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Marc is a healthy person in body and soul, positive, outspoken, and reflective. He loves the outdoors, he loves to move, he is caring and thoughtful and looks after all beings under his roof, like his adorable daughter, the cats or guests.

When I got to his house, I was provided with a solid, almost German-style lunch: dark grain bread with cheese and some home grown tomatoes – plus an excellent coffee. We sat at the family dinner table which has a wonderful view into the trees, where one could find raccoons, all kinds of birds, possums and even coyotes or a rare armadillo in close proximity. Marc and his wife Sharon bought this very extraordinary wooden house from a local builder who had built a house in Greenville according to a Frank Lloyd Wright design in the 1950s, then built another one for himself later. It takes up the famous architect’s principles of organic architecture: simplicity and repose, and the correlation of nature, topography and architecture. The house blends perfectly into the natural environment. It seems like a perfect setting for a family like Marc’s. And I admired the life hacks: a tennis ball on a cord to mark the final parking position of the car in the garage, or the silk stocking filled with corks to stop the wind from creeping in under the door. 

Marc is an empathetic engineer and one of the owners of the Design Thinkers Group US. Since they do so much more than just design thinking, they are thinking about re-branding, so they will be able to better express what they do. 

Like Ezequiel, Marc wants to make an impact and change things for good. So we talked a lot about the mutual influence of structure and flow, about trust as a binding element in non-structured organizations, about organizational principles in new work, and about collaboration and how it can flourish. 

From the time when he worked at GE, first as a product manager and later in marketing, Marc has a deep knowledge about how large organizations function. Even back then, he chose a user centered approach in his work, only without the vocabulary for it. His world took a new turn when he got to know Arne van Oosterom, who invited him to collaborate with an international bunch of people under the brand roof of the Design Thinkers – and no structure attached to it. Since then, he is obsessed with the role of trust in collaboration.  

Marc seems to be deeply woven into Greenville, where he lives. He told me about local history, follows the development of the up-and-coming little town, and he finds a lot of pleasure in sporting expeditions in the beautiful green environment. Sharon and he love biking, for example, and go on large excursions along a former rail trail. He took me on a long hike to Table Rock Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. We walked and talked and enjoyed physical exercise plus a spectacular wide view. Besides, Marc has a deep interest in society and sustainability: questions of mobility, political decision making and the coherence of the US American society matter to him.

„I am a Southern gentleman“, he mused once when I thought he was somehow always questioning whether he was being sexist, unfair or not politically correct. Yes, sure! Obviously, a gentleman does not always have to wear a suit, but I would assume him to be kind, attentive and reflective, as Marc. And then, there is the love for Southern barbecue….

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