What to do in corona-times with… Frédérique Moolenbeek

In these times of #socialdistancing, we’d like to introduce you to all those people at the wharf. We’ve asked them for their Monday motivation and how they’re getting through the corona crisis. This week: Frédérique Moolenbeek.

Frédérique Moolenbeek is senior strategist at Fronteer. Fronteer is an innovation and strategy consultancy firm at the NDSM that guides companies in the development of new strategies for the future. At the office there is a workshop room where Fronteer meets experts with whom   new challenges are explored and talked about through co-creation.

Hi Frédérique! What is your relationship with NDSM?

I joined Fronteer three years ago. At that time, I had to take the ferry every day. I’ve recently done a number of projects for the NDSM and two years ago I moved to Amsterdam Noord myself. The richness of history and the stories that lie there have become more and more appealing. I now live in Disteldorp where the people who used to work at the shipyard used to live. There’s just an awful lot of history here for which I have a weakness.

You’ve fallen in love with the North of Amsterdam! What’s been your survival tip these past few months? 

What I’ve been doing myself when it comes to working from home is pretending to go to work every day. I don’t stay in my pajama pants or sports pants – no matter how tempting – and even do my make-up and hair. That’s how I get into my work mode.

Another tip, but there is no escaping it, is to take it easy. By taking it easy and looking around you, you notice what you would normally look right through. Just take the changing of the seasons alone. During walks I appreciate that so much more. You’re not always working on something, but you’re just here. It is so nice to walk through the Noorderpark or over the NDSM. And especially with the presence of the sun and the whistling of the birds. From being on the way all the time, to being here. I can enjoy that.

In addition, I started supping. That has really become my new hobby. I’m going from Disteldorp to the NDSM to have some wine on the quay.

And do you also have film or music tips for the time you spend inside? 

I really enjoyed watching the ‘Tegenlicht‘ episodes. But I have to say I feel like I finished Netflix.

And when it comes to music, I really enjoy dancing to African Techno in the living room.

Are there any special artists you listen to?

No, because I’m a little new to that music scene. A friend of mine who lives near me turned it on one time. I once lived with her, but I still call her my roommate. We decided that we’re corona-buddies. That’s been a survival tip for me, too; a corona-buddy. We eat a lot together and then once on a Friday afternoon we put on this music and danced.

Another music tip: the playlist our interns made us:

Nice! And what have you missed the most lately?

In our work, co-creation is very important. In real life you can enthuse each other and build on each other’s ideas because you really interact with one another. I think that behind a screen you are a bit more cautious and you are very aware of how you stand or come across. You feel less of that energy you get from meeting someone in person.

And what I also miss is a good hug. To really hold someone.

Have you developed a new daily ritual in the last few months?

Yeah, I’ve been trying to meditate every morning. That didn’t quite work out, but I did my best. Also, I make sure I’m out in the open every day. I also do my shopping at the Deen once every two weeks now.

Once every two weeks? That’s impressive!

Yeah, I find that very nice. I browse through some cookbooks and see what I like and then see what I’m going to need. Then I don’t need to buy anything for some time and from the leftovers you can always put together a nice meal. Before the corona time I went to the supermarket almost every day. Now I am much more conscious about when I go shopping and what I buy. This, in order to avoid risks . Besides, it is very cost-beneficial. I have been able to save more by being smarter with my money.

That’s a very good tip too! What do you like best about the relaxation of  the measures?

That you can meet other people and that you don’t feel like you’re doing something bad. That you’re able to drink coffee together, at an appropriate distance, and that you’re allowed to do so.

Yes, and now being able to go sit on terraces together again! What are your expectations of a post-corona time?

I don’t really believe in a post-corona time. I think we’ll still see the effects in a year’s time. What I’ve noticed most of all is that people are very creative in this time and come up with very different ideas and solutions. I think we are going to work together in a whole new way. At Fronteer we were faced with the issue of how to continue co-creating without our physical workshop space. We put everything online as soon as possible. The other day we had a co-creation session with Indonesia, one with Mexico and with Guatemala. It’s cool to see that the restrictions makes you think differently and that you can get new beautiful things out of it.

I think it’s been a hard time for many people and I hope that the interconnection remains. That people continue to stand up for each other and are open at all times to help each other out.

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