When Bart Lizen watched Al Gore’s lauded documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ he was led to read more into the subject
And then spurred into concrete action. As a former product developer, Bart’s head is full of ideas. ‘What I loved was how that film took environmental commitment out of that ‘tree-hugger’ atmosphere”, he tells. ‘People like me, with serious goals and a plan to develop them, can join in too – it doesn’t have to be about compromising on comfort.”
After obtaining a postgraduate degree at the University of Antwerp on clean energy – with a thesis on mobility – Bart founded Bolides in 2012: his way to incorporate his skills with product development and a sustainable business model.
The knowledge that, in a standard car for 4-5 persons, 60% of trips are taken solo, led him to the idea of carsharing and how this concept can be made into an attractive alternative. ‘It had to become a service that I myself would like to use’, he states. ‘It has to be ‘sexy’ – not a dirty used car that you don’t feel like stepping into.’
He devised the app himself, an app that allows users to share premium cars that are freefloating. The app allows you to locate the car, unlock it and get it going. In Antwerp, Bolides quickly gained some early-adopter followers who loved the luxury and convenience. It’s no wonder, then, that Bart was an early adopter of another innovative Antwerp concept: Fosbury & Sons.
Like Fosbury & Sons, Bart is aiming to change work culture – company cars, anyone? – and make a difference through service.
‘Most co-working spaces are pretty small-scale’, notes Bart. ‘Maarten and Stijn have understood that they need to be a vibrant ecosystem.’
Bart enjoys working at Fosbury & Sons because of it’s flexibility and atmosphere – ‘you can sit somewhere quiet or somewhere social’, he says. ‘This suits me, as I prefer variety in my work and day.’
His favourite place to be in the Harmony offices is near the Veranda meeting room, ‘a space that feels like a lovely small living room with lots of daylight.’
Photography by Jeroen Leurs