corporate speaking Tag

Greg Shapiro Premieres 'ClimateGoodNews' Show

Shapiro Premieres ‘ClimateGoodNews’ Show

Greg Shapiro Premieres His ‘ClimateGoodNews’ Show

12 October, 2023

The premiere was a success! ‘GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE: 60 Minutes of Climate Good News’ at De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam. The next show is 7 December in Haarlem:

Based on a True Story

My day job involves speaking and hosting at corporate events – increasingly for Dutch green startups and leaders in sustainability. Inspiring stuff, actually. So I thought: “why not make a show about it? With d**k jokes.”

So far I’ve got funny stories and inspiration to share about events for:

  • Boskalis Offshore Wind Energy
  • HZI Waste-to-Energy Power Plants
  • The European Sleeper Overnight Train (sustainable alternative to short-haul flights)
  • Kipster Sustainable Chicken Farm
  • Mosa Meat Lab-grown hamburger
  • NRC “How Green Are We” Survey
  • TU Delft Energy Transition event
  • TU Eindhoven Pitch Coaching for Green Startups
  • WUR Wageningen Food X – the food of the future
  • Koppert Agriculture – the Future of Farming

And I was even hired by a company called New Motion to standardize EV charging stations in Europe. But then I was fired – because apparently the startup had been bought out by Shell Oil, and Shell “wanted to move in a different direction.” (f**k those guys.)

Climate Feel-Good News?

And – to be clear – when I say #climategoodnews – I’m not talking about “Feelgood News,” which is largely bullshit.

In fact part of the show is about how to spot Fake Good News. For example:

  • Norway announces world’s largest floating offshore wind farm (which will power existing oil & gas extraction).
  • California unveils world’s largest EV fast-charging station (powered partially by diesel generators).
  • Indonesia introduces new biofuel for jet engines (based on palm oil).

The opening was part of the Nutty Anita’s Solo Nights, at De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam. And it was a nicely full house. Thanks to Amsterdam’s ‘Maestro of the underground’ Ken Parsons for producing. And thanks to Amsterdam’s Maeva Dolle for being the opening act. Her solo hour is well underway.

 

GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE: 60 Minutes of Climate Good News – Thurs 7 December @De Dakkas Haarlem

https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate-tickets-761757185247

FOR MORE GREG SHAPIRO GREEN-THEMED CORPORATE EVENTS:

Shapiro Hosts Sustainable Train Launch

Shapiro Hosts Kipster Event

Shapiro Hosts Kipster Event

18 sept., 2023
Hooray! I hosted another green event, this time for a sustainable chicken farm called Kipster. 
Kipster (not Kipsta) started with 2 Dutch chicken farms, creating the world’s first carbon neutral eggs. Now this Dutch business is expanding into the US, and to host their launch event, they called me: The American Netherlander. The event took place in North Manchester, Indiana (23 Aug). And Queen Maxima even taped a video message.

 

To prepare, I met with one of the founders Olivier Wegloop, who is a vegan and animal rights activist. Here he is in the blue shirt behind me (gawd it was hot in that tent…)


Olivier believes in the writings of animal rights activists like Temple Grandin, who said: “nature is cruel, but we don’t have to be. If we are raising animals to be eaten, at least we can treat them with some respect.“ (and then we got to interview Grandin… see below) Since chickens are traditionally forest animals, Kipster has created – not only a cage-free environment, but – a fun forest.

As you can see, they still lay plenty of eggs.

Another Kipster founder is Ruud Zanders, who explained the main reason their chickens are carbon neutral: they feed the chickens food waste.

Every year A) humanity grows enough food to feed 4 billion people – and then we give it to livestock, B) of all the food we produce, we waste about 33%. Kipster simply asks: “Why not feed the chickens food waste?” The motto of Kipster is “Crops should be about Food not Feed.” This ground-breaking strategy is actually thousands of years old. But …

KIPSTER’S REVOLUTIONARY TWIST

The revolutionary part of Kipster is: Roosters for Meat.

Since male chickens don’t lay eggs – and they’re considered too gamey to eat – the normal practice on chicken farms is to kill baby male chicks they day they hatch. (The waste product is hopefully repurposed into things like pet food.) But Kipster asks “what if we let the roosters grow to maturity (and then we eat them)? How gamey are they really?”

