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Keynotes by The Forge

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"Sharing is caring", that is certainly true when it comes to knowledge sharing. The Forge has a mountain of information it would like to share with you. When we tell people that our keynotes are scientifically based, this sometimes scares them. But we pride ourselves on translating these 'hieroglyphics' into a clear presentation with a comedy sauce on top. The start of new insights guaranteed!

Meet our Founders & Speakers

An economist, a psychologist and a comedian met at a bar. It’s not just the start of a hilarious joke, but also the start of The Forge. Geert De Wael, economist by background and Michaël Van Damme, psychologist by trade, have known each other since 2001 from the world of comedy. Indeed. Both Geert and Michaël have an improv- and standup comedy background. When their brains got together during long drives, backstage talks and late nights at the bar… they forged The Forge.

Michaël Van Damme

As a child Michaël wanted to become a dad. He succeeded magnificently. However, when it comes to his academic achievements, he failed miserably, since he became a psychologist. According to Michaël's family psychology is not a real science and they were really disappointed. But nevertheless, Michaël chose to start a PhD at Ghent University to study group dynamics, decision making and innovation. He set up experiments in many different companies to test all kinds of hypotheses, but his main finding was that companies didn’t know anything about the vast amount of research that has been going on around the world on topics that are relevant for them. And that came up constantly during the many talks with Geert on long drives from and to comedy performances, in scruffy backstages or at dodgy bars. And that’s how Michaël became a dad once again. Not of another beautiful daughter or son, but of The Forge.

Geert De Wael

As a child, Geert aspired to become a successful cameraman in big blockbusters. He failed magnificently. He became an economist instead, not really his childhood dream.  After a brief flirt with the IT sector, he lost his heart to the media sector and there he took up management and executive positions at, among others, tvbrussel and Sanoma.  After the rise and fall of interesting adventures, Geert chose to go his own way together with Michaël. The mission was clear: how can we forge a well-founded team and organisational culture in a world that relies mainly on gut feeling? Who’d you gonna call? The Forge.

When Geert is not at work, and if it can be combined with the challenging diaries of his two sons, he sometimes dares to try some endurance sports.

Always a bad idea?

Team conflict

Team conflict is not necessarily destructive. Just as many other things, it all depends on the context. Check out the video to see what our founder, Michael Van Damme, says about the science behind team conflict (video is in Dutch, with subtitles in English)!

I'll bite

Interested? Contact us and we'll imerse you in the topic you're interested in!