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Yuen Yen

Last updated on Juni 17, 2021

We got into contact over a comment she made in a chat group on play in facilitation processes. I love playfulness in business contexts, so she had me instantly. When Yuen Yen then held two consecutive web jam sessions on play and gamification, I knew I had to get more involved. 

Yuen Yen was the one who enlarged the Wednesday Web Jam team by getting more people on board (and thereby strengthening the female touch to the formerly all boys group). We called ourselves the Social Mafias and were meant to be responsible for building up a social media and website concept. I am okay with conceptualising, but have long got past the stage where I find feeding social media channels exiting. So I kept nagging her about creating more roles, for example the WWJ coach. 

We exchanged our thoughts and feelings during a number of virtual Friday coffees. I have no idea how Yuen Yen managed to mobilise the energy she invested in looking after the entire crew while taming the boyz, i.e. the founding crew, at the same time. She would host the meetings, ensure time discipline, be a mother to the younger women on the team and have the larger pattern for developing the entire formate always in mind. I believe that, without Yuen Yen, the WWJ wouldn’t have grown into what it is today.

When I once drove my son and his belongings to Amsterdam, we spent a surprise visit to her home in den Haag. I had been joking about zoom bombing the WWJ session by visiting her, and it felt overwhelmingly strange to finally make physical contact to one of the team that had, up to that moment, met online only. I felt like a trespasser, invading another human’s space. We got to her house just when the WWJ session had come to an end, just in time to be part of the virtual birthday party right after the session. The incredible feeling of showing up in a single zoom window the two of us, both squeezing to the opposite side, trying to avoid being too close, as Covid-19 was still an issue. It was disturbing, overwhelming and heart warming all at once. 

Yuen Yen once told me: „You’re the gong lady. You’re like a chinese gong, whenever you talk, people will listen.“ She didn’t know the impact this had. I went home crying: too loud, too imposing, taking up space that is not for me. Before the beauty of what she had meant to say kicked in. I feel deeply honoured now, and it was an abyss to bridge. 

Taking up the frame: For me, Yuen Yen is the chinese dragon lady: wise, potent, deep & clear. Nobody to mess with, and true as gold. Thank you for your friendship Yuen Yen!

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