I wish you (and the people around you) a healthy 2020

In 2007, the year my daughter was born, we had over 5.000 pictures. It became impossible to select just a few pictures and create a collage as a reminder of our year to send to friends. At the same time I also had more and more international friends that I wanted to send a new years greetings. Facebook was not as big as it is today. (I stopped using FB in 2018, in case you wonder why I never answer there.)
For a few weeks I discussed with my partner what were our options. And then I go inspired by listening to one of my favorite local record of our youth. One of these songs reminded me of our year. And so I started creating a new years video. 13 years later, these video’s are a great reminder of our life during these years.

I have to admit I mostly make the video’s for myself. Looking at + 5.000 pictures every year sounds harder than it is. It’s a great excuse to look back at the year we had.
With teenagers, the selection of the song becomes harder every year, just as the rejection of some of the pictures. Yet they know they have a veto right. It’s one of the many ways I want to teach them, they are in control of their life. Even if that means I hardly have enough great landscape picture of them.

What a year 2019 was. 

Geike and me, we were invited to speak at Agile India in Bangalore. As a father it was great to see her make connection with all these international agilists. She had no idea who is important or not. Neither did she care. She cared if people were nice. Luckily for her, the agile people I know are nice people. Ray, Ellen, Sophie, Shane she still takes about you.
Naresh & team, thank you for inviting us. I know many people liked our talk about real options.
Shane I had no idea what to expect when Geike joined us at the fishbowl, yet when you asked her that question about trying and failing, she floored me with: “You should not be afraid to fail. You should try. I’m 11 and I’m here on stage, if I can do this, think what you can do“. it’s the moment I felt as a father, my job is done.  You can see that exact moment 10 seconds in our new years video.

54 pictures out of more than 6000, to show what 5 people did in 365 days, is nothing.
Looking back at the past 12 video’s, I notice my kids remember mostly what is in the video’s. It might have been the coolest thing of the year, yet if we don’t have a fitting landscape picture, we will forget.

The life of our two sons is more and more independent from us. We don’t have picture of the parties they go to, or their friends … And so it should be. It’s good for them and well yes, after 17 years taking care of kids, I’m really looking forward in more evenings with my partner alone.

As I don’t watch any television, I spend my evenings writing books while walking:

None of these book made the video, like I said: choosing pictures is hard.

A lot of my free time I spend on organizing CoderDojo Gent. 

This year we had 14 events. That is 6 events less than previous years.
Mostly because of lack of coaches. I worked hard on that and in December we had 15 coaches. Already better. Now we need to have more women coaching, As the 50% of girls that are following scratch (and their parents) need more role models.

Arduino with Geike

In 2019 I also helped Geike turn her arduino e-book into a physical book. It was even translated into English. And of course that one, also was published as a physical book: arduino with Geike 
Even better our local electronic shop Gotron, agreed to sell it as a package with all the needed hardware.

As a father I don’t want to push my kids in any direction. yet it’s lovely to see that almost everywhere there are options as parents to stimulate kids to offer unique experiences.Most of these things my kids don’t pick up, once in a while they do and that gives them these experiences…


Of all the things I launched the last 10 years, I’m most proud of CoachRetreat, a day for people to practise coaching conversations. Seeing how this spread all over the world and having so many coaches I respect like the format, makes me proud (and I guess that’s the same for Oana, who co-invented this format with me.)
In 2019 I was only aware of 2 retreats. (although I recently heard there would be a lot of CoachRetreat in Canada that we lost track of.)
I’m happy to say that in 2020, we will have CoachRetreat NR 35 in Belgium and I hope that Oana and me we can find again some partners to launch many more CoachRetreat’s around the world.

I want to end with what Colart Miles shared on linkedin:

The Agile Holiday Manifesto

We’re uncovering better ways of enjoying the holidays (by doing it) and helping others to enjoy it too.

Through this we have come to value:

Presence over presents
Gratitude over entitlement
Experiences over having things
Relationships and compassion over tasks and schedules

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.