Anneliek Sijbrandij started her career in the law industry as a tax lawyer and then working for Deloitte for a large part of her career. While on a sabbatical in Verbier, Anneliek chose to do a career switch and move to her passion of the arts and founded the non-profit Verbier Art Summit in 2013. Since, Anneliek has become the president and treasurer of the Association. Anneliek was one of the first WorkZoku members at Zoku Amsterdam, being a member since 2017, and has become a much loved member of the Zoku community.
What path has your career taken?
I studied Law at the University of Groningen and joined Andersen Amsterdam as a tax lawyer in 2000. Seconded to London in 2002, I continued to work for professional services firm Deloitte for over 10 years. In 2012, I followed my passion for art and studied Modern & Contemporary Art and art world practice in London. Whilst on sabbatical in Verbier, Switzerland, in 2013, I founded the non-profit Verbier Art Summit, an annual think tank that functions as a catalyst for innovation and change through art, ‘the Davos of the art world’.
What brings you to Amsterdam?
In 2014, I moved back to the Netherlands with my family and we now live near Haarlem, by the sea. I like coming into Amsterdam for work and especially love to go to an international place like Zoku where I really feel at home.
What is your relationship with Zoku, and what are your thoughts?
Zoku shares the same values as our organization: high standards, trust whilst also full of inspiration and fun. Zoku is a certified B-Corporation, which fits our 2020 Summit theme “Resource Hungry”, at the last Summit we looked at “Doing less, better and for longer”. It is wonderful to meet like-minded people here at Zoku, and I truly believe this working place helps our team to remain energized and inspired.
What’s a life-changing song, film, event or book you’d like to recommend to others?
On my sabbatical in Verbier I read “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron, which definitely helped me when the plan for the Verbier Art Summit started to develop. After always being in touch with my analytical self, the book helped me to open up to my creative side, and I definitely like my new meaningful role so much more than my previous job!
What’s your current/newly discovered go-to product, service or app you would recommend to others?
I listen to podcasts quite a lot when I travel, and my recent discovery is “The Happiness Lab” with Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos, giving scientific research that changed the lives of thousands of students.
Which book/product have you gifted the most?
One of the books that impressed me most is “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” by Yuval Harari. His views on humanity really changed mine, and it strengthened my idea that after centuries of believing in politics and the economy, culture should become a more dominant factor in our global society.
What is one piece of advice or tip in your field of work that you want to give to people?
Art changes minds. At the Verbier Art Summit, we mix artists with innovative thinkers such as philosophers, writers and professors (depending on the theme), to generate new visions and initiatives. This year we had an ecological theme, and one of our institutional partners, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) showed how they now build their refugee camps with mud bricks instead of plastic tents. They were immediately advised by one of our speakers, the Swiss architect Philip Rahm, on the thickness of the bricks and how/where to place them, which was literally change in the making! So please watch our talks videos and get inspired by art yourself.