A story tell - by Michiel Kroon van Diest


Do you love reading?  Books have fueled my imagination for as long as I can remember.  From an early age, I have marveled at the mind's ability to create a movie while reading stories (and I suppose I am not the only one !?) I have been fascinated by the power of the imagination ever since, not only in reading books but also in how wild it runs in dreams.

So, I was thrilled when I recently discovered a book by Jared Zeizel, called Lucid Dreams, because it ticked two of my "imagination" boxes-reading and dreaming! A lucid dream is one in which the dreamer is aware they are dreaming, and this book provided step-by-step guidance in such!

Following Zeizel's instructions, I began practicing  and was amazed when I soon started having lucid dreams. One night, I dreamt I was in a meeting with my colleagues. I was aware of myself in the dream and of my real-life waking role as Xcellerated's business development lead. In the dream, we were brainstorming about an out-of-the-box way to reach out to potential partners active in the field — a funny and cryptic way to get a message across.

When I woke up, I wrote down my dream with as much detail as I could remember, then planned a real-life brainstorming session with my team.

We at Xccelerated are a team of data scientists and data engineers who help our partners sustainably grow their organizations. We hire the next-generation authorities in their fields ( i.e., young professionals with 1-3 years of substantial field-related work experience ). We help them develop their skills and cultivate their careers through our 13-month advanced training program. Once completed, these young "Xccelerators" are ready to join our partner organization as internal members.

During the meeting, I impressed upon my colleagues the need to find an innovative way to communicate Xccelerated's purpose and mission to new, potential partners.

We've all heard, "data equals gold," I reminded them, and we all firmly believed it—if the right people treat the data. We had seen many instances at our current partners, such as Heineken, ING, KLM, and Vattennfal, where this was the case. Time and again, insights that originated in data— that had been treated by data science and engineering teams —had lead to significant financial rewards and competitive advantages.

During the brainstorming session,  I shared my lucid dream in this context. Working together, we came up with an out-of-the-box way to communicate our purpose, as the dream "foretold."


Inspired by the concept "data equals gold," we designed small bags stuffed with strings of binary code (data) and "gold" (painted rocks).  We sent the bags over to a small targeted group of potential partners, who received them with the following responses:

 "This is genius!"

"Great, let's get in touch!"

"Hi Michiel, I'm impressed."

"Haha! Super nice! Only I did not fully understand the message."

Of course, the responses made my day!

Sometimes dreams really do come true— or does reality come through in your dreams?  One thing is certain, it all starts in with your imagination. What would you dare to dream?



Samantha Alves Goncalves