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FEB for BusinessOnderdeel van Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

FEB for Business

Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde
FEB for Business

Leading in Europe: FEB alumni and politicians share their views

02 March 2017
Han ten Broeke (l) and Volkert Engelsman (r)

Groningen, 2 March 2017 - In cooperation with prof. dr. Harry Garretsen and prof. dr. Janka Stoker from In The Lead centre of expertise, the Master Community International Economics & Business of the University of Groningen organised an event this week where t wo renown professionals visited our faculty to debate, discuss and elaborate with each other and the audience on the role of leadership that is presently needed. Providing two views of society, business and politics, the speakers were able to highlight the differences and similarities in both their ways of working. they shared their views with an audience of students, lecturers and professionals.

Leadership in sustainable business
The first speaker of the very interesting afternoon was our own faculty alumnus Volkert Engelsman, founder and CEO of Eosta. His company is currently Europe’s most innovative importer, packer and distributor of organic and fair trade fresh food. Eosta serves major retailers and natural food stores throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, and the Far East. Engelsman shared his views on international trade and the leadership role in sustainable business from a business perspective. Emphasizing the importance of the “true cost” of products and food, he voiced his concerns with the slow pace of change in the political playing field regarding the issue of externalization of cost from production. He is a strong advocator for incorporating all cost of production in the price, in order to preserve the planet and the soil we need to grow our food on.

Business vs. politics
Next was Han ten Broeke, member of the Dutch Parliament as a representative of the liberal party (VVD). Ten Broeke has been a member of Parliament for over 10 years now so has a great deal of experience in a variety of areas. His portfolio comprises topics such as International Trade and Development, Foreign Affairs, Defense, European Affairs, and European Security and Defense. Ten Broeke shared his views on leadership, the differences and similarities with being a politician or a private business man, and the dynamics that come with being a professional working for the people. His political perspective shed an interesting light on how ideas and plans are processed in the political realm. He made very clear that the process of having an idea and making it a reality in politics is a different process than when you have an idea as a private business professional. The need for compromise and bringing together people from different perspectives leads to a slower process than some hope for.

Overall, the afternoon was full of great discussions, with both speakers opening up and letting the audience in on their line of thoughts. The interaction and questions from the audience brought the debate between the two perspectives to a high and interesting level.


Susanne Klinkers
Susanne Klinkers

In the future similar events will be organised. You can join as audience or you can reach out to us if you want to be involved in one of our events as speaker, alumnus or partner. Contact Susanne Klinkers for more information:
E: febalumni@rug.nl
T: 050 - 363 3718

Last modified:21 March 2017 11.16 a.m.

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