Conscious kitchen

Conscious kitchenA little while ago, we got the opportunity to speak with one of the board members of a MAD organization: Conscious Kitchen. This organization aims to promote a conscious and sustainable living. They do so by organizing weekly dinners in The Hague and Leiden with leftover food. During our meeting, we sat down with Anu, who told us more about the initiative.

What is Conscious Kitchen?

‘At the Conscious Kitchen, we organize weekly dinners to promote community, conscious living and sustainability. We aim to bring people together over food, and in doing so create awareness about food waste and show how to cook with any fruits and veggies given to you and how good plant-based food can be. We make sure that all our dinners are produced in a sustainable way, either by using food from local markets that would otherwise be wasted, or by sourcing it from local and organic producers.’

How did Conscious Kitchen start?

‘I was living in The Hague and I noticed that a group of students were rescuing food and cooking meals for the local community. I thought that was a very interesting initiative, so I joined. I like cooking. However, after a few months this group stopped, because it was far too much for them. I thought it would be a shame if this initiative was dropped. So, I teamed up with another guy and we tried to keep it going. After a while, more and more people became enthusiastic and our organizing team was growing. Since then, we have been organizing weekly dinners.’

How does Conscious Kitchen make a difference?

‘We are a nonprofit and we try to make a difference in three ways. Sustainability, community and conscious living. They speak for themselves except for conscious living. That is more about raising awareness. We aim to be an inspiring organization where people can learn about new things or see how things can be done differently when it comes to a more conscious lifestyle. One of the ways we make a difference is the community aspect. We bring people together and a lot of people find their sense of belonging here. There are so many internationals and people living in their own bubbles. Conscious Kitchen connects all these people. We do that by rescuing fruit and vegetables and on a weekly base, we make delicious vegan meals out of that. We charge 6 euros per meal. During those dinners, new connections and friendships are being born.’

How do you spread the goals of the organization?

‘Every week, we start our dinners with a pitch about why we are doing this. After the pitch, we start eating and on the table, we discuss different topics of conscious living. Nowadays, we have around 80 people joining our dinners, so during those dinners we reach quite some people. Every week, we have also new people coming since we have started this initiative. It is amazing to see new faces every dinner. People usually see it on facebook or they hear it from acquaintances. We do not distribute flyers. We are only active online and somehow everyone knows about it. I guess it is the whole social thing.’ Want to get involved? Every week, Conscious Kitchen organizes dinners made from rescued fruits and vegetables in The Hague. Everyone can get involved in the creation of the event. You can volunteer to help them pick up food, cook, serve or clean. If you are unable to donate your time, you can also donate some money to support the dinners and make sure they continue. You can check out their website for more info:

Public leadership Challenge – Limits to digitalisation

DrukwerkOn the 9th of October, our partner BECIS|DIOR is organising a Public Leadership Challenge about “The limits to digitalisation”. During this event, we focus on one of the biggest challenges the digital revolution brings: How do we keep our digital society inclusive?

Nowadays, the services of both government and in the private sector are becoming ever more digital. The question rises: is everyone able to participate? Can every citizen make full use of all the posibilities technological development brings, or are we broadening the gap between differents groups in our society? How do we make sure that all people have a worthy role to play in our digital society?

During this Public Leadership Challenge, you get the chance to advise key stakeholders on the question:

Which kind of leadership is needed form government, tech companies and citizens to create an inclusive digital society?

This event is open for Dutch speaking professionals, academics and students. Interested? Check out the event page of our partner BECIS!

Please note, this event will be in Dutch.


Wanted: Public Leaders to strengthen our board


Do you want to engage in public leadership activities? Are you a communication talent, a great networker and/or do you want to develop partnerships to anchor public leadership?

The Public Leadership Foundation (PLF) is looking for a 

Public Leader with a great network 

to strengthen our board and movement!

The purpose of the PLF is to develop public leadership together. We are setting out to be MAD (Making A Difference) through EPIC leadership (Energy, Purpose, Identity and Courage).

The PLF is a young and ambitious foundation. We want to anchor public leadership in society by connecting public, private and third sectors based on our shared purpose.

Over the years we organised multiple events internationally and gave workshops at several congresses. Last year, we gave out the first ever MAD award to an initiative that really makes a difference. Next year we want to continue growing, both in The Netherlands and Europe. Therefore, we need YOU!

We are looking for people who like to:

  • Contribute to strengthening our MAD movement
  • Strengthen and further build our network
  • Bring our communication and exposure to the next level
  • Develop partnerships based on our purpose
  • Attract sponsors for PLF events and activities by MAD people

Do you:

  • Want to contribute to the PLF purpose and vision?
  • Show leadership with a purpose?
  • Have humor (we take this seriously)?

And are you:

  • A networker in the public and private sphere and not hesitating to take a business like approach?
  • Willing to learn and helping others to grow?
  • Looking for an ambitious platform and an energetic team to work in?

Than we really would like to meet you!


