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Tomorrow's Leaders for a Sustainable Future

About Bressummer: Bienvenue

The name of the Foundation, "bressummer" refers to the wide load bearing connecting beam in half-timbered houses from the Middle Ages. This bar provides the "essential connection". The "bressummer" connects the bottom with the top, gives support and the building structure and durability.


For the foundation, the 'bressummer' symbolizes the leadership that can make such an 'essential' connection between past, present and future and connection between people and between companies, science, NGOs and government within a sector and in society.


The central question for the foundation is “how do we develop the leadership, necessary to give concrete shape to the transition to sustainability and the circular economy and to involve all stakeholders?”

An essential connection

About Bressummer: Qui sommes-nous

Since the industrial revolution, the main economic model is centred on a linear production system based on resource extraction, transformation, waste production, and biosphere perturbation. It is time now for businesses to moderate climate-change and to offer the chance to future generations to live a good life.


In order to change the dominant linear practices, future leaders need to make a paradigm shift. And this is the purpose of the Bressummer Foundation: training young talents to become responsible leaders that have in mind the well-being of the planet and the people. For this, we need to think holistically and to understand that the world is complex and that interactions are multiple. System thinking is a science that enables one to ask the right questions and to understand connections and relations between seemingly isolated things. It is a high priority to transmit systemic thinking to the leaders of the future, which will enable them to develop a long term vision and a deep understanding of problems they will face.

Homme à vélo

Board & Management

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Anita Delhaas-van Dijk

Board Member

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Director at ICoHS Foundation, a non-profit organization (NGO) dedicated to Christians in the Middle East. Before this she worked as country director at International Justice Mission and World
Vision International in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Denmark, Romania and Lebanon. Anita is involved as board member / member of the Supervisory Board of various organizations such as Open Doors Nederland (NL), Tirzah International (US) and Re-starter (NL). Her interest is in fighting modern slavery, working with refugees and equipping women in leadership positions.

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Jan Willem Kirpestein

Board Member

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As a boardroom advisor and executive coach Jan Willem works from Spirit, Heart & Mind Corpus BV and has international experience in guiding paradigmatic transformation processes.

The big challenge now is to make the transition from linear economic thinking to circular thinking and acting. Linear thinking focuses on the individual goal but circular thinking always has the common greater goal in mind.

The transition from linear to circular requires leadership in the entire chain that exercises self-transcendence. Self-transcendence no longer means thinking and leading from isolated personal or business interests for the common good.

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Arjan Overwater

Board Member

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As an entrepreneur, Arjan has deep experience running food and branded food businesses. His career led from Shell International via consulting, Coca Cola and Unilever to leading a consultancy in London with a focus on sustainability and leadership. He works as a business coach for senior leaders in various companies and leads the board of a technology company in Belgium. Leading change in a company or sector requires personal reflection, education and a change of perspective. This process thrives best when it takes place in a team setting, we take the time for it, and intentionally guide the change.

About Bressummer: Qui sommes-nous

System thinking for a sustainable transition

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Pieter Hoekstra

Board Member

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Director of the Netherlands Institute for Logotherapy and Existential Analysis (NILEA), inspired by the philosophy of Viktor E. Frankl and known to many today by Edith Eger. Pieter Hoekstra has been a trainer in personal analysis, didactic courses, and supervised clinical work, as well as an innovator of integrative healthcare for over two decades.

In addition to his work at NILEA, he works in his practice 'Therapeutikon', where he combines the different fields in which he was trained: psychology, medicine and theology. Special areas of attention for him include personality, personality development, giftedness.

Pieter Hoekstra also had a construction company founded by himself in Sweden for a number of years, with its own forest for timber construction and mediation in Real Estate.

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John Engelsman

Board Member

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John Engelsman is CEO at IJB Groep in Lemmer, a company which is specialised in prefabricated concrete foundations. 

Within the company his focus is on putting his staff in a central position. This determines his vision on long term continuity. Personal development of people within the IJB Academy brings everybody to a higher vitality. For example through Dialog and Leadership. Nationwide he is an active member in the concrete sector association especially on the topics of work safety, dialog and sustainability. He also is a frequent speaker at seminars and has active contacts with several ministry’s.

As Chairman of the Bovenkerk Kampen Foundation he endeavours to preserve the monumental Bovenkerk Cathedral. This Medieval building in gothic style helps people to reflect, come to rest and explore new ways of life and leadership.

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Fanny Cavalieri

Research & Support

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Fanny began to research the concept of circular economy during her master in Environment and Sustainable Development at the University of Montreal. During this time, she also became active in the city’s zero-waste community and was part of the organization of the very first edition of the Zero Waste Festival in North America. Hence, she is passionate to understand how to switch the dominant paradigm and create a more responsible and sufficient system that would generate value for business and society while also being beneficial for the environment.
Besides, Fanny is always excited to research and communicate about topics that passionate her. As a result, she co-developed the blog ‘Les Pépites Vertes’, which aims to sensitize people about environment-related topics in a positive and creative way.

About Bressummer: L'équipe
About Bressummer: Qui sommes-nous

Bart Gijsbertsen


Ambassador and Facilitator

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Passionate entrepreneur.

Though working in ship management in recent years, Bart started out in Natural Resource Management. He was a special teacher in Stockholm and Malmö, while on the board of the Swedish chapter of the Society for Organizational Learning. An encounter with Joseph Jaworski nudged him towards management consulting.  

Somewhere along the way he developed a framework for sustainable development, rooted in the understanding that the essence of life is concern. 

Linear economic thinking is rooted in the idea of controlled growth, which ultimately requires indifference to real world problems. Indifference then allows for the abuse of creative freedom, resulting in colossal harm to society and the environment. An ecologically sustainable economy requires new leadership that replaces control with concern as its guiding principle.

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Daniël Krouwel


Ambassador and Facilitator

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As a facilitator, organization coach and personal supervisor in the development of people and organizations
Daniël works from KMOB. Transformation from a mission with people at the center is his vision. People at
the center let people themselves, the team and the organization grow. In-depth reflection is the key to insight. Look and understands at what connects and move.
He has a two decades experience in the development of many organizations and leads the boards of many companies in their transformations. Daniël is familiar with the dynamics of the construction and
infrastructure markets.

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