To end the event, Kipster served up the first-ever rooster meatballs. I met with Managing Director Sandra Vijn to try one. And I thought it the texture was perfect. The tray of ‘Boom Boom’ rooster balls was not finished at closing time, and I was afraid it might become food waste… but I suppose the rooster meat was fed to the hens. What better way to say ‘Death to the Patriarchy’ -?

Thanks to Olivier Wegloop for putting this event together. He was the one who arranged an interview with Dr Temple Grandin – via Livestream. Dr. Grandin is famously autistic, and she demanded to see all the questions in advance. Then – as soon as Olivier asked his first question – she just went on a rant about sustainable farming and animal behavior and didn’t stop. She’s a legend!


Thank you to Olivier & Sandra for inviting me. Thank you to the Dutch Consulate of Chicago for putting us in touch (years ago). And thank you to Markey’s Event Services who created the backbone for an extremely professional show – including full build and build-down in extreme heat. And they made it look easy.

For more about Kipster in English: 
https://www.kipster.farm/

More Green-themed events hosted by Greg Shapiro:
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/shapiro-hosts-sustainable-train-launch/

Greg’s new Green standup special GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate/

 

Shapiro at ‘4 More Years’ Event

Greg Shapiro Helps Celebrate ‘4 More Years’ of Castro Communicatie, May 2023

31 July, 2023

How do you celebrate your 4th anniversary as a Dutch political consultancy? With a political-themed party called “Four More Years!” Dutch communication and lobbying agency Castro Communicatie hired me to help them celebrate their fourth birthday, at The Loft in the A’dam Tower Amsterdam.

Shapiro '4 More Years' Event

Stefan de Bruijn, Greg Shapiro, Frits Huffnagel

I asked if “Four More Years” might seem too partisan for their clientele? But of course – in the upcoming 2024 US election – the term “Four More Years” could apply to two different candidates: Biden and Trump. So “Four More Years” it was! They wanted an event with all the hype and hollering of American campaign – but with a Dutch twist. Who better to help them than The American Netherlander?

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/castrocommunicatie_castro-four-more-years-activity-7064245462496665600-upym?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

 

Castro Communicatie’s American Roots

Castro Communicatie gets its name from the Castro district in San Francisco, the historic gay capital of the US. The two business partners (who also have male life partners) are Stefan de Bruijn and Frits Huffnagel. (aka S+F for SF: San Francisco). And they base their political consulting on the American model, so a connection to the USA seemed a perfect fit. (And then of course there’s Fidel Castro, who was famous for giving political speeches lasting for hours – which Frits and Stefan try to avoid.)

My job was to host the video presentations – and give a 20-minute keynote speech about the 4-year history of Castro Communicatie and the unique appeal of their Dutch-American style. In English, of course. Were there some older folks who didn’t like standing? Yes. Was there a MAGA hat or two? Yes. And was there one tired guy right up front? Also yes. Luckily, I’ve been trained to focus on people who are laughing, and that was most of them.

After my bit, Frits announced a new partnership with Castro Communicatie and event organizer New Balls Please. https://www.newballsplease.amsterdam/

They did a great job organizing this event – with real popcorn!
And I got to meet the DJ, who is also a former client and currently the mayor of Halderberge in Brabant: Bernd ROKS!

Congrats Castro Communicatie! We wish you a happy 4 more years.

Greg Shapiro Linkedin
https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-shapiro-b030392/

Greg Shapiro Corporate Events

Corporate Events

 

Shapiro Hosts Sustainable Train Launch

Shapiro Hosts Sustainable Train Launch

Shapiro Hosts Sustainable Train Launch

28 June, 2023

Looks like my Climate Good News series is paying off! Again I got the call to host an event with the theme of Sustainability: the launch of the new European Sleeper train from Brussels to Berlin.

photo credit: Alvin Williams JMT Mgmt & Events

Link: ‘Night Train Startup European Sleeper’

Background: Two Dutch entrepreneurs (and train nerds) created a startup company to offer more overnight train service throughout Europe. And – after years of crowd-funding and organizing – the day of the maiden voyage had arrived! While the two founders were focused on preparing the photo moment of the train departing… the event organizer told them they really should consider a professional host for the launch event.

I was told that the two founders were nervous and rather serious. So – as soon as I met them, I said “I hear you two are entrepreneurs… but I assume you’re primarily train nerds?” And I asked if I could take a selfie with them. Here’s what we got:

I could tell this was going to be fun.