Send us your motivation in any way (we care less about formal documents, but writing your motivation is one of the many options) to our email address

For further information contact René de Jong (06-57897521) and of course be our guest during one of the next PLF events (see our calendar online).

MAD-event 2019

On Friday the 22nd of November the annual MAD-event took place at the ministry of Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid (SZW). The event was about public leadership and making a difference. We were proud to invite a few very inspiring social entrepreneurs and initiatives that really try to make a difference.


The event was opened by our board members Ben Kuiper and René de Jong. Réne brought us back to the philosophy of the Public Leadership Foundation by explaining EPIC leadership: the shared responsibility and action to make a difference! Al the nominees for the Mad-award show EPIC leadership: these initiatives and social entrepreneurs make a difference within our society by showing public leadership trough Energy, Purpose, identity and courage. We were also proud to welcome Simon Duits, representative of JongSZW, who made a connection between SZW and public leadership.


Next on the program were the workshops about public leadership. The first workshop was held by Tanachia Ashikali. Tanashia is an expert in the field of diversity management, leadership and inclusivity in public orgnisation. She provided a workshop about inclusive leadership. The second workshop was held by Arzu Catakli and Gavir Breidel. They gave a workshop about paradoxical leadership. Arzu Catakli contributes with pleasure to organizational development by focusing on the development of people. Besides her work as MD she works as an executive coach and trainer. Gavir Breidel is a freelance trainer, he provides training programs for people that like to develop soft skills. He is convinced that these kind of skills are needed to make a difference.


For the Mad-event 2019 we invited initiatives and social entrepreneurs to give them a platform. The MAD-event is about connection and inspiring people. We facilitated ‘meeting-rounds’ so the vistors of the event could meet the initiatives and get inspired by their stories. Schooling for Life, Buurvrouw&BuurvrouwBus, Hofpleintrien, TrashUre Hunt, Conscious Kitchen, Olijf and the NoEscaperoom Foundation participated in the meeting rounds.


For the first time the Public Leadership Foundation presented an award for the initiative that made the biggest difference. The MAD-award was presented by the jury members: Giulietta Marani, (Co – founder van de Public Leadership Foundation); Nienke Bos (Co-founder blikverruimers), Dino Suhonic (Director at Maruf). The jury was proud to announce Buurvrouw&BuurvrouwBus as the winner of the MAD-award 2019. The jury chose De Buurvrouw&BuurvrouwBus as the winner because they connect people with each other in an accessible way, combats loneliness and contributes to a more inclusive society.incollage_20191123_172352023

Meet the jury

We are excited to announce the jury for the MAD-award 2019.

Giulietta Marani – Program manager at ICTU and Digicampus

Giulietta Marani helps organizations reinvent the way they work, collaborate, share information and knowledge. Exploring necessary frameworks and ecosystems. Gaining insight in innovative and technological developments and their impact. She works as a program manager at ICTU and Digicampus and is a former founder and board-member of the Public Leadership Foundation.  She believes organizations and their co-workers can only reinvent themselves if they pursue exchange of both talent and knowledge. Taking responsibility to Make A Difference. Outside of their own comfort zone. Getting inspired by others. Like the MAD stories.

Dino Suhonic – Executive director at Maruf Foundation
Dino Suhonic is executive director of Maruf, queer Muslim organisation in the Netherlands, high school teacher and opinion maker. Dino is Bosnian, gay and Muslim. He frequently speaks and writes about queer Muslims, multiple discrimination and intersections of LGBTQI-phobia and islamophobia. He started the first empowerment program for queer Muslims in Netherlands. Maruf is the co-founder of the ‘Global Queer Muslim Network’, founder of European Queer Muslim Network and facilitates different queer Muslim platforms on national and international level. Dino Suhonic also appeared in several Dutch television programs and writes for newspapers like NRC, Volkskrant and De Correspodent.

Dino Suhonicfoto: Frank Ruiter

Nienke Bos – Policy advisor at the Ministry of Justice an Safety 
Nienke is a policy advisor at the Ministry of Justice and Safety. Nienke is writing her dissertation at the Radboud University Nijmegen about the ban of politic parties. She is also one of the founders of Blikverruimers. An organization that trains young supervisors and enables a network for young and senior supervisors. Blikverruimers has created various programs for different organizations like Rabobank and Deloitte. Public leadership is important for the future: for the more experienced generation and for the new generation. We should all try to make the world a better place. That’s why the MAD is so important.



Start of a new public leadership journey

Let me introduce myself, 14902692_10210816206221257_1726496800723737552_o

My name is Ariane, I am 26 years old and today I start my internship at the Public Leadership Foundation.

I grew up as the daughter of an entrepreneur. I often got the question “Are you going to take over the families business?”. All the conversations at the dinner table involving topics such as tactics, money and profit made me realize that the private sector didn’t inspire me. I got more intrigued by the public sector instead. How can we make a difference for the whole society in a non-profit way. That’s when I decided to start my bachelor in Public Administration. After finishing my BA I wanted to specialize more in public sector management. During my masters I learned more about public leadership and the difference it can make. The curiosity about public leadership made me decide to do more research on the topic and actually write my Master Thesis about the effects of Public Leadership. Now I’ve come to a point in my research where I want to combine theory and practice, so I can experience the difference public leadership can make and use that as input for my research.

