Meet Ruben Loodts – Missing Children Europe’s supporter of this month!  

Ruben Loodts – the owner of Otherwhere, a Brussels-based collective of professional facilitators working towards a more sustainable and inclusive society. 

Ruben is a process facilitator, idea generator and methodology master. Through a warm and pragmatic approach, he disarms every situation, transforming insights and challenges into real opportunities. He and his team supported several Missing Children Europe’s Events, including Lost in Migration and Include Conferences.

Continue to read as Ruben shares his motivations and insights into working with Missing Children Europe.

When and why did you start supporting/working with MCE?

MCE and I started working together back in 2019, in the context of the third edition of Lost in Migration in Malta. I supported the team in making the conference agenda as participatory and engaging as possible. As a process facilitator, I always enjoy coming up with innovative methodologies that ensure a deeper level of conversation and connection among participants, inevitably leading to more impactful and relevant outcomes.

What project would you consider your most significant accomplishment to date?

One of the main recommendations of the 2019 Lost in Migration conference was a leading and central role for young newcomers in decision-making. In 2020 we suited the action to the word, and organised an all-virtual youth conference where 20 young newcomers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Gambia, Bangladesh and Venezuela came together to take the lead in the development of the next edition of Lost in Migration. Based on their needs, challenges and ideas, the young people organised local discussion hubs with other young newcomers, local policy makers and civil society activists. The outcomes of these local hubs were then brought to European decision makers and civil society representatives at the 2021 (online) edition of Lost in Migration. I could not be more proud of those young people. Seeing them deliver their messages in their very own words to European decision makers was extremely empowering. We might have enabled, but they truly carried the process from beginning to end!

What is the most challenging thing about being a facilitator?

Facilitating literally means making ‘actions or processes easier’. As a facilitator, you work with the complexity of a given context, aligning participants with diverging opinions in often very diverse groups. To me one of the main qualities of a good facilitator (and hence also one of the main challenges) is to hold space for all participants so they feel safe to open up and share their perspectives as authentically as possible. At Otherwhere, the Brussels-based social innovation agency I founded back in 2015, this radically human approach is something we feel very strongly about.

Can you describe our work in three words?

Ultimate relevance, empowerment, humanity.