The launch event was held in the Pullman Hotel. Hence, my intro wrote itself: “The Pullman Hotel refers, I assume, to George Mortimer Pullman – the inventor of the first railroad sleeping car. And where did George Pullman set up his business? Chicago, Illinois – which is where I’m from. …Hence, my entire life has been leading up to this moment!”

THE GOODNIGHT TRAIN

I had to ask a question of the two founders. “Everyone knows there’s a term for having sex on a plane: ‘The Mile-High Club.’ So why is there no term for having sex on a train?” And I was quickly corrected by founder Chris Engelsman, with a perfect deadpan delivery: “There is a term, actually. It’s called ‘The Mile-Long Club.’”

The event ended with the Belgian transport minister taking the stage and announcing the news: the Belgian parliament had voted to grant a subsidy to The European Sleeper and their Goodnight Train. Hey, I was already thrilled to hear that Belgium had a functioning government.

The train arrived on time and departed on time, with many happy first-time passengers.

And look at serious entrepreneur Chris Engelsman as the European Sleeper train arrives in the station.

 

The Goodnight Train is now running regularly from Brussels to Amsterdam to Berlin.
https://www.europeansleeper.eu/en
Next up, they plan to extend service to Prague. Soon, there will be a new service from Brussels to Barcelona. It’s like playing real-life game of Ticket to Ride!

Thanks to the excellent Alvin Williams at JMT Management for organizing a memorable event. Extra thanks for all the photos.

Read more about GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE: 60 Minutes of Climate Good News
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate/

Greg Shapiro Saves the Climate

GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE – 60 minutes of Climate Good News

7 December, 2023 in Haarlem
Click here for tix:
https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate-tickets-761757185247

In the Netherlands alone, there are solar-powered cars, wind-powered trains, garbage-powered trucks – and homes heated by cow poop (warning: contents are not vegan). Comedian Greg Shapiro shares an hour of uplifting environmental game-changers and asks “Why aren’t we ALL doing this?”

TALES FROM THE EXPERT

Shapiro’s day job is hosting events for Dutch green startups and leaders in sustainability. Greg has hosted events for: offshore wind, lab-grown meat, garbage-powered trucks, a sustainable chicken farm, the European Sleeper train, Extinction Rebellion – and even for Shell. Come hear the stories from the front lines – and behind the scenes.
And I was even hired by a company called New Motion to standardize EV charging stations in Europe. But then I was fired – because apparently the startup had been bought out by Shell Oil, and Shell “wanted to move in a different direction.” (f**k those guys.) I find it inspiring stuff, actually. So I thought: “why not make a show about it? With d**k jokes.”

“Yes 90% of climate news is bad. But if you ignore the 10% that’s good, you’ll go 100% crazy.” – Greg Shapiro

Preserve your mental health and come see GREG SHAPIRO SAVES THE CLIMATE.

Greg Shapiro (Boom Chicago, Comedy Central, ZDF) is best-known as the voice of the ‘Netherlands Second’ video. Meanwhile, he has written and performed 6 solo shows including Leaving Trumpland and How to Be Orange. As author, Greg has written books such as How to Be Dutch: the Quiz and his latest The American Netherlander: 25 Years of Expat Tales. He is a proud contributor to Boom Chicago Presents the 30 Most Important Years in Dutch History.

Greg Shapiro Saves the Climate Utrecht

photo: Inez de Goede


For more of Greg’s Solo Shows, see the ARCHIVE

https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-web-archive/

 

TICKET LINK 7 December:
https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/greg-shapiro-saves-the-climate-tickets-761757185247

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup 'Summit for Democracy'

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup


Greg Shapiro Summit Standup

21 April 2023

Was that me performing standup in a global livestream called Summit for Democracy? Yes, it was. introducing a new category of performing: Greg Shapiro Summit Standup.

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup, performing for Summit for Democracy

I got a call from a friend who works at the Dutch foreign ministry. Was I aware of this ‘Summit for Democracy’ thing? It’s an initiative of the Biden White House, to push back against authoritarianism worldwide. There are various themes hosted by different countries, and the Netherlands gets to host the Freedom of Speech.

Would I be willing to perform three minutes of standup for this Summit for Democracy livestream? I said yes. “But,” he said, “the livestream might not be live in America, because they might want to censor some of the content. In fact, you want want to make a joke about that…” Oh, believe me I did.