In the upcoming months I will be involved in organizing the MAD-event 2019 and other activities of the Public Leadership Foundation.

I am very motivated to start this public leadership journey!



First ever MAD award to be granted at #MAD2019

Over the last five years, we have encountered many initiatives that give meaning to the term MAD leadership. We have seen individuals and organisations taking initiative – big and small – to make a difference! During the last four editions of our annual MAD event, we brought together those initiatives in order to inspire and learn from each other. At #MAD2019, we are planning to take it a step further! On the 22nd of November, for the first time in the history of the Public Leadership Foundation, the MAD award will be given to an initiative the makes a difference through EPIC leadership.

The winner gets a trophy and a platform, for the further development of their initiative. Furthermore, #MAD2019 provides the winner with a podium to promote their initiative, network and share ideas with other MAD leaders in our network of inspirational partners.

The criteria for contestants?

  • Are you MAD? You can make a difference in many difference ways, as long as you contribute to a better world. From your own kitchen or back yard, in your street or neughbourhood or in the entire universe.
  • Are you EPIC? Making a difference is EPIC. The initiative uses your own Energy, Purpose, Identity and Courage.
  • Do you make your difference together? Making a difference is more effective when you do it together. We care for inclusiveness, without distinction of people’s characteristics, backgrounds or preferences.

Does your initiative match this description? You can register candidates on!

Are you ready to go MAD? An inspiring TEDxTalk by Rune Todnem By

Our good friend and former chair Rune Todnem By was invited by TEDx, to share his view on the public leadership needed to improve society. What followed was powerful speech, in which he intertwines a personal story with a broader call for MAD leadership. Against the background of the environmental crisis, Rune calls for a shift in the way perceive leadership. It’s time to take responsibility and go EPICally MAD!

Plastic Soup Surfer

merijnLast month, we talked to Merijn Tinga. Merijn is also known as the Plastic Soup Surfer. He raises awareness around plastic pollution in Europe using his surfboard as a weapon. He also created the Pick up 10 app ( to activate others to pick up and photograph litter in their environment. We asked him about how he started this initiative, the activities he is organizing and future plans.

How did you start this adventure?
I am a biologist and an artist. I was always concerned with societal themes as an artist. Then I decided that I wanted to surf a long tour and I wanted to make a statement with the plastic that I would find on the beaches. So that’s what I did: I started an expedition the raise awareness for the plastic soup that we all together create. From the plastic that i find, I make surfboards. The surfboards are the message and I exhibit them.

What is your mission?
The most important to me is to make a difference. With my activities, I am influencing policymakers and I am making society aware of a big problem we have right now. My campaigns are on the one hand focussed on raising awareness among the masses, but also on very concrete steps we could to in order to improve the situation like deposit money.

One of the most important things about my campaigns is the call to action. I started a petition in order to expand deposit money in the Netherlands on plastic products. Furthermore, when I made my tour on my surfboard, I also visited CEOs of big companies. Currently we are making a documentary about plastic to raise awareness.

What is your impact so far?
The most important is the plastic soup surfer petition for the expansion of the deposit money on pet bottles. That petition ended up in the parliament and that created a lot of visibility for my message and the foundation.

We also went with a team to candy producing companies to talk to them about their consumption of plastic. Together we accelerated the process of finding alternatives for plastic wrappings of candy. We are taking small steps in order to make a big difference.

You said we, do you have a community surrounding you?
I am in a team with two volunteers. They are responsible for the program. I am the spokesman of the organization. Our organization is a foundation and exists because of donations, so we do depend on a community supporting us. Furthermore, I am in touch with different policy advisors. I met them through my activities.

What can others do to help you?
People can always make donations or use the pick up 10 app in order to overcome future littering. And try to reduce your own plastic consumption. Take your own mug to your work and take your own bag when you go shopping.

Do you have some advise for others that want to make a difference?
Think big, but start with really small steps. This way you allow yourself to build up your success. Success starts where others stop. Push on and search for small success. From there you are able to build up slowly and you are able to grow further and develop yourself. That is after all what you can do fastest: developing.





Welcome to our MAD partner BECIS!

In 2017 already, the PLF and BECIS found each other in the joint organisation of a Public Leadership Challenge. Together with the Leiden Leadership Centre, both parties organised a challenge about which leadership is needed to promote citizen autonomy in the digital society. A great initiative, showing the commitment BECIS has to Making a Difference in Society. 

BECIS is a consultancy bureau operating in the Netherlands, working on information management projects in the (semi) public sector. The company is committed to Make A Difference by focusing on its social responsibility and running a sustainable business, but especially by focussing on the development of (young) talent.  

In the partnership between BECIS and the Public Leadership Foundation, special focus goes to the development of leadership both within our organisations and in society. With workshops, the joint organisation of Public Leadership Challenges and more exciting initiatives to develop, we enable MAD leadership together!

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