My mission is to unleash the infinite potential of humanity
I’m Claire Boonstra, born in 1975 in The Netherlands. I have lived many different roles in life: student, engineer, corporate employee, wintersports-blogger, strategic marketing manager, mobile future event organizer, augmented reality startup co-founder and now an education reformer and public speaker.
But I am also a mother of three young children, a daughter, wife, sister, utopist dreamer, asker of difficult questions, visionary, improv dancer, skier, former glider pilot – and most of all a human being in search of how I can best balance my three main priorities in life: my family, my personal wellbeing and my mission to feed the movement to revolutionize education.
After having spent the most amazing 3.5 years co-founding and building a technology company called Layar, I embarked on a different journey in September 2015: to revolutionize Education. It was suddenly there and I couldn’t stop it.
I made this move public during a presentation on stage at TEDxAmsterdamED. I shared my vision on education and that I was leaving my company because ‘I have to do this’. My tears on stage apparently touched a lot of people – I received thousands of reactions from people saying they finally found “somebody who sees and feels the same things I do” and asked if they could drink coffee with me. To organize all this coffee, I started simply to organize meetings, which resulted in creating œ Operation Education. This movement (on paper it’s a foundation/ ANBI Stichting) was initially aimed at connecting, empowering and making visible the ‘how and the what’ in education innovation.
Now, three years later, œ Operation Education is focused on feeding the movement to revolutionize education. We do this by creating frameworks and facilitating networks, connecting the different players, and especially by creating a large public debate on the ‘why’ and ‘what for’ of education. Our ultimate mission is to unleash the infinite potential of humans, and of humanity. A never-to-be-achieved-in-one-lifetime mission which serves as our compass direction.
We are still mainly focused on the Netherlands – which is a great country to learn in and from as it has always been a pioneer when it comes to education. And there’s an advantage that nobody other than the Dutch speak our silly little language – so we can still make a lot of mistakes and learn from them before it gets out of hand…
To pay the bills, I fund myself and (partially) œ Operation Education by giving inspirational keynotes to a great variety of audiences: from 5000 to 5 people, from Exact Online, PGGM pension fund, Waternet, TEDx and Dance4Life to schools, universities and boards & leadership teams. All my talks are are very well received – people always tell me I touch them on a deeper level when it comes to what really matters in life and when it comes to development and education.
œ Operation Education is largely dependent on volunteers, some donations and the team can be hired by schools to facilitate in the creation of a strong vision on education.
My site and blog are not updated very frequently, you can however follow my daily stream of tweets here: http://twitter.com/claireboo
My CV can be found on LinkedIn
You can also watch my TED talks: