About us and important others
The story of Fredrik the Frisian, born -1970- in a small Frisian city - the North of the Netherlands.
On the countryside, I had a peaceful growing up with my brothers (twins) and parents. Always on the water, leisure sailing in the weekend, fishing with my dad, sailing competitions or as a mate on a charter ship.
Ships engineering was the education I finished in 1989, wanting to see the world before I would eventually become a fisherman – my family’s trade since the earliest church registrations. My brothers went to university and this made me curious where my intellectual ceiling was. After spending 2 years as an apprentice, my next step was therefore to follow a BSc In Maritime Engineering in Amsterdam.
I lived on a maritime student campus in the city centre from 1991 to 1994. A personal test revealed an “exceptionally good insight in organisational coherence” what I put into practise by becoming a student chairman. The success proved the test correct and since I liked it a lot, it brought the idea forward of making this my future line of work. Shifting course required other education, provided by an MBA programme. By now continuing the family trade was not an option any more.
To fund this, I worked as a maritime engineer on cruise ships while, in between contracts, backpacking the globe extensively, primarily on my own, prior to starting my MBA degree in 1997. My dissertation was written in the UK, followed by a 2-month immersion in the US culture living with my family, and finally starting my career ashore.
After joining a Japanese international company, I ended up in a large Dutch IT company in 2001, just before the burst of the internet bubble. Rather quickly was the opportunity offered to work with a reorganisation team, which continued for 7 years in various constellations, developing the organisation as project manager and reporting to top management. Parallel did I join a political party to understand how people’s democratic rights are represented by politics.
In 2005 did I suffer a major break down, scary because the reason was unclear. This put me on the path of discovering my (un)awareness, understanding how my emotional side is impacted/challenged by my environment in order to learn about myself.
The inability of politicians to represent my democratic rights due to a lack of power, exposed by the 2008 financial crises, and the equal dysfunctional hierarchies of large corporations caused me to contemplate emigration and change jobs. In 2012 I emigrated as a "democratic refugee" to Norway, where after a tough start, I met my current business partner.
In 2016 we started a company, confronting me in great depth with the Norwegian culture. Although the geographical proximity & the linguistic similarities, the differences with the Dutch Culture, could NOT be any bigger. My question: “But, how is that possible?”, put me on the quest to find out why, to question a culture. The result, the Culture Questioned method is available on this website.
With the current sequence of crises (plural) developing, disrupting the majority of securities we rely on, the information available for you could prove to be powerful and valuable in building a different future, by asking (the right) questions, according to Socrates …
Oslo Norway - March 2020
About important others
Tribute to the important others, without them these insights would not have happened.
There work was and is a source of knowledge leading to our own insights into culture, Our insights are available on this site and we hope they will contribute to your growth, insight and understanding of life.
“If you don’t accept it, question it. If you don’t question it, then you deserve it.”
Advisor, reviewer and source of creativity for this initiative & website
I owe a big thank you to Kristian! He really helped CQ (Culture Questioned) forward to what we can present to you today. With his extensive knowledge of the Greek language (being a native helps), culture and history. Kristian was an excellent partner being both critical and supportive about putting the ideas about culture and how to decipher it on (digital) paper.
At the end we finally concluded that people need to take notice of these insights, cause these insights can fundamentally change lives. It was mind blowing to realise that a change as small as making questions, can bring such an important change in our societies, making our future more stable. The Art of Making Questions is the fundamental tool in the quest of understanding culture and is exactly what inspired the name of this website.
Serial entrepreneur in photography and education
Chase was born in Seattle, USA. His father was a Police officer and his mother a biotech administrator. He attended the San Diego State University on a football scholarship, from where he graduated with BA in Philosophy. Few weeks before graduating, though, Chase's grandfather died and left all his photography equipment to his grandson. Chase eventually decided to go on a trip in Europe, where he discovered his passion for photography.
Chase is empirical and self-taught. He learned photography through experimenting & independent study. Through his life, he spent many years and thousands of dollars chasing everyone else's dream for what he was supposed to be. Therefore, it was only when he quitted this path that felt alive again.
What Chase wanted, was to become a photographer & an entrepreneur. Since opening his own studio, Chase has photographed for Volvo, Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung and many others. He is known for his kinetic style and emphasis on landscape, lifestyle & sports.