I said: “I was told that this Freedom of Speech livestream was originally NOT going to be live in the United States, because they might want to censor some of the content. …Censoring the content? About the Freedom of Speech? Ah, America! We’re almost 250 years old, and still trying to grasp the basic concept of irony.”

Greg Shapiro Summit Standup comedy at Summit for Democracy

“Censoring content is very hot in America right now. On the Far-Right, you’ve got people banning books because they talk about homosexuality, or they suggest that slavery might have been racist. And then on the Far-Left they’re censoring books because they use the N-word, or they’re written by Roald Dahl. Oddly, banning books is one thing that could unite the Far-Left and Far-Right in America. And then we will have truly learned the meaning of the word IRONY.”

You can watch the 3-minute monologue here, BUT please note the students sitting behind me were apparently instructed: YOU WILL BE ON CAMERA! DO NOT LAUGH! 

 

THE SUMMIT FOR DEMOCRACY LIVESTREAM

The entire Livestream is worth a watch. Did you know how many initiatives are already in place to push back against anti-democracy disinformation? Samantha Power (USAID) explains. The Dutch Foreign Minister talks about ‘PersVeilig’ to protect journalists from harm. And Amanda Bennett talks about how Voice of America & Radio Free Europe are a vital source of news, even in Iran.
Here’s a teaser for the livestream (I’m in it briefly):

 

+ You can watch the whole live stream here:

 

CLICK HERE for more about Summit for Democracy events.

https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-foreign-affairs/activiteiten/summit-for-democracy

 

ALSO – GREG SHAPIRO’S POLITICAL COMEDY SHOW ‘PEP & GREG SAVE AMERICA’ AT BOOM CHICAGO:

Review: ‘Pep & Greg Save America’

Greg Shapiro in 'Conference Matters'

Greg Shapiro in ‘Conference Matters’

Greg Shapiro in ‘Conference Matters’ Magazine

Finally, a magazine dedicated to Sharing Best Practice in the (Corporate) Events Sector! Conference Matters Magazine. I was happy to be interviewed for Conference Matters, and Jeroen Mirck’s questions were so good I love him now. Here’s a preview of the interview. Please do click the link and subscribe to the magazine, if you care about quality events.
https://conferencematters.nl/en/greg-shapiro-humor-can-be-the-safest-option-for-serious-events/

STAND-UP COMEDIAN GREG SHAPIRO: ‘EVEN FOR SERIOUS EVENTS, HUMOR CAN BE THE SAFEST OPTION’
CONFERENCE MATTERS MAGAZINE, 18-11-2022

By Jeroen Mirck

Greg Shapiro is a Dutch American comedian who gathered world fame with his vocal impersonation of Donald Trump in the viral ‘Netherlands Second’ video. He started his career as a member of the comedy group Boom Chicago and became a popular speaker at business events. “Humor is the safest option at a serious business event.”

Greg Shapiro was seven years old when he saw the first season of Saturday Night Live. “That’s when I knew I wanted to be a comedian. And I found out that John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray all started their careers at this one theater called The Second City. And it was in my hometown, Chicago! ‘The Second City,’ as in ‘New York first, Chicago second.’ …It was indeed my destiny.”

Did the viral video of your Trump impersonation in the Dutch tv show of Arjen Lubach change your life?

“Totally changed my life, bigly. Hyuge! Hahaha. I don’t know if the ‘Netherlands Second’ video changed my life, but I did enjoy hearing that it was used by the Dutch foreign ministry for trade missions! Personally, I used my Trump impression for a whole standup show – as well as for conferences like The Next Web. We interrupted the show with screens saying ‘Donald Trump Live by Phone’ and had me doing a voiceover from offstage. Then Trump would improvise his reaction to how the conference was going so far. It’s a formula we used many times since!”

 

When is humor a good recipe for a serious business event?

“Humor is always good. Even during a serious business event, humor can actually be the safest option. I recently hosted an event where the CEO wanted me to create an informal atmosphere – a ‘safe space’ for the audience to feel comfortable asking the difficult questions. And sure enough, someone asked about accusations of ‘greenwashing.’ The CEO gave a serious answer and admitted that in the past few years the accusations were partly true. And that’s why they’d appointed their first-ever Chief Sustainability Officer. Once he was done, I turned the humor back up to 100% by saying that if anyone complains about Dutch companies not being green enough, remind them that Shell Oil is now located in the UK.”

