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We start this blog series by inviting you to get to know us and our way of working – maybe we will just have a cup of coffee or tea together, or maybe it will lead to common endeavours. We – Irina, Natalie, Julia and Cristina – have come together to combine our already successful independent forces in a partnership on an equal footing.

Emeralds as gem stones stand for energy, vitality and new beginnings, just as much as for clarity and focus, and for a strong connection with our partners – exactly what our consulting approach is about. Integrity, transparency and sustainability are cen-tral to our beliefs. What that means is what you see on our website: we want to take you with us on our journey to developing a successful business. You can share our joy and resulting determination in our first teambuilding, as well as our hard work to arrive at a common understanding of how we work together, and how teamwork in general actually develops. We will build this website one step at a time – and will share the important ones with you as we take them. From this currently purposely rather blank space to a meaningful logo, from our list of services to a fully-fledged explanation of what we can do for you.

You may wonder why we are doing this – why yet another Brussels consultancy? And why in this way? The “why” is something very personal, so we asked each other this question:

Irina, you proposed the idea of the Emeralds and initiated the group. Why did you do so?

After years in the corporate world and some time to learn about different consultancy models as an independent public affairs advisor and business coach, I came to two conclusions:
First, you need partners to deliver the most interesting work – as you need to let yourself be challenged, you can create a lot more than what is possible for a single person in 24 hours per day, and it is simply a lot more fun to work with others.
Second, partnership on an equal footing is possible and so much more rewarding than hierarchical relationships if you take the time to talk to each other. I wanted a partnership with like-minded individuals. The partners I found so far are all women – to some extent by coincidence and for pragmatic reasons: we have all worked with each other in different contexts and know each other well, we are all successful in-dependent consultants already, and we share a common set of values that guide our work. This is how I always wanted to work, and how I believe the best results are achieved.

Natalie, you co-founded the Emeralds after a couple of long conversations with Irina last summer. Why did you get involved in the project, and what do you want it to become?

I first met Irina when we were both public affairs practitioners in Brussels. Over the years, we referred clients and business to each other, exchanged views on the mer-its of our various experiences, and expressed frustration at working in organisations that didn’t share our values. We wanted a more equitable way of working, where we could combine our skills, ideas and experience for the benefit of our clients and soci-ety. I particularly wanted to use my business and CSR knowledge to promote a more sustainable way of working, both for clients and their stakeholders. I think we’d reached a similar point in our careers where it made sense to join forces and we had the confidence to create something new and different. It’s been a pleasure to discov-er how we can work together as equals, combining our expertise and forming a group with other professionals who each bring their unique strengths and contribu-tion.

Julia, you bring a different perspective into the Emeralds, residing primarily in Berlin and with a focus of your work on building bridges between science and society. What is your reason for co-founding the Emeralds?

There is not one reason but a combination of many. First, despite now living in Berlin, I’ve spent the majority of my professional life in Brussels, mainly in an EU institution context. Brussels feels like home to me, and I’m therefore delighted to have found a way to bridge my two cities. Second, I’ve been working as an independent consultant for a number of years now and, while I hugely enjoyed the freedom it brings, I did miss the companionship of and exchange with like-minded people. This is what I found in Irina, Natalie and Cristina. Third, I am truly excited by the idea of creating something new and meaningful together, based on shared values, similar convictions and a true partnership.

Cristina, you bring marketing and communications flair, as well as a passion for EU projects. What intrigued you about the Emeralds, and why did you join?

I joined because I like new things and sharing success. The fact that we all come from different business sectors translates into interesting opportunities and variety. I particularly enjoy developing creative ideas with and for others. I felt I could add my marketing, communication and EU project expertise to the group – and that the Em-eralds could become sparring partners who accept to be challenged by my way of thinking and also love a good laugh.

We would be delighted if you stay tuned and watch this space – best by signing up for our newsletter. Let us make you curious about our journey, the projects to come and the emergence of the Emeralds.

And if you feel like dropping by – come see us at Rue Charles Martel 5, 1000 Brussels. That is also the way to experience why exactly we are calling ourselves the Emeralds…

Rue Charles Martel 5, 1000 Brussels

Irina       : +32(0)478.39.03.73
Cristina : +32(0)475.67.52.75
Natalie  : +32(0)474.42.74.38
Julia       : +49(0)176.66.18.07.66