Who is Hassan Charaf?
“I was born and raised in Amsterdam and did a degree in finance, an unusual background for someone who works in innovation. Often these are people who’ve studied industrial design or innovation management. I just fell into it when I started working at KLM, right after I graduated. So, I didn’t go into the financial world at all. I wanted to work for a company that was close to my heart. KLM embodies the idea of discovering and traveling the world. It was during my traineeship at KLM that I first came into contact with innovation. I was given an assignment with the KLM mobile team, which is responsible for all mobile channels, like the KLM app. That’s where I first got a taste of what innovation is. We then set to work with a team to bring the customer experience to the next level. All the roles I subsequently took on had an element of innovation in them. That wasn’t intentional. Sometimes it had to do with KLM’s operations, sometimes it was about employees and passengers. At a certain point, this job came up as head of innovation at Schiphol, one of the largest airports in Europe. That, in combination with my passion for aviation, made me say ‘yes’ straight away.”
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