Flew to Amsterdam on 1 September with Elaine, and took our neighbour Faye Hahlo out to supper at De Bolhoed. After a beer at an open air bar by the canal. She is just starting her second year at the University of Amsterdam.
Over the following days, we visited a slew of museums, including NEMO, where we went up to the roof bar one evening to watch the sun set; the Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Museum (where I spotted a model of a hemp-canvas-covered Conestoga wagon, of the type that part of our family took the “Great American Desert” in the middle of the 19th century); the Tulip Museum; and The Hermitage, where we bought a crystal ball, to help me connect tomorrow’s dots.
Spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with Thomas Rau, Sabine Oberhuber and their family, which began with my swarming up into their children’s tree house. And included dinner within the extraordinary fortifications of Naarden.
Then the work side switched in, with a keynote to the Fourth Annual Green Bond Roundtable, hosted by Rabobank. As I was preparing for this, I remembered going with Gaia to Amsterdam back in 1998 to speak at Rabobank’s centennial conference. The roundtable worked out very well, with extremely positive feedback afterwards.
Then, on Tuesday, Richard (Roberts) and I took the train across to Eindhoven to see Harry Verhaar of Philips Lighting. Thomas and Sabine had played a significant role in the company’s evolution of their ‘lighting as a service‘ business model.
Sardine-like packing of train for part of trip back, but then we got a seat. And there were moments, as when the customs people insisted in unpacking and investigating the crystal ball, when I wished we had left it back at The Hermitage, but maybe it will crystallise a new era in our thinking about the future?