Why did I choose the domain ‘speelplaats’? It’s Dutch for ‘playground’. You know, this place with the monkey bars and other contraptions where kids go and play? The ones my father used to build for a living. That’s what I envision this place to be: a playground for grown-ups.

Bright idea, serious play

Then I started sketch noting this mindmap to work from. But I soon discovered I was missing something: other people. In order to really come up with a plan I needed input from other people. I needed feedback to make sense of all the things that have been bouncing through my head. I needed my own private brainstorm army.

So I went through my network on LinkedIn and looked for people with various backgrounds who had 1 thing in common: they needed to have a ‘Yes, and…’-mindset. I came up with a list of about 15 people: an accountant, a business analyst, a musician, some serious players (in the non-sexual sense of the word), a social worker, UX and product designer, to name a few. I send them a random message to see if they’d be willing to get together for a day to help me figure out if I can make this plan work and how I could make it even more crazy and wild. And the best part is: most of them said ‘Yes’! :)

Now all I have to do is arrange a date, order lunch and we’re good to go!

What’s the worst thing that could happen? It will cost me money, but I know I’ll have a great day :)

And the best thing? We’ll have been able to come up with enough ideas and plans to make this dream come true!

Creating new ideas by connecting with other wild thinkers and doers. No clue where this will end, and I love it!

I’ll keep you posted!......

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