Welcome to the new chapter in my IBIS journey! Now almost 6 months into the term, we have fulfilled the first semester. Term 2 was an overall full and very versatile period. I will summarize and reflect on its learnings in the writing below.

[su_column size=”1/3″]

The term’s set Innovation units included:

  • Introduction to Innovation
  • Defining the Customer’s Job
  • Design Thinking
  • Business English 1

[/su_column][su_column size=”1/3″]

The Professional Skills Development units included:

  • Critical Thinking & Reasoning
  • Teamwork
  • IT-skills


And my NLU’s were:

  • Magazine Making & Innovation
  • Serious Game Design
  • Art of Selling
  • How To Make a Deal in China?


PSD2 – Critical Thinking and Reasoning

Although intimidating, I was excited to take on the challenge of creating and doing my own TED type of talk. From the jump I knew I wanted to speak on Hip Hop but it took me a while to find my angle, structure and delivery. Jolly provided some helpful models and best case practices to build upon such as understanding your (high/low motivation) audience, showing empathy and using contra arguments, and the idea of “Facts tell, feelings sell”. I learned a lot from doing it as well as becoming more comfortable with speaking in such situations. Unfortunately I didn’t receive much constructive feedback but I’d say to cut out the ‘ehh’, improve body language and use of space, and to speak more confident and eloquent. The feedback I received from Jolly was:

• Strong opening, and first one to present, well done!
• “Let go of presumptions” > good
• Personal note, emotional start, when my life was tough
• Got the audience
• “Influenced my life” > how?
• “I would like to show you the benefits” (what’s in it for me question for audience answered)
• Good preperation: notes, presentation (Prezi)
• Good quote by KRS One
• Structure good
• You might want to read your quotes out loud cause it were quite a few, you did that once and it was good
• Passionate about the topic
• Good proof, not just an opinion
• Body language good
• Positive message

A handful of curious people approached me after my talk intrigued to learn more, and I think that’s a great sign. Although there is a lot of room for improvement; I am happy I did it and hope to grow into public speaking more as we go on. Without further ado, my talk:

“TEDxIBIS”: Nadia Piet on the Positive Power of Hip Hop from Nadia Piet on Vimeo.

In some of the classes we also quickly touched on lateral thinking, a concept that really speaks to me.

“The most basic principle of lateral thinking is that any particular way of looking at things is only one among many other possible ways. With lateral thinking, one is not looking for the best approach but for as many different approaches as possible.”

PSD2 – Teamwork

We explored Belbin’s theory on team roles, based on our natural tendencies to respond and act in a certain way. We labeled ourselves and others according to one of the 9 types Belbin established and it was both helpful to know what roles others took on, as what I did myself, based on the votes of my classmates. They perceived me as:

– a Shaper – result-orientated, dominant, nervous (4 votes)
– a Specialist – individualist, dedicated, not as social (3 votes)
– a Plant – constant ideas, creative (2 votes)
– an Implementer – disciplined, organized, inflexible (2 votes)

I labeled myself to be an Implementer and a Shaper, but was happy to receive the additional roles. This made me realize that others perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. Although some characteristics conflict with others, I recognized myself in each of the roles I was subscribed to. Also depending on the situation, I take on different roles of which I am not sure which ones are qualities by nature and which are just tasks I step up to. I guess I still have to find out which one is most me, or naturally me. It was also interesting to see how clear it was to determine the role of some people, and how hard for others.

“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person” – Bruce Lee

In the last class we discussed leadership skills and minsets, Simon Sinek’s Why Leaders Eat Last title and how leadership comes at a cost (sacraficing yourself for others). We scratched the surface of neuroscience, which I’ve recently grown an interest in, through learning about different natural chemicals produced in the brain associated with happiness and therefor success. We are now familiar with the following 5:

– endorfin (mask visible pain)
– dopamine (when you achieve/progress towards a goal) – you have to SEE the goal (addictive!)
– serotonin (achievement, status, pride, ego)
– oxytocin (social bonding / intimacy) – serving others
– cortisol (stress, anxiety, survival, selfish almost)

PSD 2 – IT-skills

I did not attend the HTML classes based on the entry level of the unit and the current level of portfolioknowledgeof the topic I possess. I have been working with HTML since I was 8 and tried to make my CU2 profile page look pretty, to move into my teen years with many, many blogs and progress into a freelance web designer in my early 20s. I hold basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and very basic knowledge of PHP, Javascript and JQuery, yet prefer to work with CMS’s such as WordPress, Joomla etc. For examples you can actually look at this website and the Portfolio on here.

As others progressed through the unit and put their websites together, I helped and explained website fundamentals to many fellow students, which then again deepened my understanding of the subject at hand, as well as building my skill of explaining/teaching others.

I did go to the last class to complete the final assignment with a 9.


I really enjoyed the NLU’s and thought the teachers were great, especially Wim Honders, Cees from Serious Game Design and it was cool to see Willem in front of the class. I’m happy I choose such a wide scope of subjects as I’ve learned about media, design, etomology, gaming, selling, and Chinese culture and business ettiquette.

