11 October System Change towards Circular Economy: Meet the Change Leaders!

11 October System Change towards Circular Economy: meet the Change Leaders

Starting in March 2018, Ashoka is introducing a nine month part-time for decision makers in the private and public sector, as well as social entrepreneurs, striving to shift the world to a Circular Economy. By empowering Change Leaders and supporting collaborative entrepreneurship, among leading organisations across different sectors, we will identify solutions and create impactful System Change to show that a Circular Economy is possible.

Next week, on October 11, Ashoka Netherlands and the Global Academy Foundation will host a pre-event to this Visionary program, during which we will explore how we might integrate system thinking in our work and how we as Change Leaders could join forces and what effective collabboration means. We are honoured to be joined by Marina Silva who will share her personal journey towards System Change, as well as our other speakers, and all our guests: each leading examples for system thinking and collaborative action.

Together with Spring House Amsterdam we will host this evening on sustainable and circular economy, and take the opportunity to celebrate the induction of newly elected Ashoka Fellow Aart van Veller! The evening will be hosted by Lynn Zebeda.

You can still sign up to join us on

Wednesday 11 October 2017
from 19:30 - 22:00
at Spring House Amsterdam
De Ruijterkade 128, 1011 AC 

Learn more about the speakers:


Twice already, 20 Million Brazilians have voted: Marina for President. Amidst its worst economic and political crisis in modern times, Brazil will choose a new leader in October 2018. The next president will be responsible to reverse economic recession and unemployment, integrate social, economic and environmental sustainability and most importantly restore credibility to the government at a time of massive corruption scandals and criminal investigations of over 100 top politicians. Marina Silva is widely recognized as an ethical politician. As a local and global activist, union leader, senator and minister of the environment she also proved that she is not only fully committed to sustainability, but also capable of creating concrete and systemic change.


As co-founder and driver of Vandebron, Aart van Veller shows that entrepreneurship can impact and change the economic system from within. Sustainability is not about less, but about different. Keeping the quality of life, tackling things just as much and getting more pleasure from everything you do.

Following a visit to the Arctic in spring 2007, led by experienced pole traveler Marc Cornelissen, Aart started his first sustainable venture at 22. This led to the fact that he ended up in 2010 for the first time, and as the youngest person, in the Trouw Top100 (List of 100 most influential sustainability leaders in The Netherlands). In 2011 he was named Young Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum (WEF) followed by a personal invitation in early 2012 to participate as the youngest Dutch in the annual WEF meeting in Davos.

At the moment Aart focuses on the growth of the new energy company Vandebron, which allows all households in the Netherlands to buy their energy directly from independent sustainable producers without the intervention of a traditional energy company. Vandebron is also called the Airbnb of energy and ensures that renewable energy becomes more cost-effective without paying more for the consumer.


Walter’s particular interview style is based on decades of coaching leaders and facilitating innovation and transformation processes that invite our personal and co-creative potential. Isabel Allende described it as a new generation of Bill Moyers’ and Joseph Campbell’s dialogs. Many others said they discovered new insights and perspectives and shared stories they never told before in public. Walter calls this process mindful transformation inquiry because by facilitating multifaceted experiential as well as cognitive understanding it changes not only what we know but who we are and what we do.


In his role as Circle Economy’s CEO, Harald brings extensive international experience running both for-profit and non-profit businesses with a focus on scaling impact. Before joining Circle Economy in 2017, Harald spent 5 years in Myanmar, during which he co-founded Impact Hub Myanmar, headed the market development for the world market leader of electromechanical hydropower projects in the country and co-founded Myanmar’s first pre-incubation programme for social enterprises. Prior to moving to Myanmar, he lived in New York where he worked as the Head of Office for the Assistant Secretary General and acted as the spokesperson for the Deputy Prime Minister of Finance in Austria. He has also spent time as a journalist and TV presenter for economic focused news. Harald enjoys connecting with people who are striving to make the world a better place for future generations. In his spare time, he loves exploring the great outdoors with his wife and kids.


Jamy is a serial social entrepreneur with extensive experience in Africa and Asia and the founder of Ashoka Netherlands (2013). Jamy is currently active for FASE (Financing agency for Social Entrepreneurship), a capital raising service and bridge-builder between social entrepreneurs with hybrid models and different financiers in the impact-spectrum. Next to that Jamy is currently chairperson to the International board of Young Africa and boardmember of Roots of Empathy Netherlands. She remains active for Ashoka in an advisory role.


Jan-Willem van den Beukel has initiated (in 2013) and currently leads PwC’s global circular economy practice, with sponsorship of PwC’s Global sustainability leader (leading 700 sustainability professionals). This initiative demonstrates his sustainability leadership and ability to inspire and build teams. He successfully finished 20+ sustainability engagements for listed, privately held and public clients, since he joined PwC in 2011. With 10 years of working experience, Jan-Willem is an experienced sustainability professional, keen on positioning sustainability as a driver for corporate strategic goals. Business model analysis is his hobby. He believes any organisation can adopt social enterprise principles. For two years, he was the coach of Social Impact Lab 2014 winner Ctalents. In collaboration with Wageningen University, he conducted research on he adoption of social enerprise principles among nature conversation orgnisations in the Netherlands.

As an effective team player, manager and coach, Jan-Willem strives to make a positive impact on society. The leading thread in his career is the pursuit for environmental sustainability, from a corporate, societal and political perspective.


“We live in a special time, a time of rapid change and unprecedented opportunities. And never before was the impact of humanity on the earth, so decisive for her well-being and her future.”

Noa is a a social entrepreneur and she get inspired daily by the possibilities of this era. Her entrepreneurial spirit grows when she encounters injustice, sees opportunities and, in particular if the problems seem to be so complex that we needs to solve them outside existing frameworks.

She is the founder of several initiatives. Last year Ashoka rewarded her with a fellowship, which was because of her efforts and results with Young in Prison. Noa founded the organisation Young in Prison in 2002 with the believe that the world needs to urgently rethink its definition of juvenile justice. Aware of the impact of detention on the youth, Young in Prison developed an alternative method that sees youth offenders as young people whose potential and creativity can serve as the means for them to get back into society. Noa has now successfully handed over the Young in Prison and is working on developing a new initiative: The Visionary program, which can help her with developing her grand ideas further.



A passionate social entrepreneur, Lynn Zebeda has worked with partners on five continents on reinventing the world. She is co-founder of Dr. Monk, a social innovation studio with headquarters in Amsterdam and Accra. Dr. Monk researches big international issues, designs ideas and produces impact. Lynn also holds various board membership positions in the world of sustainability and international cooperation. She has an academic background in International Political Economy and Development. Lynn finds herself surrounded by a growing international community of highly inspirational people, who give her the necessary vim and vigor to actualize the potential she sees all around.