Urban Popup founder Marie-Claire Aarts has the ability to condense the complexity of the external environment into concrete strategic recommendations and solutions. An experienced research-based strategist with a broad international background and strong problem-solving skills.
She is a lateral thinker and skilled interviewer, transcending language and cultural barriers. A passion for geopolitics and a sound understanding of the legal context in which changes take place.
Marie-Claire is flexible and thriving in the unpredictability of emerging countries. She has lived in Asia for seven years. Africa is another area of focus, particularly China's role is Africa and its Belt and Road initiative which is greatly impacting life on the sub-Saharan continent.
She has won several innovation awards with LOFT2GO, a circular, plug & play construction system for empty office buildings that anticipated a previously unknown gap in yet to be implemented building regulations: Accenture Innovation Award (Perfect Cities), the CHANGE Award and 'City of the Future Challenge'.
"Changing markets and new lifestyles are my specialty. My work and passion reside at the intersection of analysis and creativity. After I got my law degree at the University of Utrecht, I spent the largest part of the 1990s in Asia, which turned out to be my formative years. I worked as a journalist and market entry strategist in Hong Kong, Saigon and Bangkok, where I can still be found regularly, although I enjoy spending time in Africa too. Particularly China's role in Africa is fascinating. Africa meets China in Belt and Road."