Valéri Natanelov from Belgium

1. What do you currently do?
Valéri: At the moment I am trying to finalize my PhD. In addition (in the same timeframe), I need to finish a “project” (online IT platform which incorporates a new way of e-learning; and will be the first socio-professional platform that is built around specific content). But one of the more interesting things is – learning through playing with my 2 nephews Elijah (2 years) and Nathan (8 months).

2. What was your favourite OCEANS event?
Without a doubt the AGM in NYC! For various reasons, but if I had to chose some to describe it would be the accomplishment of a great event which was truly fun, and had concrete added value both for me as most participants (from my perception) and in addition getting inspired myself by one of the workshops around Knowledge Brokering, which was the seed of my company – GrowAbric (

3. How do you spend your weekends?
Mhmm, that question really doesn’t have a concrete answer… it varies from working all weekend long, to doing completely nothing (although that proves difficult); hanging out with friends; or my gurus – Elijah and Nathan mentioned in the first question.

4. Tell me one thing that your colleagues would be surprised to hear about you.
Difficult question - (perception of other people’s perception). But if I had to guess, I would say it is my stubborn persistence to keep going to my daily yoga practice (thus far – 1 month and 1 week 6 days/week).

5. Tell me about a most memorable OCEANS member to be interviewed next time.
Without a doubt - Ben Gill. Can’t wait to read his answers to these questions…

6. What is your guilty pleasure?
Cigarettes and coffee (often combined). While I gave up the first one several times, the second one remains difficult to overcome…

7. What are you most passionate about?
Learning! – Processing knowledge, and trying to find ways to dissipate it as smoothly as possible. And cascading forth from that, my drive to prove that amazing things are possible with minimum resources.  

8. What is your greatest regret?
I had this same question on a job interview once… My answer then, and now is the same: I don’t regret much, as everything in life is a lesson and if I made mistakes, well even those were useful to learn from (I would even dare to say the most useful parts of my learning experience).

9. Which talent would you most like to have?
I always wanted to be able to play the piano like a virtuoso – it always seemed a very “natural” way to me to express one's feelings.

10. What is your current state of mind?
Something I just discussed with a friend a few hours ago…
I am walking a thin line between being – completely Zen & completely Stressed out. Or one could say I’m fluctuating between the two.

11. What is your most treasured possession?
In physical terms?! I would say my book collection.

12. Where would you want your dream home to be?
Well, I think as many OCEANERS I do not have the mindset of 1 dream home… I would love to have a place in several regions in the world. But to make it more concrete – I am fully committed to have (at least) 1 place / apartment in a big city and (at least) one place / house in a remote area.

13. Who are your favourite writers?
This one is easy – Khalil Gibran.

14. Your favourite musician?
I cannot answer this question, as I never associate musicians to the music they make… if it’s good music, the song and sound itselves become an entity on its own.

15. What is your mantra in life?
Stay calm – everything is OK, regardless what is happening in your head.