Chase has received endorsements from Polaroid & Nikon, while he is the youngest person to be named a Hasselblad Master & an ASMP Master. In 2008, his Kung Fu HD series received the first place in the Special Effects category at the International Photography Awards. He has also received honours from the Prix de la Photographie de Paris and the Advertising Photographers of America.
In 2010, Chase co-founded ‘Creative Live’: An online educational platform that offers classes across the Creative Industries. Since then, it has become the world's largest streaming educational company.
One year later he also created the ‘Chase Jarvis Live’. The purpose of these series was to broadcast interviews with professionals from the Creative Industries, like art directors, entrepreneurs & authors.
In 2012, Chase contributed to the New York Times story ‘Snow Fall’ which won a Pulitzer Prize. One year later he was reckoned as one of the world’s most influential photographers. One year later, he received an Emmy nomination for his documentary ‘Portrait of a City’.
Most lately, Chase partnered with Apple to create the Photo Lab - an initiative to bring photo technique classes in more than 500 Apple stores. He also published his signature book ‘Creative Calling’.
Official Website: https://www.chasejarvis.com/
Professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
A Question asked by Yali, a local politician, during a walk on a tropical island in New Guinee caused Jared Diamond to work for 25 years finding the answer. The question Yali asked was: "Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinee, but we black people had little cargo of our own?" (Prologue p. 14).
The answer is written in the book "Guns, Germs and Steel".
Jared is an American geographer, historian, anthropologist & author, born on September 10, 1937, in Boston (USA). Both of his parents were of Ashkenazi Jewish decent, who emigrated to the United States.
Jared began studying piano at the age of six. Years later, he attended the Roxbury Latin School and he eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology & history from Harvard College, as well as a PhD on the physiology and biophysics of membranes in the gall bladder from the University of Cambridge.
After graduation from Cambridge, Jared returned to Harvard as a Junior Fellow. In 1968, he became a professor of physiology at UCLA Medical School. While in his twenties he developed a second, parallel, career in ornithology and ecology, specializing in New Guinea and nearby islands.
Although his two careers, though, Jared is mostly known for authored several popular science books, in which he drawn topics from a variety of diverse fields, including anthropology, ecology, geography and evolutionary biology. His most popular books might include: The Third Chimpanzee (1991), Guns Germs and Steel (1997 - awarded a Pulitzer Prize), Collapse (2005), The World Until Yesterday (2012) and the Upheaval (2019).
Because of this academic diversity, Jared has been described as a polymath. In 2005, Jared was ranked ninth on a poll by Prospect and Foreign Policy of the world's top 100 public intellectuals. Among his many other awards are: the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Lewis Thomas Prize (honoring the Scientist as Poet) and the National Medal of Science. Most lately, the ‘Westfield State University’ granted him an honorary doctorate.
Nowadays, Diamond has developed a third career in environmental history. Therefore, he is a Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA).
Johnny is an Emmy-nominated video journalist of Vox, filmmaker & YouTuber. He is currently based in Washington DC, from where he reports on interesting stories from the US and abroad.
Johnny has spent his last years reporting and sharing these human-centered stories, through the Vox Video Series ‘Borders’. He has a passion for taking a step into overwhelming & complex matters. Therefore, his visual style of motion graphics is blended with cinematic videography, in order to distill these complex matters into a comprehensive, relatable & understandable message.
Johnny holds a BA in International Relations from the Brigham Young University & an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from the American University. Therefore, he believes that if someone wants to know a country’s deepest fears, he/she needs to look at its borders. Governments draw borders, but humans live inside them. Every border has a different story of origin and a different character. That’s why; borders can encourage, exchange or instigate violence. From the North Pole to the northern shore of Africa, these lines have played a decisive role in the past, present and future of billions.
Johnny spends a good portion of his time in meeting & listening to the people who live on these front lines of international relations, where the decisions made by governments play out on a human scale. He has never met an audience, whom he won’t try to explain vast macro concepts – including his two little boys (!!) who have spent hours listening to why the world works the way it does.
