Speakers interview TEDxMaastrichtSalon: Daan Melis

PHOTO: Kasper van ’t Hoff

Daan Melis (1969) studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. After that he worked in India, creating packagings and production methods for Unilever. This was the upbeat for founding a consulting company in 1999, named BRAINS FOR CHANGE. In 2001, he started the local magazine SOEPS in Eindhoven, a platform for creative talents. This was a strong fundament for EDHV, a multidisciplinary design studio. In 2009 he sold EDHV and left to Spain. Reinventing life using the creative approach on hospitality, interior and art projects.

In 2011, Daan came back to join the new city marketing organization Eindhoven365. He led the process building the new Eindhoven brand as a fundament for the new strategy, new events, urban interventions, merchandise and brandstore.

Tell us more about your current projects, how are you making a difference in the world?

We are building the Eindhoven brand through acting on the local DNA, resulting in an unconventional and experimental process. We facilitate new collaborations of local talents, working together on building the brand. By doing so the process becomes a part of the marketing itself.

What is the current state of the field you work in? What direction do you think it’s going in?

We facilitate the various movements around the Eindhoven brand. The devil is in the detail: preach the new brand mentality throughout the city. Through storytelling the habitants become our ambassadors.

The next big thing is to get the relevant (big) data. Measuring the movements of the target groups has proven to be the key to success for the future. We are rolling-out a beacon and wifi network throughout the city centre to support local business.

What does a city mean to you?

For me the city exists by the grace of an upper current and an under current. These energy movements need each other and they lead to a balance between top-down and bottom-up interests. Besides that, mixed cultures gives a city the infinite inspiration for the future.

Looking back on your career, what advice would you give to the young generation who wants to make a difference in the world?

Join and talk to people with no fear but a mission. Work with talented people who really care, forget ego’s. Don’t become an ego yourself, stay authentic and focused, open and gentle.

What is a great book/article you read lately? Who are your top influencers?

I’m very interested in the new possibilities on sharing economy start-ups. They are really changing the world. My view: No change, no future.

The incomplete manifesto by Bruce Mau gave me confidence in the way we work.

Where can we learn more about you (Twitter, Blog, etc.)?

Invite me to tackle creative complex (city) issues.

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