Who is Muriel Frisque?

  • Coordinator of the VILCO research project, within Brulocalis
  • Lives and works in Brussels, 47 years old
  • Passionate about sustainable development and dialogue

Keyword

Muriel Frisque’s keyword? Together. Bringing different actors together to innovate and support innovation based on the diversity of points of view.

A job that is all about innovation

Muriel coordinates the co-creative project VILCO (Collaborative City) within Brulocalis, the association of the City and the Communes of Brussels. This research project works on the interaction between public authorities and collective citizens initiatives, with a focus on the ​resilience and sustainability of the Brussels-Capital Region.

"We have to think about how to link innovation to existing operating models, because the dialogue between the old and the new is important. My job is to see how new governance models can be integrated in the way local authorities are managed, now and in the future. The aim is to foster a smooth transition and to create the conditions for dialogue between current and future procedures."

Project in the spotlight

In Brussels, many citizens' initiatives are putting a lot efforts into shaping a better city. But they end up hitting a number of hurdles and find it difficult to develop. For their part, and for a long time, the Communes and the Region have developed environmental policies and supported citizens’ initiatives (Agenda 21 programs, Sustainable Neighbourhood Contracts, etc.). But authorities struggle to interact and collaborate with these engaged citizens.

"There are projects and concerns on both sides but too little dialogue. Better coordination would benefit many of these initiatives. VILCO is about citizen groups and municipalities thinking together about ways to improve their collaboration: how to strengthen synergies, ensure that projects are developed together by public authorities and citizens, reassure one another and invite everyone to move forward together. We are working towards a better mobilisation of resources, a real collaborative economy, and the development of new tools for the public-private double-act. This is made clear in the subtitle of our study: From governance to governance with citizens."

Brussels, City of Innovators

For Muriel, "more and more things are happening on the ground; innovation is present in Brussels but it is not necessarily that well known. Even if the idea of 'transition' is scary, we need to communicate more about innovation, and by that I mean anything that can improve our lives and the future of the planet."

What she likes about her job…

Muriel likes to work in a team, in a constructive atmosphere where dialogue is key. When it comes to the VILCO project, she particularly welcomes the chance to explore new ways of working.

Her career

After a degree in Political Science from ULB and a DES in Finance from Solvay Business School, Muriel worked for ten years in the private sector. She then completed a Master's degree in Environmental Science and Management at IGEAT-ULB and worked as an eco-advisor in a Brussels local administration for 5 years. After a few assignments as an independent consultant, she joined the Brulocalis association to coordinate the VILCO project.

3 tips for Brussels innovators

1) Do not feel discouraged by those less enthusiastic. On the contrary, hear their fears to better build your arguments, and listen with kindness.
2) Look for bridges between innovation and more traditional ways of operating, as both will probably have to coexist.
3) Forget the previous two tips and just go for it!

Figures

Involved in the VILCO research:

  • 4 citizens-led sustainable neighbourhoods: Coin du Balai, Logis-Floréal, QDC Saint-Job and Oxy 15
  • 2 groups focused on transition: Etterbeek in transition and 1000 BXL in transition
  • 3 Brussels communes (Etterbeek, Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort) and the City of Brussels
  • 1 regional administration: Brussels Environment
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