SingularityU Stories:
Maayke-Aimée Damen – GIC 2012 winner

Since 2012, the SingularityU community in the Netherlands has hosted numerous Global Impact Challenges in which the winner receives a scholarship for the Global Solutions Program in Silicon Valley. This summer we will connect with some of these alumni so they can share their life changing experiences. In this post Maayke-Aimée Damen will share her #SingularityUStories

Maayke-Aimee Damen

Maayke joined our Challenge in 2012 – the very first year it was being held – eventually becoming one of the winners with her idea to create a “Google for Materials”. Waste from one company can be input for another, which would be a great opportunity to reuse and recycle materials. Her idea eventually spun out into a company: Excess Materials Exchange. She was also named MIT Innovator under 35 in 2018 for this initiative.

Why did you compete during the Global Impact Challenge? 

A friend had heard about the challenge and told me a few hours before the deadline. I quickly checked it out, thought it was a great fit to take the idea that I had further (super originally called – Google for Materials – at the time haha) and signed up! 

What was your reaction after winning the GIC? 

After the initial shock that I had actually won I was SO stoked!  

What is your fondest memory or biggest highlight at the Global Solutions Program in the US? 

I have 10 weeks filled with amazing memories, one even brighter than the other. Thinking back, what comes to me most is the feeling of community. For the first time I was surrounded by 80 classmates + staff who had a similar drive, interests, motivation. It really felt like coming home.  

Looking back, how did the GSP affect you personally? And what did it do for your career? 

Now 10 years on I am still in touch with the people who were in my class. We created a very special band with the class and staff. We even met up several times over the years and I know this will continue to be so. We help each other whenever we can in our personal lives or career wise.

What’s next for you? What are you focusing on in the coming years?

My priority is to speed up the implementation of a circular economy. To enable the large-scale exchange of secondary materials.

SingularityU Chapter Amsterdam Maayke-Aimee Delmee

(SingularityU Amsterdam Team, with Maayke in the middle)

In 2016, Maayke became the co-ambassador of the SingularityU Amsterdam Community, hosting regular events and bringing that SingularityU community feeling back to the Netherlands. Now living in Geneva, Maayke is the Director Circular Economy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We’re proud to have Maayke as part of our community and wish her all the best in her endeavors to speed up the implementation of the Circular Economy!