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Last week, I had an interview with John Holdren, (the Chief Science and Technology advisor of President Barack Obama) on the issue of climate change. This week, John tells me all about how it is to work with Obama himself! John met Obama before his presidency when Obama was still a U.S. senator. John has a very interesting story on how it all started with a private dinner and how he eventually became the the Chief Science and Technology advisor of President Barack Obama. John was a professor at Harvard and the director of the Woodshole Research Center, but when he got the job in the Obama administration he had to abandon all of that. He says that you officially have no time off, no weekends & no vacation. How did it affect his work-life balance? How was it to be the Head of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy? What did John do every day for 8 years? What were Obama’s thoughts on climate science? How knowledgeable was Obama? Obama really cared about science & technology, which some argue is different with Trump. Next week I will talk about this with John Holdren and we will discuss the Paris Agreement & president Trump.

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I am still in Nantucket where I reside in our house of 1927. It is a beautiful house but the internet here is too slow! In general, I could say that internet in America is extremely expensive and relatively slower compared to the Netherlands. Our house in Nantucket had Verizon for 28 years because we wanted to have broadband internet and, after all those years, I can say it was a disaster. The service often did not work, it was extremely slow (0.6 to 2.4 Mbps) and that for $84 per month! So this week I had enough of it and I called Comcast/Xfinity for cable and ordered a fast internet service. Two days later, everything was installed in an hour (because everything is above the ground) and now I have 10 times(!) faster internet for half the price. Verizon I’ve been a loyal customer but it has been enough!

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 Another newsletter from Nantucket (US)! Tesla’s Q2 numbers came out: Elon Musk apologized for bad banners and came with new “promises”, the Model 3 is now the best selling sedan in America and stock went up 9%!

MoveHack Hackathon

If you have a great idea: stop having vacation! In India everything moves fast. Last week was decided there will be a fantastic hackathon on mobility MOVEHACK organized by the governments of India and Singapore in August and September. It’s all about teams who come up with smart solutions for smart cities, smart traffic, AI usage and solving very complex data problems. If you want to participate you have to act NOW! Selected will fly to Singapore and India, expenses paid, and get a chance to improve and pitch their idea, win amazing prizes and see their idea become a reality in smart cities across India! Submit your team and idea before Aug 14th!

Obama Science & Technology Advisor on Climate Change

John Holdren is a super interesting man and was Obama’s Science & Technology Advisor and gave a very interesting presentation in Nantucket. In part 1 of the interview he talks about Climate Change and what will happen if we don’t act. A very scary story about the current state of the world.

New Financial Crisis?

I met William Cohan, tv personality & former trader on Wall Street (for 17 years!), who is now also a bestselling author. He wrote the book “Why Wall Street Matters” and we talked about the four factors that will make a financial crisis happen again. He has an alarming message!

Tesla Autopilot Rechtszaak

 Vorig jaar kreeg ik twee boetes omdat ik tijdens Tesla Autopilot mijn telefoon in handen had. Ik reed rustig, kalm en keurig recht. Wanneer veranderd deze regel? Ik maak hier bezwaar tegen omdat de auto reed en ik toezicht hield, net als een rij instructeur. Kom op donderdag 13 september om 9.30 voor de rechtszaak naar Rechtbank Utrecht waar we ons verhaal doen!

Wie is Marietje Schaake?

Marietje Schaake is kandidaat lijsttrekker voor D66 in het Europees Parlement. Ze heeft veel in de VS gewerkt en is nu Europarlementariër. Wie is Marietje en wat drijft haar? Ik interviewde haar en ga haar de komende tijd volgen!

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John Paul Holdren is a Climate Change Expert and he was the Chief Science and Technology advisor of President Barack Obama during both terms. I had an interesting talk with him about climate change. What do we know about climate change? How are we responsible? What are the consequences ? John says that for the coming 10-20 years the temperature will continue to rise, but it is up to us how fast. Why does a difference in 2 degrees Celcius matter so much? What do we need to do to slow down the temperature rise? How did the temperature awareness change over decades since the 60’s? Next week we will highlight John’s talk of how it is to work with former president Obama and we will discuss the Paris Agreement & president Trump, so stay tuned!

John Holdren presentation slides on “Climate Change and the Cape & Islands: What We Know. What We Expect. What We Can Do.” in Nantucket.


John Holdren also gave an interesting talk at Brown University.

The slides of the talk at Brown University can be found here.

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In the library of Nantucket I attended a presentation by William D. Cohan, a business writer, colomnist of the New York Times, former trader and tv personality. He was supposed to talk about his book “Why Wall Street Matters”, but instead he talked about the four factors that will make a financial crisis happen again. William worked on Wall Street (at Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase and more) for 17 years(!) and thinks the compensation system of that world causes all the financial problems time after time. I interviewed him afterwards and summarized it in five minutes! William wrote a number of books on Wall street and his next book will be different. It will be published next year and he is warning us… Who will listen?


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Marietje Schaake

Marietje Schaake is in de running om lijsttrekker voor D66 in het Europees Parlement te worden. Voordat zij Europarlementariër werd had ze een eigen onderneming waarvoor zij veel in de VS te vinden was. Het was de Obama campagne, na de jaren van Bush, die haar inspireerde zelf politiek actief te worden. Marietje wil de verandering waar zij op hoopt zelf in gang te zetten. Ze is de politiek in gegaan om te bouwen aan een sterk Europa in een veranderende wereld, en om politiek herkenbaar te maken en jonge mensen erbij te betrekken.

Wie is Marietje Schaake? Waar komt ze vandaan en wat drijft haar? Kom erachter in het eerste deel van het uitgebreide interview dat ik met haar deed!


