A World which works for Everyone
SHORT AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RICHARD DEGENAAR
Founder, Visionary & Initiator of the Global Opportunities Network
My name is Richard Degenaar. I was born in the Netherlands in 1969. I graduated with credits as Civil Engineer. I worked for 1 year in supporting the development of the Erasmus bridge, also known as “The Swan” in Rotterdam. Then I started working as a software engineer. After that I founded and managed an IT company for 5 years. In 1999 I turned 30. This is what I would like to say about turning 30 and how the start of a new millennium impacted my life.
“In 1999 I turned 30 years old. I was enthusiastic. I had my own business, my own home, a lease car, a big television [flat screens were not yet there, smile], a girlfriend, a supportive family and some good friends. Despite all these nice “outer things” in my life I was missing a sense of belonging and true hapiness. Though daily I spent time with people, I still felt separated and alone. I mostly experienced a superficial quality of life. I kept wondering: “Is this all there is to life?” Deep inside I knew there must be more.
The year 2000 came. The start of a new millennium. Whenever I would watch the news or read the newspaper, it used to give me a lot of thoughts and feelings. I thought: “Why do we treat each other so bad in this world? There must be some other way we can relate to each other.” I felt dissatisfied. Then I thought: ‘What can I do about this?” This gave me many other thoughts like: “Who are you? Do you think you are someone who can create a better world? You cannot do so. You are not good enough. You will fail and what will people say?” All these thoughts led again to more feelings. Feelings of fear and feeling small and inadequate.
The year 2000 slowly approached its end. I discovered a small voice deep inside of me, which kept on saying, “What if you could play a role in bringing peace, love and harmony to the world. Would that be a life worth living?” At the ending of the year 2000, the voice had become too loud to ignore. Slowly I started sharing my ideas with my friends.
My foundation for a new world was based on my experience that when people feel connected to each other, they treat each other well. This always leads to an increase in workability. I saw technology in the form of global interactive events as a possible structure to realize that connection. People seeing and hearing each other while talking about our shared humanity should be able to connect peoples hearts. December 2000 I made, what turned out to be, the best decision ever. I decided to pursue my dream. I stopped my business and put my house up for sale.
In 2001 I started writing down a vision of how this future could unfold. I was writing for months and months in a row. In my experience this future started arising. Suddenly I realized that actually this project is not about changing the world. It is about giving people new experiences. Experiences they never ever had before. Like I was having, while writing. New experiences in the domain of love, unity, joy and fully expressing myself. When these experiences are present I am sure that people will think, communicate and act in new ways. I believe that this can lead to a world which works for everyone. The vision had now become more clear and forced all of my fears and insecurities to the background.
In July 2001 I sold my house and most belongings. I returned my car to the dealer. Like a proper western materialist, I could not yet let go of my big television, smile! It went to my parents. Finally I bought a one way ticket around the world. The project Global Opportunities was born. A decade long journey began.
August 2001. First stop New York. The start of 15 months of travelling. My first objective was to share my vision with the world. I wanted to know whether my vision was something that other people also wanted or that my vision was the evidence for my insanity! Smile.
After sharing the vision with more than 50.000 people from over a 100 different countries it all became clear. Every human being, regardless of country, culture or other different backgrounds, shares the same desire for love & unity and the desire to belong. We want to experience that our lives matter. We want to experience that we matter. I feel deeply blessed after having connected with these 50.000 people. The look in their eyes and their feedback, told me that this project, which is about connecting peoples hearts through recognition of our shared humanity, is something we all long for so much. This is what the project is about. Connecting peoples hearts as an access to solving local, regional, national and global issues.
The feedback from people was not only telling me that they shared the same desire, but also they thought the vision implemented as a global project could actually contribute to a new quality of life worldwide. Getting this positive and encouraging feedback of the people gave me the confidence to take it to the next level. Also in all my interactions with the people I met I now understood as an experience that every issue disappears in a moment of being profoundly related. This experience was a human experience. It was not related to which country, culture, religion or whatever different backgrounds we had. What I already had experienced as an individual in my writing in early 2001 was now confirmed by a global community. The vision I had went from a concept based on my personal experience to a vision deeply desired by the community at large. For the business minded people who are reading this I would like to address that this is a global market with a lot of potential. The product is “the Experience of Unity”. Smile. I truly believe it is the highest what people want in life.
Nourished by thousands of people, the project Global Opportunities came to life. For a complete picture of Global Opportunities please read our game plan.
In 2002 after visiting the US, New Zealand and Australia I came to India. With every country I had visited a global network of supporting people was growing. In India I met Yasmeen Iqbal, my wife, for the first time. Yasmeen is the founder of Ahaan Foundation. Ahaan sponsors the education of under-privileged children. Yasmeen took me to a slum where I met the 8-year-old Shabana. Shabana grabbed my hand and today, more than a decade later, I am still holding her hand. In this connection I have experienced the deep longing for love and security we all share. I realized a new environment was needed for the many young people in our world. A new element was added to Global Opportunities. The start of OneWorld Education.
From 2003 to 2005 in the Netherlands we have facilitated a pilot project where we ran an innovative, interactive awareness center (new school) with 20 children between 4 to 18 years old. Through the internet, using visual communication technology, the children in Holland were connected with children in India to bring awareness and opportunities to both sides. After this successful pilot project we are now preparing the launch of these awareness centers on a worldwide scale. First ones in Bangalore, India and San Fernando, Chile in the summer of 2015. Read more in http://www.gofoundation.info/CAC%20Game%20Plan.pdf
A lot of money is required to launch a new worldwide educational system. From 2005 to 2010, we spent time on developing an innovative funding system to bring value to all parties involved and the world. We wanted a sustainable system that brings quality of life for our clients and the disadvantaged children in our world. (ourselves included, smile!)
The result is the start of our business Rays Value Innovations. This initiative has launched October 12th 2011 and will provide the cash flow for the first awareness centers.
Together with worldwide friends we spent more than 1 million euro and initiated the groundwork in the last 12 years. After more than a decade of pilot projects, observation and reflection we have developed a Game Plan. [latest version can be downloaded from http://www.gofoundation.info ] The plan explains and gives an initial experience of the project.
For many years I have collected material to write a book to promote the project Global Opportunities. The first 100 pages are ready and a publisher has been found. We aim to publish in 1-2 years. Read a sample to understand more about the book by clicking the next link: http://www.gofoundation.info/GO%20The%20Book%20Web-Sample.pdf
Next step is the development of an interactive motion picture which in the making will include and connect people worldwide and in the release will create the next spark for a global transformation towards a world which works for everyone.More information about this can be found in the Game Plan.
In the year 2012 we are going public and will choose our partners.
Last thing I would like to say: “How do you tell someone that you believe in your heart and soul you have a solution for the problems the world is facing? How do you express yourself so you are taken seriously? “
“My name is Richard Degenaar. Ten years ago I sold my house to pursue a dream. A dream to make a difference in the world. As of today not only the pursuit is still on, we are closer than ever before, to bringing a new quality of life for many people in our world.
Is it the right life to live? I do not know. Is it a perfect life to live? Definitely not, smile! However, I do believe it is a life worth living.
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