By Rianne van de Ven.
This month I have the honor of filling the director’s corner in this monthly newsletter. The first for me, since I’m a new board member since January 1st. So maybe also a short introduction is appropriate: My name is Rianne van de Ven and I live in the Netherlands. I am a coach for gifted adults and also an author, presenter, teacher and social entrepreneur on this subject. I visited my first SENG conference in 2015 in Denver and immediately felt part of this ‘family’. I have contributed to almost all conferences since then. As a board member I want to bring more knowledge about and more activities for gifted adults. I will also like to contribute to SENG becoming more international. Because there is a big need out there for our approach towards giftedness: to support the social and emotional needs of the gifted.
When this newsletter goes out to our 25K subscribers The Week of Giftedness in The Netherlands and Flanders (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium) will just be finished. It is an annual week (well, 9 days actually) that has been organized here for 8 years in a row now. The goal of this Week of Giftedness is to put the subject in the spotlights all over the country. The organizing team offers a website where people can submit events they are organizing in those nine days about giftedness or for gifted people to attend. And when we talk about gifted people, we mean all ages: from toddlers to our senior citizens.
So over 270 !!! events were organized in this last edition and the subject reached coverage in the national press on TV-stations, radio programs, newspapers and magazines. Why? Because we (yes, I am part of the organizing team) want to inform society that giftedness exists everywhere. So is actually quite normal (one in 50 people is gifted) and we want to provide information to take away any bias, preconceived opinions and misconceptions about this subject. With the purpose to increase the possibilities that gifted people can develop and flourish in our society. To move towards a more inclusive society that embraces differences between people.
I have learned that in the Netherlands our mainstream view on giftedness is quite different than in the US. We see giftedness more in the context of potential that requires special circumstances and support to develop, than in the context of excellent performance, achievements and eminence. In our mainstream view giftedness is about something you are and not so much about something you do. Thankfully I feel this view is shared within SENG as well.
So, would organizing a National Week on Giftedness in the United States be a good idea as well? I like to think big . . .
Rianne van de Ven (1971, the Netherlands) is a social entrepreneur specialized in gifted adults. After a career in Telecom, ICT, and banking she started her own company as a professional coach in 2007. First part time, next to her job at a large Dutch bank, but since 2016 she is fully self-employed and works as an author, speaker, trainer, supervisor, and teacher on the subject of gifted adults. She started a second company where she provides professional services for gifted adults in the workplace together with 20 colleagues.