Despite his emphasis on Eindhoven as a city of Technology, Design and Knowledge, he never forgot about the importance of people. “Humanized Technology” is what he called it. Hence his choice of being a “smart society” rather than just a smart city. And that’s why he never stopped convincing the citizens of Eindhoven that for every single foreign knowledge worker whom the city could attract, there was a new job for 6 to 10 Eindhovenaren.
Van Gijzel’s ambition has always been paired with his impatience. Nothing ever went fast enough, there was always something or someone who stopped progress, zo he felt. While it was sometimes difficult for the people around him, this enabled the city – both in the country and in the international spectrum – to keep moving forward. Recognition from The Hague, pretty much on the day of his departure also in a financial way, was a good example of this.
Since mid-September Van Gijzel adheres a fairly low profile. That’s good for his successor John Jorritsma, because he certainly is not giving him any unwanted advice (at least not publicly), but it is also a waste of all the energy that now just cannot find a way out. In recent months, Van Gijzel has thought hard about his future. Friend and foe alike find that quite long, considering his impatience and ambition. Perhaps Van Gijzel was just waiting for that one extra line on his resume: winner of the High Tech Peak Award in 2016. We’ll soon know what Van Gijzel’s next steps will look like.