Magazine Making & Innovation (36 hours)

I really enjoyed the Magazine Making NLU. Wim Honders showed us many original variations of magazines, post cards and other physical, mostly paper products. We dissected different magazines and spread the pages of LINDA., National Geographic and Vanity Fair out on the floor to recognize their patterns and rhythms. I’ve always read a lot of magazines but was now told about some of the theory and practices that are behind creating them.

For the end assignment we made a magazine dummy for a topic of our choice and so I choose to do it for Da Shogunz. I tried to implement magazine design practices such as contrast and balance in dark/light pages, text and images, movement and objects vs. people in pictures, and serif and sans-serif fonts. It looked like this: shogunzmag

In order to make our magazine, we also had to learn how to handle InDesign (Adobe design software) which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I received really positive feedback from Wim and he offered to put me in touch with people from the industry such as publishers and art directors for possible future opportunities.

Serious Game Design – level 1 (24 hours)

I love ‘gamifying’ life, used to play a lot of games as a kid and it was cool to learn more about the terminology and techniques used. For the assessment, we decided to pick an IBIS related learning objective and aimed to gain knowledge from the Introduction To Innovation unit through a physical game. After settling on a multiplayer game and a short brainstorm session, we came up with the idea to make an innovation quartet with different categories and examples of the innovations. With short orientation, we made up a quick playable prototype which we then briefed tested with 3 groups of fellow students. Some of the feedback included that it was definitely fun but there was too little challenge.

The development process was much like the one we were taught in design, with the challenge always revolving around a learning objective.

Sadly I didn’t get to finish the final prototype of the game because my group refused to contribute. I did collect all the innovations and designed all the cards and tiles needed to play the final version of the game as you can see below ..


During the classes we could also give out and receive little +1 feedback cards with different skills such as Divergent Thinking, Giving Feedback, Create Problem Solving, Cooperating, Presenting and Graphic Design. These are different qualities of a Serious Game Designer and if someone did a good job at them you could share your recognition of them with a message on the back. I thought this was a really cool way of delivering feedback and I got some really nice compliments.

I passed this class with the following grade and feedback.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.48.33

The Art of Selling (20 hours)

As the class focused primarily on selling in a retail situation, it didn’t really teach me anything new. I got familiar with most of the material discussed when I was working as a Sales Associate with Nike last summer. The class did make me realize how extensive and valuable my sales training with Nike has been. It was still quite fun to discuss it.

For example asking customers targeted questions to identify their exact or latent needs, and then continue sales from thereon, and translating technical features into benefits the user can relate to, offering a solution. Or giving customers a small complimentary gift as they will want to give something back, redirecting and introducing inquiries to a perceived expert, and asking people for a small favor first before asking for what you actually want, also known as the-foot-in-the-door effect.

How to do business in China? (10 hours)

Even though just 2 classes and a very simple understanding, I feel like I know a lot more about China than I did before. The first class focused on China as a country, with some background information on the geography, demography, history and culture in general. The second class went more into business etiquette and the importance of practicing caution in your communications in the People’s Republic of China.

Some of the key aspects that stood out to me were the hierarchy and respect for the elderly, managers, teachers etc., patience (listen and observe rather than speak), indirectness (asking by saying, saying by asking), unexpressed emotions and taboos, harmony (emphasizing positives and commonalities) and nothing is what it seems (nothing is impossible, ‘face’ over truth, the third option, the non-meaning of yes, last minute changes and so forth).


For the Quandary, I teamed up with Marvin and applied with Professional Rebel. The assignment included the task to find truly innovative start-ups and professional rebels from all around the world. We went by the company once beforehand to get a feel of their work and ways and the desired outcome of the research. Located in the B Amsterdam building, which is a shared workspace, there were some interesting start-up’s and projects around such as a 3D Scanner, Mindful Marketing and Team Academy (international school of entrepreneurship).

Upon getting started, we soon realized finding these start ups was way harder than we anticipated it to be. But we pushed through, kept searching and researching, through influencers and start up programs and hubs. The end result was a presentation of over 30 innovative startups from London to New York to Bali and Istanbul in all sorts of sectors. It is very inspiring to see so many amazing projects in just one document so I am quite happy with how it turned out. You can see our final presentation here and I encourage you to scroll through it.

We also had to interview one innovator and take one ‘start up lesson’ from their story to publish on the Professional Rebel blog. As I’m typing I am still completing this.

Extra Curricular activities

Besides the usual classes, I’ve been keeping myself busy with other constructive activities. I’ve visited different innovation related events such as New Co, E-Merce fair and ISE and participated in the beacon Hackaton with Jeroen. I’ve been working at the promotional events or IBIS and facilitating the workshops that are part of the study trial day. I’ve also had some personal successes such as releasing a new digital and vinyl album on the label and an article I wrote going viral with 75.000 hits on the website and 300.000 reach on Facebook.

So overall; a very full and versatile term, and already lots of plans for the next one : )