Most lately, Johnny co-founded ‘Bright Trip’. The first travelling education company worldwide. The idea about Bright Trip came, when three travelers who found themselves in a loss for resources, decided to tackle travelling in a relatable, visual and digestible way. Having travelled extensively, Johnny hopes to create a place that makes travelling tangible, accessible and of course – understandable.
MATT D’ AVELLA
a filmmaker, director, producer and YouTuber
Matt was born in the United States on December 15, 1987. He is a filmmaker, director, producer and YouTuber, who explores what it means to live a good life. First and foremost, though, Matt is a minimalist, who spends most of his days by creating films & videos.
He is best known for his production ‘Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things’. The documentary was released in 2014. It was trending on Netflix and it was finally featured in the Top 10 documentaries on iTunes. The bestselling author Joshua Fields Millburn & the ABC Correspondent Dan Harris were featured in this documentary. Matt has also directed the documentary ‘Design Disruptors’ in 2016 and has hosted a podcast called ‘The Ground Up Show’.
Matt currently lives in Los Angeles (California) with his long-term relationship Natalie Pidding.
Official Website: https://mattdavella.com/
a novelist, journalist, historian and sometimes a broadcaster
Michaels book "The edge of the world, how the North Sea made us who we are" gives an excellent insight how geography and nature shapes culture with many examples still visible today in countries around the North Sea.
Michael grew up in the English countryside and in true English fashion, he was sent abroad to grow up: to the Universita per Stranieri, in Perugia (Italy). He returned in the UK to study history at Oxford, where he won a bunch of prizes. Actually, he was about to become an academic, when he realized that writing was the only thing he knew how to do very well.
He first joined ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper in Edinburgh during the headiest days of Scottish nationalism and in 1971, he was hired by the ‘Sunday Times’ in London.
In ‘Sunday Times’ he worked as a financial reporter, an editor of an ‘Insight Investigative Unit’ and a writer for the paper's Spectrum feature pages. At the same time, he presented current affairs programs on TV in Scotland and wrote documentaries for the BBC and STV.
From 1980 and for twenty years, he commuted between New York & Europe as a political an American political columnist for ‘The Scotsman’, a New York cultural columnist for the ‘Daily Telegraph’ and pieces for the Esquire, Geo, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times and many more.
He has published ten books, but he is mostly known for his books ‘The Drowning Room’, ‘The Pieces from Berlin’ (both included at the ‘New York Times’ Notable Books of the Year), as well as ‘The Movie ‘Brats’. A book he wrote with Lynda Myles that was the first serious study of what the Scorsese generation did to Hollywood.
Michael now divides his time between London & rural Portugal, where he lives with his partner John Holm.
Sydney is an Australian/American sociopolitical commentator, vlogger, YouTuber and journalist. She was born in Melbourne (Australia) in 1990, but growing up with her American mother, “blessed” Sydney with her unique accent.
In 2016, Sydney graduated from the University of Melbourne with a degree in Criminology. The same year, she gained international attention for speaking out against a petition to remove the Facebook page ‘Hotties of Melbourne University’. Sydney was quoted by several outlets (including Business Insider and the Daily Mail) for her belief that the Facebook page was “flattering” rather than sexist. The same year, she opened her WordPress account under the name ‘Be Brave’. Her account features original poems about love and heartbreak.
Sydney carried on her studies at the University of Melbourne with a master’s in Journalism. It was when she noticed that there was an issue in the way media were operating. Sydney realized that something needs to change, after she observed the conservative commentators in the American media that exposed the differences they had from the Australian commentators. Eventually, Sydney started to publish her ideas publicly, to write independently and to create video content for the YouTube.
Sydney rose to fame due to her outspoken nature and her views on the issues of Gun Laws, Men’s Rights and Immigration. Sydney, though, was close to not posting the video about Gun Control that made her famous: ‘Why You Can’t Compare Australia and the U.S.’. A friend, however, encouraged her to post it. Soon afterwards, Sydney joined ‘Sky News Australia’ as a guest commentator.
Sydney acted by wisely using the freedom of speech & the freedom of press. Her main motivations are to uphold the traditional values, repair the holes of journalism and give the left a run for its money. In August 2018, Sydney organized the first ‘March for Men’ in Melbourne. Despite the controversy created, hundreds of supporters showed up for the event.
Official Website: https://sydneywatson.com/