What is your expert advice for hosts and speakers who want to be funny?

“Good news! You don’t have to do anything – just be yourself. As we say in improv comedy, ‘Truth is funnier than fiction.’ All you need is a good co-host to help you be yourself. You need a good wing man!”

Greg Shapiro in in ‘Conference Matters’
https://conferencematters.nl/en/greg-shapiro-humor-can-be-the-safest-option-for-serious-events/
——-

Click here for Greg Shapiro on being a Cheerleader for the Netherlands, in Speakers Academy Magazine
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-netherlands-cheerleader/

Event Organizer for Christmas

Event Organizer for Christmas

Hire an Event Organizer for Christmas – by Greg Shapiro
16 December, 2022

Dear Corporate Event Planners, IT’S NOT TOO LATE to HIRE AN EVENT ORGANIZER. 

There’s a noticeable trend I’ve observed this year: some of the wealthiest companies in the country are making rookie mistakes at their events. 

The good news: Hooray! The Covid lockdown is officially behind us, and we can have Christmas / Year-End events again.
The bad news: No one remembers how to organize events anymore! Remember Marloes / Marlies / Marjolein? The one who USED to know who to call to organize all the events? She left during the Great Reset, didn’t she? And you didn’t replace her yet, did you?

The FIRST thing she would do is: HIRE AN EVENT ORGANIZER. But too often I’ve seen this logic this year: “I’ll organize it myself. How hard can it be?” And now you’re finding out the hard way: HOW HARD IT CAN BE.

STEP 1: THE FOOD.

Recently, I was at an event where I heard:
“We wanted a Christmas party where everyone is invited. Even the kitchen staff!”
Who’s going to serve the food?
“We’ll just use the kitchen staff – they’ll already be there.”
And yes, the food was served – but no one cleared the plates. The half-eaten food just stacked up on the tables, like at a fraternity party. “Merry Christmas!”

STEP 2: THE TECH TEAM.

“I’m sure the location will provide their own technician-?” Yes, and – they know how to set up the gear …but they don’t always know how to run it. I was at a major B2B event, where they’d hired an A-lister TV personality to play host for a crowd of 700. They’d even put up video screens to beam the host to the tables at the back – but they forgot to turn them on. The result: half the crowd couldn’t see, and they talked through the whole show. “We paid enough for the TV star – why should we also pay for extra technicians?”

STEP 3: THE ENTERTAINMENT.

“We’ll get the DJ we hired last time. And we’ll hire that comedian I know from the gym!”
Result: The comedian is expected to perform in front of the DJ set-up. Aka: Amateur hour.
Or – yes they thought of a stage, but no they didn’t think of lighting. Or background.
“And who needs to hire an MC? I’ll just do it myself.”
Last time, our host introduced the first comedian DURING the first course of the meal. Making sure everyone was eating and chatting instead of listening. The result was this:

Event Organizer for Christmas
It was something like a horror show.

HIRE AN EVENT ORGANIZER for Christmas.

Here is a list of event organizers I like to work with. CALL THEM!
And hire back Marloes / Marlies / Marjolein as soon as possible.
——
Aaaaha! Livecommunicatie
Evented
Evers Evenementen
LEF Marketing & Events
Moderating EU
Obsession Evenementen
PINO Evenementen
WOP Events

Anyone I’m forgetting? I’m making my list and checking it twice…

Search Linkedin: “Evenementen” “Event Organizer”
https://www.linkedin.com

More blog posts about corporate events:
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/dutch-direct-vs-the-elephant-in-the-room/

 

Greg Shapiro Netherlands Cheerleader

Greg Shapiro ‘NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER’

Greg Shapiro ‘NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER’ – Speakers Academy Magazine, 2022-23
by Jacques Geluk

Greg Shapiro is world-famous, ever since he perfectly imitated Donald Trump’s voice in Arjen Lubach’s ‘Netherlands Second’ video. (It’s since been viewed almost 30 million times). Shapiro is already known in the Netherlands for his work with Boom Chicago comedy theater, and previously as host and writer of Comedy Central News. Now, he is also an author and vlogger, and he frequently focuses on the Netherlands and Dutch innovations – a self-proclaimed ‘cheerleader for the Netherlands.’

