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 (pickup10.org) 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!

MAD community dinner for One Young World

During One Young World The Hague 1800 young leaders from all over the world are gathering to work on a better world. Education, Environment, Health, Human Rights, Poverty – anyone of any background, age or position can truly Make A Difference. Let’s be MAD together!

We are very proud as Public Leadership Foundation to organize a community dinner during the OYW summit on October 19th 2018 and connect global and local leadership. Delegates from Australia to Paraguay will connect with residents of Escamp district in The Hague. During an informal dinner, we share how we all can make a difference.

The community dinner is organized in cooperation with Xtra and Conscious Kitchen. Xtra provides us with a wonderful location and facilities in Escamp and Conscious Kitchen helps us to prepare a delicious zero-waste vegan menu.

For more info see also: https://oneyoungworldthehague.com/community-dinners/

Timing

Eva Kleingeld is one of this years EPIC apprentices. During her apprenticeship Eva will regularly blog and vlog about her MAD experiences.

 

So this is the second time I am posting something about the EPIC apprenticeship. I decided to write something this time as I feel more comfortable writing at this very moment. In this article, I will give some more insights on the EPIC apprenticeship, finding my own leadership and the achievements and obstacles I encounter.

Right now, we are at the point that we had three training days of the EPIC apprenticeship. We have learned a lot during the past three meetings. The last meeting, we defined our own Energy, Purpose, Identity and Courage. In my opinion, this was very helpful. We paired up and talked about how we viewed each other in all of the matters. We provided each other from helpful feedback. The atmosphere was cheerful (as always) and very open. The latter is so extremely important to me. I have the feeling that this is also contributing to us learning more and more and I start to believe that openness is key in learning about yourself.

In the meantime I also met my coach (you get a personal coach during the apprenticeship who helps you achieving your personal goals). We met up twice now. I was so happy to meet Dennis. He is not only a very friendly and intellectual person, but he’s also a bit of an example to me. He is active in politics and he owns a succesful company. He seems to be very passionate about everything he is doing. He gives me homework to achieve my goals plus he gives me the right handles to apply in real life. Right now, I am reading two books for my “homework” (does not really feel like homework as I love reading about philosophy).

At work, I do notice difference. I initiate more and more, but I also ask for more feedback. This is helping me a lot. I feel empowered and I have the feeling I can achieve a lot more.

Naturally, during the course of life and also during the course of this apprenticeship, I encountered some difficulties. Next to my job I am also active for different organizations as a volunteer. In one of those I also attempted to show leadership. I wanted to be MAD and I was about to initiate a new step. This time, unfortunately, life hit me in my face and I got demotivated and decided not to follow my purpose this time. Did I feel energized by stepping down? No. Did I feel courageous? More like a big loser.

I guess being MAD has its ups and downs. MAD people might not always be able to follow their purpose everytime they just want to. It does not only depend on your energy, identity or courage. Sometimes, the timing is just not right, I believe. And yes, I do believe that timing is a big thing. What to do when timing is not in your favour? Cry your eyes out for 30 minutes… go on and show your energy, purpose, identity and courage again. Only that way timing will favour you as well in the end. Be EPIC!

– Eva Kleingeld
Check out Eva’s second bog ‘making impact’ here!

Public Leadership Challenge: Autonomy in the digital society

Thursday afternoon 31 May the Public Leadership Challenge took place in the Living Lab, of Leiden University The Hague. During this afternoon, a diverse group of professionals, academics and students focused on the challenge of autonomy in the digital society. Working together on this complex and interesting theme led to creative and innovative ideas about the role of leadership in the digital society.

Autonomy in the digital society

After a warm welcome of René de Jong, board member of the PLF and moderator of the PLC, and an introduction of the organizing partners PLF and BECIS, the Challenge started with a mini lecture. Professor Steunenberg gave an introduction about the theme. In his mini lecture he presented the state of the art of the academic literature about the role of citizens, public policy, data and digital society. After this lecture, it was time for the stakeholders to present their point of view and interests.

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The citizen, government and private sector

When it is about autonomy in the digital society, different actors with different, and often opposing, interests are involved. To present these different interests, three stakeholders were asked to present their point of view and interest concerning the theme of autonomy in the digital society. The National Ombudsman, Reinier van Zutphen, represented ‘the citizen’. The government perspective was presented by Anja Lelieveld, Dutch Ministry of Interior affairs who is preparing the Dutch government’s digital agenda. The private sector, then, was represented by Jan Kooiker, who is director of BMconsultants, specialized in digital solutions.

