Urban Popup is set up by Marie-Claire Aarts, an experienced research-based strategist with a broad international background and strong problem-solving skills. She has the ability to condense the complexity of the external environment into concrete strategic recommendations and solutions.
She is a lateral thinker with a passion for new technologies, such as blockchain and smart contracts, 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. Her capabilities are transcending language and cultural barriers. 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 a circular, plug & play construction system for empty office buildings. The digital system 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 strategy, technology and law.
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."