Marietje schreef een uitgebreide brief aan alle democraten van Nederland waarin zij haar motivatie om lijsttrekker te worden toelicht.

“Als jullie lijsttrekker wil ik mijn ervaring met de grote vraagstukken van deze tijd nog steviger inzetten. Afgelopen jaren werkte ik aan eerlijke handelsregels, een sterk buitenlands- en veiligheidsbeleid, en digitalisering met respect voor mensenrechten. De komende jaren moet Europa haar huis op orde krijgen. En daar liggen kansen. Europa als koploper op het gebied van duurzaamheid, kansen op groei voor iedereen, innovatie, veiligheid en migratie.”


Op Twitter maakte haar commentaar over de misvatting hoe Europa tegen de UK en de Brexit aan kijkt deze week veel los.


Wil je Marietje helpen om lijsttrekker voor D66 in het Europese Parlement te worden? Teken dan deondersteuningsverklaring hier!

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Hackathon in India and Singapore

There’s gonna be a fantastic hackathon MOVEHACK on mobility organized by the governments of India and Singapore in August and September. It’s all about teams who come up with smart solutions for smart cities, smart traffic, AI usage and solving very complex data problems.

India is being transformed at a very rapid rate. In the hackathon the best minds of the world will compete and come up with prototypes and solutions for the diverse problems India faces. If you look around, you’ll see that these problems do not only exist in India but all over the world. If you can solve for India, you can solve for the world.

Selected teams will fly to Singapore and India, expenses paid, and get a chance to win amazing prizes. Submit your team and idea


The online competition started on August the 1st. You can put in a team and it can be any kind of team: Companies, Students, Governments.

Submitting your idea is possible till, depending on the track, August 14th and 17th.

A very impressive jury will select a Top 30 teams who will fly to Singapore, expenses paid, to improve their idea at the first event on September 1st and 2nd with rich data, experts and mentors. You will be able to make your solution much better.

The 20 best will all fly to New Dehli in India for the Grand Finale on September 7th and 8th and get a chance to pitch their ideas and win amazing prizes. The total worth of monetary prizes is €300.000+. But you also get the chance to get YOUR idea implemented in 100 Smart Cities in Idea and inspire the world!


There are two tracks (coding and solving) and many themes you can participate in: Multimodal Commuter Mobility in Cities, Multi-modal Freight handling and Transportation, Future of Mobility, Road Safety, Artificial Intelligence for Indian Transport Infrastructure, Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in India, Alternative Energy, Solutions for the Electric Revolution, Urban Aerial Mobility, Technology for Pune Smart City Mobility Challenges. See all themes and topics


So what are you waiting for! Get together a team and submit your idea and maybe you’re one of the 30 teams that will be flied to Singapore and get a chance to improve the world! Put your minds together to solve for India and solve for the world!

Submit your idea at: https://www.movehack.gov.in/

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This week’s update is from Nantucket, where the richest 0.1% of the USA hangs out. Tommy Hilfiger on my left and Eric Schmidt on my right! I’ve had a great discussion about Trump with some Republicans.

In the USA I’m working on BIC19. I’m looking for incredible blockchain speakers and insights and I could use your help and suggestions for what you want to see in a coming blockchain conferenceLet me know!

I used to have a love affair with the Segway and now they’re also available as a pair of shoes! Casey Neistat has tested them in New York. I would not use it myself but it looks fun!

Time for something optimistic! I am reading Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker about how the world has become so much better: how long we live, less wars, how much education and every other aspect of life! I can recommend it to everyone, but if you don’t want to read you can always watch his TED Talk on this topic! You’ll feel much better about the world!

The blockchain industry is evolving and many ask what is really going on in corporate IT and board rooms. Bart Mellink of Gartner explains this in his talk where he discusses what IT departments currently think of and do with blockchain. He also shares some interesting insights and statistics about the industry!

In New York I met with Jan Raes from the ABN Amro. Jan gave a talk at the UN here in New York about the Circular Economy Finance Guidelines that has just been launched by three big Dutch banks. Jan tells me more about these guidelines and how they want to make it the world standard in the circular economy.

I also met with Alexy Khrabrov, a serial conference organiser based in the San Francisco Bay Area, who organises a variety of conferences in fintech, AI, self driving cars, big data and blockchain. He shares his learnings and perspectives concerning organizing conferences and this variety of subjects.

 In Nederland maken ruim één miljoen mensen gebruik van de trein op een normale werkdag. Hoe wordt de veiligheid van het spoor voor ons gegarandeerd? En hoe kunnen Artificial Intelligence & Big Data dat verbeteren? Ik sprak met Huub van den Broek van CQM die mij uitlegde over hun award winning project van automatische spoorinspectie d.m.v. Big Data & AI.

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At Broadway New York, I am interviewing Jan Raes who is a Sustainability Advisor at ABN AMRO Bank. Jan came to the United Nations in New York and he talked about the Circular Economy Finance Guidelines. This initiative was started by three big Dutch banks inspired by the ambition to create a joint framework for financing the circular economy. The guidelines meet a need for better insight into financial backing for the circular economy and aim to help drive such financing. They made it open source, right to copy, and the aim is to make these guidelines to become the world standard in the circular economy. How do they want to do that? What is the interest of the world in sustainability?

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Maarten Schäfer is the owner of Coolbrands and he traveled around the world to meet brands and help them to write their story. This resulted in the book publications of Around the World in 80 Brands. Maarten now focuses on storytelling for professionals (e.g. business owners). When people Google you, they will most likely define you according to what they find on you in Google. Maarten helps people to position theirselves in a different way as the authority that they are. He thinks that there is a lot of value in people also discovering more dimensions of you (like your passion, vision, contribution to society) instead of people only finding that boring fact of your 20 year accounting experience in Google. Why is this so important? Who are his typical clients?