My friends and colleagues describe me as enthusiastic, passionate and witty. Those qualities, combined with classroom experience and product development at Philips, brought me this dream as a part-time presenter and facilitator. In product development and as a teacher, I have already presented, enthused and facilitated a lot. I spend the rest of my time on circular design at Philips Experience Design. Sustainability within a corporate, in smaller organisations and with people 1:1; the perfect combination to me!
Who is Mirjam van Laarhoven?
Her passion for sustainability
For me, sustainability starts with hours in the shed with my father. "Ons pap" as it is called in Brabant, was a real inventor. He knew how to make something from anything and because he became paralysed on the left side at the age of 43, I became his second right hand. It's truly because of him that I have learned to see possibilities in anything.
The workshop was full of "old" materials, tools and parts. We could never call it junk "because it was not"!
During my education in mechanical engineering and teacher training, I did not study sustainability as much, but this changed from the moment I applied for a job at Philips. A manager inspired me during my job interview, he talked about the circular economy and I was intrigued. What a great system.
In the years that followed I did many projects with a focus on circular design, circular business models, piloting and human transformation to sustainable behaviour. In addition, I was teaching part-time and I facilitated workshops.
Lately I've been focusing on three areas:
- SHARE Sustainability: by speaking, moderating at events and meetings and sharing best practices on social media.
- DO Sustainability: by helping to make medium-sized companies more sustainable through in-company projects;
- GUIDE Sustainability: by facilitating workshops in which teams themselves work on sustainable propositions and determine the sustainability strategy by means of design thinking;
Mirjam during the co-creation for the Roadmap SDGs (see Tips & Tricks).
Mirjam during the kick-off of the Partnership Verkiezing (see Workshops).
Mirjam at TEDx Eindhoven