5 questions with... lifehacker & CFO SA Keynote speaker Martijn Aslander


During our 2015 events, CFO South Africa will occasionally invite inspiring international speakers to deliver provoking Keynote speeches. In his own words, ‘lifehacker’ Martijn Aslander from The Netherlands will be aiming to “confuse people, make them think and make them laugh” during our next events in Johannesburg (17 February) and Cape Town (19 February).

Earlier we published a fascinating article about Aslander. Today we ask him 5 questions.

How do you describe Martijn Aslander?
"I am an ideas man. I am an author, a public speaker and a boardroom sparring partner. The network information society is something that I intimately understand and can explain in simple language. As a boardroom advisor, I don't write reports, but drink coffees with business leaders and brainstorm about the future - helping people to make the leap forward."

What is lifehacking?
"It means accomplishing more in less time, with less stress, at lower cost with the use of simple digital tools. Millions of people worldwide are active lifehackers, with a group of digitally savvy frontrunners who already treat knowledge in a very different way. It is time that South African CFOs also think about this. You need to ask yourself: how can I hack into my own life and make it easier?"

What can CFOs learn from you?
"I am involved with many, many innovation projects and I am connected with thousands of global movers and shakers. I provide very different insights to what people are used to. Together we can explore how to get things moving without paper and without money, for example. CFOs think in terms of money. That is how they have been schooled. But if you spend it, it is gone. Thanks to technology you can try things out without spending money. Use a playful approach to get things moving."

Can you give an example?
"Yes! I currently work with a large telecoms firm in Europe. They have given me 4000 sim cards, which I will distribute among 4000 special people - entrepreneurs and others who are getting things done and are shaking things up. They can use these sim cards for three years. It doesn't cost the company a lot and they get feedback and input from these movers and shakers in return. It is a different approach, doing business and innovating without using money."

What can South African CFOs take away from your Keynote speeches in February?
"With my knowledge and vision and I am able to explain what is going on in the world at the moment and why there won't be any banks or pension funds anymore in 15 years' time. Even the CFOs who already have 80 percent of that knowledge, will benefit because I have the skill to explain it and tie it all together in a simple way. Just like in The Netherlands and other places I have spoken, I want to confuse people, make them think and make them laugh. If they think 'if only 25 percent of what Martijn Aslander has told us is true, this is serious', then I am happy. If 5 percent of the CFOs leave the events with the idea that they need to uproot things and do them completely different, I have accomplished my goal."

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