Sometimes, you reach a crossroads in life where the decision you make can have far-reaching consequences. Remko Brilman made one of those crucial career decisions in 2001. Standing in a lift and full of doubt, he used a tried and true method to help him make a decision: he flipped a coin. When it came up heads, he chose tails. He chose to take a risk and left his steady job where he was in line for a promotion to a managerial position at the metalworkers trade association.

Inspired by earlier meetings with the remarkable, green entrepreneur Eckart Wintzen, Remko decided to do what he’s good at: create something from nothing. From his woodland villa, Eckart gave Remko a surge of inspiration with his unique way of thinking and his challenging take on entrepreneurship. He had developed a system for videoconferencing, which Remko has brought to fruition with what Videobutler is today.

Circumstances have brought social entrepreneurship and technology together. Where a problem presented itself, Remko saw a solution: 80% of videoconferences don’t start smoothly. His solution was to supply the technology with a ‘helper’ to ensure hassle-free communications. This ‘helper’ was given a suitable name: Videobutler. As personal assistants, a growing number of Videobutlers were able to effectively offer their services from home. What’s more, working from home came with a range of benefits: no travel time, less impact on the environment and flexible hours.

His idea to work with people who had physical disabilities was truly special. Often, this group wasn’t able to find work outside the home. Remko felt it was a shame to shut so much talent and passion out of our society. That’s why he expanded Videobutlers’ offices to include home locations: the very place where the employees have access to the best resources. Sustainability was not just a socially desirable answer for Remko but rather a deliberate choice that stemmed from the conviction that making a genuine social impact was important.

The unique value of Videobutler is proven every day. Through Videobutler, 20,000 virtual meetings are organised every year with devotion and passion. From Remko’s perspective, it’s the Videobutlers who are the heroes of the story; but if you ask the Videobutlers, they’re the ones who’ve been recognised and helped by Remko. Let’s just say, there are never enough heroes to offer each other support, in every aspect of our society.

If we look at things from a different perspective we’ll see that every limitation gives rise to opportunities. Working globally can be local and high-end technology can be guided by people. Remko says he would never have dreamed of this story before it became reality, but giving substance and meaning to a chance turn of events is a gift.

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