We’re honoured to welcome Robert-Jan van Ogtrop, founder of the successful Amsterdam-based social enterprise Circle Economy and the Foundation for Natural Leadership, as well as the chairman of the TBL Mirror Fund and the African Parks Network, as our first keynote speaker at the Nudge Global Impact Challenge 2018. Since our theme this year is about the circular economy, we invited Robert-Jan to speak as he is a world-leading expert in this field. Beyond expertise, his passion for the subject speaks for itself: for the past 10 years, his mission has been to start a movement that will bring about the practical and scalable implementation of the circular economy.
Robert-Jan also has a deep understanding of the business world, given that he once worked his way up the corporate ladder to become a global CEO. His ambitions took an entirely new direction after a life-changing experience in the African bush during a sabbatical, where he felt a oneness with nature and saw this as a wake-up call about sustainability that led him to circularity.
We are certain that budding young leaders who will take part in this year’s Challenge will learn some key lessons about sustainable business and the circular economy from this driven and inspiring leader. In his own words: “We do not really have any choice. We cannot continue to go ahead, exploiting the natural resources of our planet as if they were infinite nor using a linear growth model that produces enormous amounts of waste which inevitably will destroy our quality of life. It is time to use our collective intelligence to redesign our way of working with nature as inspiration since it is, in itself, a perfect ‘circle economy’.”