Shapiro moved to the Netherlands in 1994 and is married to a Dutch woman. “Came for work, stayed for love.” By now he has lived here more than half his life, hence he knows both American and Dutch culture quite well. He often gives a ‘Masterclass’ in Dutch culture called ‘Culture Shock Therapy,’ or additionally ‘How to Be Dutch: the Quiz.’

Given Shapiro’s unique Dutch-American status, he is a popular bilingual speaker at major events. He is known for hosting or performing for NATO, for the president of France, and for King Willem Alexander. “I’ve lived here long enough to be proud of the Netherlands, but I’m still American enough to not care how loud I am about it,” says Greg in his native language. “I am frequently asked by Dutch or multinational companies for business events, often to talk about culture shock. I confront the stereotypes like sex, drugs – and Dutch cheapness. Then I go into more detail, realizing that it’s actually better here than I was used to in America. As ‘The American Netherlander’ [which is also the title of his last book from 2020], I am already a fan of Dutch inventions, innovations, water management. I’ve become a kind of cheerleader.”

 

Business card

Shapiro finds it interesting that the ‘Netherlands Second’ video has been used by Prince Constantijn and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency during trade missions – as a kind of business card. “And as far as water management is concerned, yes there’s the Afsluitdijk – a marvel of water engineering. And there’s the Deltaworks in Zeeland – but also the New Orleans Deltaworks, built with the help of Dutch engineers at Royal Haskoning. It’s like the old commercials from Centrale Beheer: ‘Have a problem? Better call the Netherlands.’ Hurricane Katrina? Better call the Netherlands. Containership stuck in the Suez Canal? Better call the Netherlands (Boslkalis).”

“So many examples to mention! And not only foreigners are surprised to learn these companies are Dutch – it’s Dutch people too. Dutch folks are not giving themselves enough credit. That’s where I come in. And I’m collecting new examples all the time – for the shows and projects I do for clients like TU Delft, for Mosa Meat (lab-grown ‘cultivated’ meat) and for Wageningen University & Research.”

Event Host of the day

As an ‘improv comedian’, Greg Shapiro is also the almost ideal event host of the day. He puts guests, audience and organizations at ease with a lot of humor and always without being rude. If something goes wrong with the sound, a speaker who is not comfortable, the timing or the connection during a webinar… he improvises immediately, thanks to his many years of theater experience. “The unexpected actually makes it all a bit more lively and interesting for everyone.”

Greg Shapiro Netherlands Cheerleader 

Greg Shapiro NETHERLANDS CHEERLEADER – in het nederlands

‘Een Cheerleader voor Nederland’

Hij is wereldberoemd sinds hij de stem van Donald Trump perfect heeft geïmiteerd in Arjen Lubachs ‘Netherlands Second’ video (inmiddels bijna 30 miljoen keer bekeken). Greg Shapiro is al bekend via Boom Chicago theater en als gastheer en schrijver van Comedy Central News. Nu is hij ook auteur en vlogger, met als onderwerp Nederland en Nederlandse innovaties. Hij is een zelfbenoemd ‘cheerleader van Nederland.’

Greg Shapiro woont sinds 1994 in Nederland en is getrouwd met een Nederlandse. Doordat hij nu al meer dan de helft van zijn leven hier woont kent hij zowel de Amerikaanse als de Nederlandse cultuur heel goed en kan hij ze naast elkaar leggen. Vaak geeft hij een ‘Masterclass’ in Nederlandse cultuur die heet ‘Culture Shock Therapy,’ of zelfs ‘How to Be Dutch: the Quiz.’

Mede daardoor is hij een gewilde tweetalige spreker op grote evenementen, voor zelfs de president van Frankrijk, de NAVO, en voor Koning Willem Alexander. “I’ve lived here long enough to be proud of the Netherlands, but I’m still American enough to not care how loud I am about it”, zegt Greg in zijn eerste moedertaal.

“Ik word meestal gevraagd door multinationale bedrijven voor grote B2B evenementen. Vaak praat ik over cultuurschok, de stereotypes met thema’s als seks, drugs – en de Nederlandse bescheidenheid. Daarna ga ik er dieper op in, beseffend dat het hier eigenlijk beter is dan ik gewend was in Amerika. Eigenlijk ben ik als ‘The American Netherlander’ (wat ook de titel is van mijn laatste boek uit 2020) al fan van Nederlandse uitvindingen, innovaties, watermanagement en andere technieken. Ik ben een soort cheerleader geworden.”

