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"What is Schaepman saying?" I hear you thinking. "He may not be the youngest, but 132? He’s not that old! "And that’s true of course, but not according to the Hunza system...


The Hunza tribe from Pakistan has a very nice thought: you are as old as your experience, knowledge and achievements. It means in practice that two men born in the same year can have a different age. The one may have reached more in his life, and is therefore older than the other. So you could say 'the older the better'!


That seems a perfect mentality for our labour market to me. Last week, on Friday, I was amazed while reading an article in the Telegraaf, in which three 50-plus people did their story. They had to go to great lengths to provide some income; one became freelancer and another went back to college. It all came down to the same: they’ve sended about 100 application letters, and they didn’t succeed. It’s crazy how we’re handling these ‘seniors’.


As Chief of Tribes I have looked into the old nomadic tribes and their labour market. The most important tasks are often given to the oldest tribal members. They determine where the tribe goes, they decide what's happening and they pass on their knowledge to the next generations. They are also called "the wise men". We call our 50-plus generation ‘senior, stubborn and expensive’.


The Hunza from Pakistan know better. With them, you can add all that experience, knowledge and performance just to your lifetime. And I don’t want to brag, but with my past experiences, the 13 Tribes locations in 2.5 years, and my age I think I'm in 132 years old...


And of course, at such a decent age, it helps if you love your job. I'm 132, still busy with my passion every day and I definitely go for a couple of extra hundred years! This afternoon we will open the Tribes Brussels European Quarter, and the Ambassador of Pakistan in Europe, Naghmana Hashmi, would like to congratulate me on being able to add some years to my age. I will ask her if she has an idea of how we can change the mindset of some employers in our labor market. There’s a lot to learn, no matter how long they’ve making the same mistakes. You're never too old to learn, even better, like the Hunza's: you're never too old!



. from Tribes on Vimeo.