Interview, News|

"I strongly believe in creating shared values through connecting solutions."

Dominique joined the Dutch Dubai team in 2018 when the Netherlands’ presence first started taking shape. She is responsible for the campaign strategy of the Dutch participation and for implementing the accompanying communication plan. She is also spokesperson for DutchDubai team and works close with DutchDubai partners to strengthen the Dutch theme: ‘Uniting water, energy and food’.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I started working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2018. I have a broad professional background and started my career as an Art Director at one of the largest advertising agencies in the Netherlands. My interest in positive change, business development and creating shared responsibility led me to transfer to the corporate world. So I exchanged my agency life for working at a multinational for 8.5 years. 

After these inspiring years and because of my personal motivation to contribute to a better world and to connect businesses with new opportunities, I started working for the prestigious DutchDubai project of the Netherlands. Besides my work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I have my own company empowering startups in finding their way in business and identifying their own strengths. And when time allows, I love to photograph and design interiors.

What motivates you most about your work on the Expo project?
The innovative collaborative approach of the Expo 2020 Dubai and the Netherlands’ long-term approach with a focus on sustainability and making new connections. I strongly believe in creating shared values through connecting solutions. I want to leave a better legacy for my children.

What have you achieved over the past two years?
The focus of my work has been on the launch of our unique pavilion – the biotope – and on the multi-year positioning of the Netherlands at the Expo. As a staff member at the International Enterprise Department I wanted to create campaign to generate the best business landscape for the Dutch organisations and businesses. To achieve this the team and I have the honour of working for the minister, together with the inspiring Expo Champions and our partners and sponsors, to create this global stage. In 2019 we’ve started to roll out this campaign and in the beginning of this year we’ve launched our virtual pavilion – a new website – which is the heart of our communication and the virtual extension of our pavilion. It’s where everything comes together. That made me proud. And behind the scenes we are currently developing – together with our partners – the Pavilion’s shows. But that remains a secret until the opening in October 2021. <smile>

What do you like most about your job?
The more complicated a task, the better. Connecting different project goals, stakeholder management, reputations, cultures and ambitions … fusing all this into a strategy with clear goals and practical plans. That energizes me.

How do you create an inspiring and complete communication strategy for the Dutch Expo participation?
First, always listen to your target audiences, define clear goals, think long-term, be as creative and ambitious as possible, and combine all this in a realistic campaign journey based on a business and human mindset.

Expo 2020 Dubai has been postponed. How does this affect your job? And does this open up any new opportunities?
The golden rule of communication, especially in digital times like these, is: respond quickly but always be detailed and accurate. We’d prepared all sorts of scenarios before we got the news about the postponement, so we could respond fast and inform our stakeholders. The world has changed, and this underscores even more strongly the timeliness of our strategy ‘Uniting water, energy, food’. Expo 2020 Dubai in 2021 will be one of the first global events after COVID-19. It will definitely provide an opportunity for all of us to connect minds in a creative, hybrid way. The current Digital Expo 2020 events are a great example of that.

What would you like to say to visitors to
Always use your inner ‘can do’ mentality to meet challenges over time. This makes us more creative and innovative, so we can build a better future together.

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