I owe it to Life to make the most of it.
To use the gifts and talents I was given to inspire people's thinking and feeling. 

My superpowers are storytelling and endless curiosity in the human condition


Discover what I can do for you


In 2010, during the press launch of a prestigious television series in which I played one of the leading roles,

I said to the director and the producer,

"This will be the last role I play."

I still remember the astonishment in their eyes. But for me, the decision was final.

I put my red carpet life on hold and decisively chose the entrepreneurial jungle.


I'm ianka

a high performer, multi-disciplinary and visionary artist and entrepreneur, also known as a Renaissance woman. Besides a successful career as an actress in television, films, and theater, I have created a business as an author, publisher, director, producer, public speaking expert, and mentor. I am a sought-after moderator for high-end conferences and a keynote speaker on personal branding, critical thinking, and storytelling. As an entrepreneur, I work on developing thought leadership and personal branding for experts.

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The expert² 

I possess a dual expertise in everything I do, without exaggeration. I understand both the front and back ends of every medium in the audiovisual industry. I often wonder how I've exercised all these skills professionally and nationally, especially considering we only have 24 hours in a day, and I have children to care for.

My publisher once told me, "You were in the front row when talents were being handed out." He predicted I would become a publisher myself. I laughed it off at the time, but three years later, it happened.

Being gifted, I delve deeply and broadly into my interests. I've lived by the 'lifelong learning' principle even before it became a popular concept online, making me chronically curious.

This led to a situation where people felt insecure when I listed my roles: actor-director, author-publisher, presenter-program creator, radio voice-producer, entrepreneur, and more. They thought I lacked focus or probably struggled to find good work.

To clear their confusion, I invented a single word encompassing everything I do – an umbrella term. For me, all my activities are interconnected.

The term I coined is 'story-architect'. While this word is becoming more common, it is not often used comprehensively as I intended it. I conceive, design, build, and execute. My stories are as solid as houses, and when I coach others, I ensure their foundations are equally strong.

You can now benefit from my knowledge and expertise at the Thought Leaders Academy.



Check my Wikipedia

Typical me

I never view failure as an end but rather as a dance move. It's about falling and getting back up. As a dancer, I focused on the movement that lifted me back up, allowing me to soar.

The actress


As an actor, I spent years delving into the psyche and language of countless characters from world literature and everyday life, gaining a wealth of understanding about people.

I am primarily known as an actress in theater and television. Theater has been my breeding ground, my sanctuary since I was nine. I have performed monologues and dared to tackle Shakespeare's alexandrines. Theater tours, with 100 domestic and international performances of the same story, were part of my routine.

In the world of television, I built a notable career with roles including the legendary Princess Prieeltje in the cult TV series "Kulderzipken". This series from 1994 has been rebroadcast for over 20 years. In the successful TV series "Flikken Gent," I played the lead role of Detective Emma Boon. This police series ran for ten years, attracting more than 1.2 million viewers weekly. In addition, I appeared in many other series and feature films.

Those who stand in front of the camera and on stage sometimes find themselves in the director's chair, and I was no exception. I directed colleagues in my own works and productions.


Check out my tv- and movie roles on IMDB
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Typical ianka

The phrase "Ask the right question, to get the right answer" strikes me as a fascinating puzzle because it can be both true and false. Regardless, I find asking questions extremely important. It keeps curiosity alive, encourages reflective thinking aloud, and promotes active listening. We should all engage in this practice more, guided by these intentions.

De vragensteller


Asking questions is, to me, what a ball is to a football player – indispensable. I've trained in interview techniques and participated in the esteemed Inquiry-Driven Leadership Program at MIT Sloan Management.

Journalists interviewed me countless times for various magazines and programs, which naturally led me to step into their shoes.

I developed a career as a presenter for radio and television. After passing the renowned voice test at VRT, I landed my own program on the classical radio station Klara. I was one of the founding presenters of the youth channel Ketnet, where we introduced a new style of presenting along with Sven Ornelis and Steven van Herreweghe. For Canvas, I interviewed renowned foreign artists and entertainers, and eventually, I hosted my own book show on KanaalZ.

In my book show, zBoek on Kanaal Z, I hosted authors of fiction and non-fiction books for three years. My penchant for asking questions has become unstoppable. As a moderator for online and offline events, a podcaster, consultant, and speaker mentor, I continue to ask questions, helping my clients to think aloud and take steps forward.

Book me as your event moderator

The author


As a child, my mother gave me two library cards because otherwise, I would return too quickly, having devoured the books. I was an avid reader who eventually decided to start writing. For three years, I had a weekly column in Flair and concluded this journey with a book published by Lannoo. As an author, I have several books in different genres, published by houses like Lannoo and De Eenhoorn. One of my works was even translated and released in Korea.

I was the first author in Flanders to release an interactive picture book for the iPad, coinciding with the device's launch in 2010. It remained at number one in the iTunes Store for two months.

In 2023, my ninth book was launched. "Own Your Story, Or Someone Else Will" is my first business book, published by Lannoo Campus. It has its own podcast and membership program. The book was nominated as Marketing Book Of The Year 2023 by BAM -Belgian Association of Marketing.  

Discover my books

Typical ianka

Some artists express their personal branding through their appearance. For instance, Steve Jobs is always remembered as the man in jeans and a black turtleneck. In my case, it's my long red hair. Whenever I wore a wig for a role, friends wouldn't recognize me on the street, and I would receive comments and requests through my social media to stay a redhead.

The literary entrepreneur


After writing books, my curiosity extended to the publishing aspect. This marked the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey with the launch of the literary project bureau iStoires. iStoires comprised a publishing house that adopted a digital-first approach and a project bureau that conceived literary concepts around literature and digital reading/writing.

iStoires developed a platform featuring short stories by various authors, aiming to bridge the gap to new readers and writers. This enabled discovering new authors, and many schools utilized the platform. iStoires also published specially written and designed short stories in unique designs.

For the city of Ostend, iStoires executed the 'Drijfhout' project, combining city marketing with literature about and by Ostend authors. This project ran successfully for two years.

This is me

I've stopped keeping track of the number of books I've read in my life, but there's one I'll never part with: 'Kapellekensbaan' by Louis Paul Boon. Within its pages is a line that changed my life.

Thought Leaders Academy


In 2016, I launched the Thought Leaders Academy, inspired by the advice of internationally renowned keynote speaker Peter Hinssen. I share my knowledge and experience with aspiring speakers and emerging thought leaders. I'm now a multi-six-figure entrepreneur on personality branding, covering all areas of public identity building for experts and leaders.