Visitekaartje

Hij vindt het interessant dat de ‘Netherlands Second’- video is gebruikt door prins Constantijn en het Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency tijdens handelsmissies als een soort visitekaartje. “Wat het watermanagement betreft benoem ik net als in de video de Afsluitdijk, een wonder van waterengineering, en maak ik de connectie met de deltawerken, en met de New Orleans deltawerken gebouwd met hulp van Nederlanders. Even Nederland bellen. Ik heb zo veel leuke voorbeelden te noemen! Vaak zijn buitenlanders verbaasd te horen dat de uitvoerende bedrijven Nederlands zijn. Maar vaak zijn ook Nederlanders zelf verbaasd! Dat verwerk ik allemaal in mijn lezingen, voor TU Delft, voor Mosa Meat (kweekvlees) en ook voor een project met Wageningen Universiteit & Research.”
Greg introduceert ook zijn vernieuwde YouTube-kanaal, Climate News Comedy, met nog meer voorbeelden uit Nederland.

 

Dagvoorzitter

Als ‘improv comedian’ is Greg Shapiro bovendien de welhaast ideale dagvoorzitter. Hij stelt gasten, publiek en organisaties op hun gemak met veel humor en altijd zonder grof te zijn. Als iets misgaat met het geluid, een spreker die zich niet comfortabel voelt, de timing of de verbinding tijdens een webinar… improviseert hij onmiddellijk, Geen probleem dankzij zijn langjarige theaterervaring. “Het onverwachte maakt het eigenlijk allemaal nog wat levendiger en interessanter voor iedereen.”

door Jacques Geluk, juli 2022

 

GREG SHAPIRO’S VLOG: ‘WHY THE DUTCH DIG DIGGING’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YILSxeIhWwg

GREG SHAPIRO CORPORATE EVENTS
https://gregshapiro.nl/greg-shapiro-corporate-events/

 

Greg Shapiro Dutch Direct

Dutch Direct vs the Elephant in the Room

Greg Shapiro: ‘Dutch Direct vs the Elephant in the Room’
11 October, 2022

 

As ‘Dutch direct’ as you think may be, it still helps to have an American by your side. Dutch culture prides itself on being ‘Dutch direct,’ which is an indirect way of saying ‘rude.’ Sometimes I get hired by Dutch companies to host their events, to help ‘bridge the cultural gap’ between the older Dutch management and their mostly younger, more international staff. Practically, that means I get to share the stage with them and demonstrate how to not get upset when they say ‘Dutch direct’ things like “I wouldn’t have chosen that outfit” or “Ha ha – that joke didn’t work.”

Lesson Number One: start off by removing the tie.

To show how well integrated I am, I will sometimes respond to Dutch directness by teasing Dutch people right back. It makes the boss more human! There was one Dutch CEO who had a real ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ attitude. He liked to answer questions by saying “Okay, look…” But he was speaking English as a second language. So frequently – instead of saying look – he would use the Dutch word kijk. Luckily, he didn’t pronounce it the ethnic slur way. He said it more like “cake.” So I pointed out that – if he was going to start off every point talking about cake, there had better be some cake by the end of the day. (There was.)

DUTCH DIRECT + Yank Joke

For another event – for another ‘Dutch direct’ CEO – there was an elephant in the room. That’s partly why they’d hired me: to help keep the day loose and informal, so the audience would feel confident enough to ask the difficult questions. And the employees did ask difficult enough questions, about sustainability,  about equal pay, about fair hiring… But then came a question about accusations of fake sustainability claims, ie ‘greenwashing.’ The elephant had arrived! 

The CEO explained that he took the greenwashing accusations very seriously. He admitted that just a couple years ago those accusations would have been partly true. I said “I was here a couple years ago, and I can confirm! The last time I hosted for you guys, you had one HR manager saying ‘sustainability would be a good idea,’ and now she’s on the board as the first ever Chief Sustainability Officer. …And if anyone still comes with complaints that Dutch companies aren’t green enough, remind them that Shell Oil is now located in the UK.”

For more on Greg corporate events: 
https://gregshapiro.nl/blog/greg-shapiro-hosts-citizenm-tv-season-2/