Global Shapers Day 3 – The Challenge Course

GS20145The cornerstone of any successful leader is building a network and developing trusting relationships.  The ARCADIS Global Shapers team had prepared an exercise challenge course for us. The weather could not have been more perfect for the obstacle course either. The instructor Eric, really made a compelling effort to energize and enthuse the Global Shapers.  At the start of the afternoon, a quick game of “rock, paper, scissors” decided who would be on each team. This ensured that the teams were no predetermined by already developed or formed relationships.

The first challenge course for my team “Tatiana’s Tigers” was the ropes course.  This provided a great ice breaker between the individual team members of the groups. To describe this challenge, each member had to climb a rope course as the rest of their team belayed below. This required some initial trust in their team to not let them immediately fall.


Global Shapers Day 2 – Team dynamics and EB meeting

GS201421The day for Global shapers starts around 6:30 AM.  The morning mist still hanging in the air and the crisp cool air makes it ideal for the morning sports activities. Staying energized throughout the day can be challenging. It is important to start the day off with a bit of exercise to stimulate the mind and body.  My friend Ula decided that she would go for a jog with the running team. Her run was described as beautiful and scenic. Others, such as Daniel, tried something new and different with a boxing class. Which allowed them to start the new day having worked out any anger they may have had.  Talon, on the other hand went to the lake with others to stretch out their muscles with Yoga.  This provided a scenic view as the sun rose over the lake.  Harmen Kievit led a swing dance class which provided a lively way to start the day! I, on the other hand, decided to try net ball, which I had never heard of before.  It was a fun way to start the day and build relationships with my team.


Global Shapers Day 1 – United in Chicago

GS20141The journey to Chicago was for many of the Global Shapers the first challenge. Due to a fire at the Chicago O’Hare Airport some of the participants were either massively delayed or were even diverted to different airports.

For example Briana Herrmann experienced how a 2 hour flight can turn into a 21 hour travel. Her  flight from Houston to Chicago got diverted to Kansas City where she rented together with another passenger a car and drove the 9 hours to Chicago. Briana mentioned that she will meet her travel companion in the future. She managed to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome.

Also Gretchen, Shandra and Isabel experienced some trouble. After a canceled flight they decided to take a flight to Miami and take another flight from there to San Louis. Since it was already late, they were forced to book a hotel and continue their trip on the next day. After taking several bus services they managed to arrive at the Loyola University Campus. Isabel said: “This was the longest road trip we ever had”. (more…)

Forward-thinking: Step back, reflect and step up  

JulieLast week, I had a call with Philip Youell and it inspired me to share this message with my fellow Global Shapers:  it’s going to be a busy, hectic week in Chicago, so remember to step back, reflect and step up.

Let me start from the beginning. Nearly three months ago, a hundred young professional across the global ARCADIS network were selected to join Global Shapers: Generation 2014. Since then we’ve been tasked with assignments, grouped into teams and asked to connect, collaborate and communicate through virtual platforms. It has been a truly fascinating experiment watching a group of Gen-Y “digital-native” strangers from all over the world build virtual relationships, hurdle over language/culture barriers, collaborate across different time zones and overcome digital challenges to complete our virtual GS assignments. It was difficult but in the end we made it work.


On Shelter mission to Haiti

DSC_0028From September 21 until September 27, 2014, a Shelter mission is taking place in Les Cayes, Haiti.  The Shelter team consists of the following ARCADIS staff members: Victor Jullien (ARCADIS France); Magdalena Rychtecka (ARCADIS US); Janaina Aquiar Park (ARCADIS Logos Brazil) and Luitze Perk (ARCADIS Netherlands). Read about the mission and their experiences below:

Sunday 9/21 – Arrival to Haiti

The team arrived in two groups – both picked up by Stanley, the driver of UN-HABITAT. While Luitze and Magdalena brainstorm about the stormwater drainage and coastal erosion in the hotel, Janaina and Stanley waited for Victor whose flight was delayed. Janaina learned with Stanley some Creole expressions. We all met at the hotel and had dinner together. Even though Luitze and Victor were jetlagged, we discussed about the first ways to help Les Cayes city.