Olivier Van Duüren: our IT-TRANS keynote speaks up!

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Our IT-TRANS keynote speaker Olivier Van Duüren has had a varied and interesting career: executive at Microsoft, inspirational speaker, author and business owner, to name but a few.

In order for our readers to know more about our conference Man of the Moment, we sat down with Olivier for the IT-TRANS edition of our noted Keynote Speaker Q&As.

Read on to find out what the man behind ‘The Dualarity’ has to say in our first part interview…Check back in tomorrow for Part Two!

Q: You’ve had a very interesting and varied career. Has it developed in the way you thought it would?

My adventure started on 14 August 1994 when I joined Microsoft. I had no idea how powerful that decision would be or how it would flavour my future life. So many experiences, so much personal growth. I loved the passion, the possibilities, the people, the persistence and the energy. I was proud to be part of something that is shaping the future world. I made a lot of friends, learned so much, and have been constantly amazed by Microsoft’s ability to adapt, learn from its failures, accelerate successes and reinvent itself.

I was proud to be part of something that is shaping the future world.

Due to the nature of my evolving roles, my passion for people, innovation and for the future, I saw patterns around how to succeed and learned how to transform while performing on a personal and business level.

After so many years I was ready to cut the large umbilical cord with Microsoft. I wanted to capture my learnings and at the same time give something back to society. I made room for something new to grow while ending an era and gave birth to The Dualarity. I also wrote a book, which probably has been in the making for 22 years.

In my new role as international public speaker, trend sensemaker, executive whisperer, sparkle builder, corporate innovator, teacher and author I continue to have amazing encounters, be a constant learner and able to work internationally with students, start-ups, and corporations from all industries.

Was it all planned? Not at all, as I am a strong believer in the serendipity (surprise) factor in life.

Q: In September 2016 you launched ‘The Dualarity’, a business and a book, on how to find the correct balance between performing and transforming. Can you tell our readers what inspired you to create it?

In September 2016, after 22 years at Microsoft, I launched The Dualarity, a business and a book, on how to find the balance between performing and transforming, leaving you with a regained sense of spark. 

As passion is the ultimate expression of your talent I decided to put my passion for innovation, transformation and human behaviour into practice by using my experience to help people, business and society future-proof themselves.

I thought deeply about what it means to transform and perform at the same time – to transform yourself so you can transform others. 

The changes that are upon us will alter the face of every industry, business and government, and even more importantly the way our society lives. Transforming while performing is a true balancing act, challenging companies of all sizes in this digital revolution powered by new technologies crossing the physical, digital and biological world.

I thought deeply about what it means to transform and perform at the same time – to transform yourself so you can transform others.

Q: The public transport sector is undergoing developments such as the rise of autonomous vehicles, Mobility as a Service and the advancement of equality and accessibility for all users. What is the best way for an industry to progress to include everyone?

The public and private sector need to act as one when reacting to the transformational powers. They must align to a common purpose with each finding its place, so they don’t end competing and losing sight of the customers.

The public entities need to craft the right policies for clean air, launch new energy taxation systems, foster traffic free and technological developments. The cities will need to get their mobility right as this will give a major competitive advantage to retain and attract the right talent. 

The energy suppliers, the automotive suppliers, the tech companies, the airport-train-metro providers and green mobility seekers (bikes …) need to provide an integrated digital infrastructure in the broader infra-landscape. It is the move to the phygital (PHYical to diGITAL), creating new business designs (internal and external ecosystems) by blurring the digital and physical worlds in all aspects of human life, society and industry. The physical and digital infra is converging to serve the mobility of goods and people.

The future will reimagine car and mobility experiences, seeing car manufacturers, like Tesla, Volvo and BMW, take advantage of the innovation coming from some of the biggest tech companies, like Google and Apple, coupled with new business models, like Uber and Didi. It will need the support of governments to make it all work as a connected ecosystem.

It is about enhancing the quality of life for the planet. Making it safer, sustainable and inclusive.

It is about enhancing the quality of life for the planet. Making it safer, sustainable and inclusive.

Q: You’ve given many different speeches to various sectors. What does it mean to speak to an audience of public transport and IT-minded people?

Gatherings like IT-TRANS can help people to open their mindset, to share what they see and see what others see, so they are able respond to perform on the short term while transforming for the long term.

During my 25 years travelling around the world, meeting all types of people and business sizes, I discovered patterns on why some people or businesses were sparkling in their transformation and others were not.

Those that sparkle were able to do three things extremely well:

1. SEE and SENSE what is happening around them (the trends) and its implications
2. RESPOND and ENERGISE (principles and strategies) themselves with the right principles and strategies to build future proof organisations
3. Find BALANCE between PERFORMING (operational excellence = profit and customer of TODAY) and TRANSFORMING (innovation excellence = profit and customer of TOMORROW)

Mobility, the movement of people and goods, is an essential human need and key enabler of social and economic prosperity. Keeping it sustainable, it will need to undergo a huge transformation.

I am looking forward to IT-TRANS to listen, learn and share thinking.

Read part two of the interview here!

Don't forget to register for IT-TRANS from 6-8 March 2018 in Karlsruhe, Germany, where Olivier Van Duüren will be the keynote speaker in an international event dedicated to digital and innovative technologies in public transport.

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