About me

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.

People have given me various nice titles, including one of the ‘most influential women in technology‘, Young Global Leader since 2012, Rising Talent and education rockstar 🙂

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:

My CV can be found on LinkedIn

You can also watch my TED talks:

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