Published on 02 January 2017

New year, new opportunities

Cobouw column by Hannie Dierx

With the Christmas tree still standing and the smell of the New Year’s Eve fireworks still in the air, it is already time to start a new working year. As I cycle to the office in The Hague, I think about the past week. It was, unsurprisingly, all about family and friends. I fondly recall the time spent in the kitchen preparing the enjoyable family dinners and the days spent playing with the children. I ponder the conversations about the highs and lows of the past year, and about the personal opportunities and challenges that await. And of course, I remember the inevitable jokes (good and bad) and the astonishment I experienced when I discovered that the last bottle of gin was empty. It’s such a shame that the week is over, and such a shame that the year offers so little opportunity to spend quality time with family friends. What’s this? Could it be that I am a little reluctant to return to work?

Having arrived at the office, I am soon surrounded by colleagues wishing me all the best for the new year. Before I know it, we are once again discussing plans, ideas and opportunities. It is 2 January and the engineers are already itching to make their contribution to society. They will help industry to devise and implement new, sustainable production methods which rely on local and regional cycles of raw materials, waste, water and energy. They will help to push forward the essential energy transition, identifying new sources, transport methods and energy-efficient building designs. They will work to resolve our regional, national and global mobility issues.

So many exciting challenges await, I can’t possibly be reluctant to get back to work. Things can’t happen soon enough for me – let’s get on with it! Or as a well-known Dutch football trainer once said, “If you see a player sprinting, he started out too late!”

Hannie Dierx
Manager Witteveen+Bos office The Hague

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