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Tag: amsterdam

The CrossMedia café in Hilversum (Amsterdam, Netherlands) is a bi-monthly media gathering discussing new trends in Media in Netherlands. Monique Van Dusseldorp, the organiser of the event, does a really great job – and she is also behind the wonderful PICNIC creative festival in Amsterdam. Today I was invited to be part of a panel discussing the new media developments of ‘traditional’ media groups together with colleagues from the public channel (Erwin blom – someone much liked by many in the Dutch audience, and a very passionate guy) RTL and Sanoma.

I won’t repeat what has been said during the panel – but I think it can pretty much be summarized by Erwin’s nice presentation. Or read the report on one of the best blogs in digital trends – Frankwatching.

While being here – it reminds me how amazing Amsterdam is. I am so thankful that Patrick Tillieux – CEO at SBS and now COO of the new Prosiebensat1 Media group – gave me the opportunity to discover this city by inviting me to join the SBS Broadcasting group about a year and a half ago… By the way: Patrick and the CEO of our group Guillaume de Posch will receive the price of Belgian International Managers of the year at the Trends CEO summit in a couple of days.

To end with something completely different: after an indepth online research – our choice went to the Dutch design of the Joolz Bloom. I can know honestly say, after a night of reading user reviews, that I am ready to open a chain of baby strollers… Damn, there are a lot of these things…

Ten days to go before baby Becks says Hello world :-)


This Saturday I was for some hours in Brussels.
A short night-before phonecall with Clo, a former colleague of mine at Skynet, got me over to the Brussels Barcamp (since I was travelling in I could only be there for 2hours). When there, she invited me to do a powerpoint karaoke – a presentation of slides that you have never seen before. Fun to do, not prepared – a good lesson in self-relativation, with a video that I will enjoy watching even more in 10 years or so.

Someone asked me afterwards why I would do something like this. True, I am only a couple of days per month in Brussels anymore. But let me explain you why.

Creativity and entrepreneurialism unleash the passion in people. Initiatives like Barcamp are not only great to present your thoughts, findings, ideas or realizations – they create an atmosphere of shared searching and discovering. About 2 years ago, Peter Forrett – the organizer of Barcamp Brussels – presented his ideas to the Skynet team for some support (back then was still CEO of Skynet). We supported the idea completely, because Skynet is company that lives on the creation of new ideas: from free internet to ADSL, from consumer to corporate solutions, from portals to interactive television, from search to permission marketing… but also because we thought that sometimes you have to role to support initiatives that enable creativity in Belgium. Barcamp1 was born.

Clo was one of the persons I did quite some effort to hire at Skynet. It hearts a bit to see that see is leaving together with some others, but seen my switch I understand completely and all people are going for what they believe in. They are not leaving Skynet, they are going towards something else.

I believe that creativity can only thrive when you are a passionate believer of what you do. When I was very young, my grandfather told me something I would never forget but only understood some years later.
He told me the following: “Bart, in your life you are going to have to deal with some difficulties. In whatever you will do, you will meet people that are better than you. In studying, playing football, managing or whatever. There is always someone better. Except in one thing,… and that is being yourself.’
I think we can all do incredible things, if we are not acting, if we are not doing things for the sake of public performance, but because we truly believe in them. Clo’s blog ( can be pronounced in different ways –but for once let us read it as ‘Be No X’. Be no number. Be no actor of public expectation. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Just be yourself. Just like my grandfather told me.
I will try to

Thank you Clo for a short but good time at Skynet. We’ll meet again. Thank you Peter for the effort in getting it organised. Keep it up. But thank you most of all the participants of daring to share. That’s the only way forward.


Today I attended a part of the workshop organized by Immovator named cross-media café (about digital innovation in radio). Pretty OK, interesting concepts, although unlike Dutch mentality people were avoiding questions, being quite fuzzy about numbers and were clearly still searching for the right services and models.
It’s ok to be searching, just say so. Acknowledgement of not knowing is a starting point for collaborative search.

However, I thought that of the Chief Editor of the VPRO (a Dutch public radionbroadcaster), which I expected to be the dullest, was very innovative – placing content and audience truly at the center of reflection. I heard this customer hadn’t been since a long time, but he was definitely there. I also discussed with some others afterwards part of what he said: “ Sometimes people don’t want to do things, just because it is considered hip or because they didn’t invent the hyped idea.”

A participant of over 60, who is admired for his ability to innovate and create and having built successful business for years, concluded after a discussion I had with him about the above: “We should never do something just because it’s considered hip. But if it makes sense, go ahead and embrace it. And if you have someone in your team who does nothing but criticizing, and that same person does not come up with any other innovative ideas or ways to get them, kick him out of your organization as soon as you can. Constructive critics are the best ones to have around you in a team, negative critics the worst. Let him go. If not, he’ll create nothing than negativism about ideas, services, peoples – his mission will be to pinpoint and stop stuff for the sole reason of getting organizational power. On top of that – it will draw into your company’s culture. So take it from me: if you ever see someone like that – be tough because the backside is deceit and probably defeat. ”

Interesting words from someone who did quite some remarkable things in business life – actually life in general I understood afterwards (hadn’t met him before). Yes, discussions here in Amsterdam are so straightforward. So intense. Somewhat unlike most presentations this afternoon. Remarkable Amsterdam. Even on a Tuesday afternoon.


Bart Becks appointed Senior Vice President of SBS Broadcasting group
Hey all,
although I don’t usually indicate professional Skynet news on my blog, I’ve received so many calls, sms’s and mails that I’ll post some personal news here as well.

After 8 fantastic years at Belgacom Skynet in Brussels, I will move to Amsterdam to work for the SBS Broadcasting group.

Hereby an extract of the complete press release:
“SBS Broadcasting Sarl announced today the appointment of Bart Becks (34) as Senior Vice President New Media of SBS Broadcasting Group, with a start date of January 1, 2007. The announcement was made by Patrick Tillieux, acting Chief Executive Officer of SBS Broadcasting Group.In the newly created position,

Mr. Becks will be responsible for the overall development and coordination of digital media services and revenue streams based on the internet, mobile devices, interactive television services and other emerging digital platforms across all of SBS’s operating units. He will be based in Amsterdam.”

A successor was appointed, being Eric Brant, a great senior leader from Proximus. You can find more about it via the Belgacom press center.

No-one leaves a fantastic company and team easily – so it was not something decided overnight. This said, I’m really excited to go to Amsterdam and build out a new future within the SBS group. I sincerely think and wish for Skynet to keep growing like the past 4 years, and for everyone to find the same passion and pride! The direction team in place will surely lead in that direction.

More later.