#26 Ruben Nieuwenhuis on the exclusivity of the techworld - until he decided to change it
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After reading through Ruben Nieuwenhuis’ CV, Roanne was confused - and a bit dizzy. He is the director of TechConnect, a Tech Talent program to activate & educate underrepresented groups into tech/IT jobs; but he is also a book author, as well as a social entrepreneur and the founder of many startups and companies (TechGrounds, Boeren voor Buren, TekkieWorden, CupolaXS, TechMeUp, Growth Tribe); sits in many different advisory boards (Codam, International Advisory Board, Amsterdam Economic Board, Future NL and next to all that, he seems to be the driving force of just about a thousand initiatives.
“So how can I describe your job function, exactly?”, Roanne asks before meeting Ruben at the Amsterdam SOHO house for this recording. Halfway during the interview, she decides: he must be an octopus, which totally makes sense to Ruben. Towards the end of their conversation, however, they both realize he can’t be under water, at all: he needs to be on bridges, as those are his natural environment. Don’t worry: just tune in, and all will become clear.
Ruben also shares how he spent quite a bit of time in his career in helping a world that was, he later understood, increasing inequality and exclusivity. Courageously enough, he decided to then radically change gears. Listen how, and why.
In this conversation, Ruben shares:
- How he long worked in the techindustry without realizing how exclusive it was
- How, when that realization finally came, he radically changed his goals
- Why he is so committed to diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity
- How he combines all his jobs, without being busy
- Why he forces himself to read book he does not want to read - and why you should, too
- Why, as a good leader, you should be in touch with both the high ranks, and the target audience, in order to understand the whole