An Evening With MyMachine

Wednesday June 26th 2019 at 18:30h something beautiful came to be: An Evening With MyMachine. A seated-dinner event that marked 3 world premieres:

  1. the launch of the book What Is Your Dream Machine? How Children Change Education Worldwide
  2. the announcement of myBOO: the very first real-life MyMachine product to be launched soon
  3. the launch of MyMachine DreamsDrop (to be launched early 2020): an online platform to engage people across the globe to share their dream machine idea.

We organised this evening at Belvue Museum in downtown Brussels. The building played an important role in the history of MyMachine, since we signed our very first franchise there. And this year’s MyMachine Flanders and Brussels exhibition was at the museum as well. For a seated-dinner set-up, the venue’s maximum capacity is 80 people, which is why the evening was on invitation only and the event was rapidly sold-out.

Two things made the evening really special:

  1. we were honoured to host our invites coming from Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Slovakia, UK and USA. We want to thank them all for being with us this evening and for the wonderful feedback we got;
  2. five amazing speakers shared their views on the MyMachine model: this is how they got introduced:

Christina Smiraglia is senior researcher at Harvard University, an Ivy-League player in the USA. Harvard just celebrated 50 years of Project Zero: an on-going research platform on education, including maker-centered learning. Christina and her colleagues Amy Kamarainen and Edward Clapp have given us the enormous privilege to analyse our model. Their analysis is now a chapter in our book. We are really grateful for their scientific insights. Add to this that Christina – who has travelled a lot in Europe before and even lived and worked in Italy for a while, working for the Peggy Guggenheim museum – is also very knowledgeable on Museum Education, so what better place then this to have Christina sharing her insights on our model.

Laura Dittel is Director at the Carpathian Foundation in Slovakia. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in community building and development. She was awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship in Public Policy Analysis & Public Administration by the Fulbright Commission by the U.S. Department of State. She is member of the Slovak Government Council of Non-governmental Organizations – permanent expert body of the Slovak Government. She was awarded the “Civil Award 2011” for support of organizations representing the rights of Hungarian minorities living in Slovakia. She has lived and worked for a while in New York City and Washington DC and had meetings with president Carter and dinner with Prince Philip of the UK.

Lisa Vromman is service designer at Gelotology. She is alumna from the School of Industrial Product Design at HOWEST University of Applied Sciences and participated in MyMachine some 2 years ago. Lisa is the living evidence that you’re never too young to start exploring the world and developing your talents and passions. As a student she already started collecting awards like the OVAM Eco Design Award, the AB Inbev First Prize Beer Packaging Competition, Vectorworks Interior Design Award 2014 and the First prize Foundation René Bruynseraede – De Witte 2014. She has lived and worked for half a year in Cebu City in the Philippines. But above all, Lisa knows what it means to be involved in MyMachine as a university student.

Frank Vanhalst is a remarkable entrepreneur. He and his sister Sophie are now running the company Vanhalst, 2 Give and Enjoy which they have grown to become a company that today exports to 32 countries worldwide. Almost exactly one year ago, they celebrated their 50th birthday of the company, founded by their parents. Frank and Sophie wanted to connect this occasion to a special cause. They asked all customers and suppliers and stakeholders that came to their event, not to come over with flowers nor a bottle of wine, but to donate to MyMachine. Frank, Sophie, again, thank you so much for this remarkable act of kindness. At the end of a meeting we had on this, we asked Frank what he would think about collaborating in bringing a MyMachine idea to the market. We remember this moment clearly: he took a breath and thought about this for something like 5 seconds, before saying “yes, let’s explore what we can do”. This was one year ago. Now we’re on the verge of having our very first real life product. This is very, very exciting.

Gery Salole is CEO of the European Foundation Center. He is a Social Anthropolgist by training and a participant observer by nature. Gerry has solid experience in Institutional Philanthropy and NGO’s. He has lived and worked in Ethiopia, The Netherlands, South Africa and now in Brussels. He has been in meetings and dinners with people like Nelson Mandela and President Oboma. He sais he’s developing a serious interest in different governance models, lessons learnt, decision making and legitimacy in the sector. We also know him as a writer and the biggest Bob Dylan fan you’ll ever know.

Thank you to all of you who there. This evening was special because of you. Thank you!