Working in dynamic sub-groups

To find an answer to the challenges set out by the National Ombudsman, the Ministry of Interior affairs and the private company, the participants were divided into four groups that were asked to create a clear picture of the challenge. In this first round the sub-groups discussed the problem, the causes, effects and important people and organizations involved. After the groups shortly presented their results to the others groups and to the stakeholders, they searched for possible solutions and the role of leadership in this. The great diversity of the participants meant that there was a dynamic, interactive discussion about the various challenges.062018-plciii

Results, autonomy and leadership

To add to the philosophical perspective in the debate about autonomy in the digital society, dr. Marcel Beckers provided a keynote about ethics. Questions such as ‘ What is autonomy’? led to an interesting debate.  The work in the sub-groups finally resulted in creative posters and concrete advice for the stakeholders. The advice for the stakeholders was an agile model, in which the citizens, the government and private companies work together in ‘innovation labs’ and using a ‘see-feel-change’ philosophy. Leadership is essential in this model and is shared among the parties involved. It was impressive to see what the dynamic and interactive nature of this challenge had accomplished in only a few hours. Seeing how the proposals were received by the stakeholders was a beautiful end to a very worthwhile afternoon. During the drinks afterwards the participants talked further about the theme and exchanged their ideas, opinions and possible solutions.

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The PLC 2018 was a successful joint initiative by the Public Leadership Foundation, BECIS and the Leiden Leadership Centre of Leiden University – Campus The Hague

Vacancy: Public Leader with great communication skills

Do you want to engage in public leadership activities? Are you a communication talent with a feel for social media and experience in WordPress and do you want to develop partnerships to anchor public leadership?

The Public Leadership Foundation (PLF) is looking for a 

Public Leader with great communication skills 

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 shared purpose. Over the years we organised multiple events internationally and gave workshops at several congresses. Further our EPIC Apprentices are developing their public leadership with us. Next year we want to continue growing, both in The Netherlands and Europe. Therefore, we need YOU!

We are looking for someone who can:

  • Develop our website, publicleadership.foundation
  • Bring our communication and exposure to the next level!
  • Contribute to strengthening our MAD movement.

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 communication-talent, with all the required social and technical skills?
  • 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!

Interested?

Send us your motivation in any way (we care less about formal documents, but writing your motivation is one of the many options), however, no later than the 2nd of July to info@publicleadership.foundation.

For further information about the function and the procedure contact Corinne Sol (0652390763 or Corinne.m.sol@gmail.com) and of course be our guest during one of the next PLF events.

 

Also check:

 

Vacancy: Public Leader with a great network and partnership capabilities!

Do you want to engage in public leadership activities? Are you a great networker, just that little business minded and 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 and partnership capabilities

to strengthen our board!

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 (inter)nationally and gave workshops at several congresses. Further our EPIC Apprentices are developing their public leadership with us. Next year we want to continue growing, both in The Netherlands and Europe. Therefore, we need YOU!

We are looking for someone who:

  • Strengthens and further builds our partner network of amPLFiers
  • Develops partnerships based on our purpose
  • Attracts 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!

Interested?

Send us your motivation in any way (we care less about formal documents, but writing your motivation is one of the many options), however, no later than the 2nd of July to info@publicleadership.foundation.

For further information about the function and the procedure contact Corinne Sol (0652390763 or Corinne.m.sol@gmail.com) and of course be our guest during one of the next PLF events.


Vacancy: Public Leader with great communication skills

We are also looking for someone who can:

Develop our website, publicleadership.foundation
Bring our communication and exposure to the next level!
Contribute to strengthening our MAD movement.

Interested?

Check out more info

When you’re lost for words

lisa-and-kate-founder-oywLisa van der Heijden (on the left) was one of our very first EPIC apprentices. During her apprenticeship the Public Leadership Foundation (PLF) linked her to One Young World (OYW). OYW is a UK-based charity that brings together the brightest young leaders from around the world during a annual summit, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change. This year the summit will take place in The Hague. Lisa regularly blogs & vlogs about her MAD experiences.

“Before I started my journey of One Young World it did not happen a lot: me losing words for expressing myself. But since One Young World it happens on a regular basis. It is something I am not used to, because I always had a reaction or an argument. But seeing so many problems around me makes me feel privileged and speechless. What do I mean? Because of One Young World I go to more events, I speak to more people and I am learning more about people who have a different position or background than me.

For example I was invited to a reading of King Abdullah II of Jordan by the major of The Hague, even our own King and Queen were there. I did not know what to expect, but what happened I could not foresee. This King was one of the most charismatic persons I know, the story he told gave me goosebumps and made me feel sad. Not because it was a sad story, but because he was right that things need to change.He talked about the importance of global solutions; we can no longer think in terms of national problems. The problems we are facing demand an international approach. Finally, someone who agrees with my opinion: Not boundaries should matter but the problem and the topic we are facing.

“Not boundaries should matter but the problem and the topic we are facing”

 

For King Abdullah II told us that in the world today we should care about global values like compassion. No matter your background or your religion, everyone has learned that you should treat the other as you want to be treated yourself. Muslim, Jew or Christian does not matter, it is the values that matter. Take care of others, listen to them and really listen! Try to understand the other, try to understand their reasons, only then you will solve global problems.

king-abdullah-ii

Through One Young World I found out that even in The Hague there are so many cultures, so many people who are struggling every day to keep their heads up. For me this was something that happened outside of the Netherlands, but I was wrong once again. On Sunday the 11th of March I was on the International Women’s Day in The Hague. It was impressive for there were so many women who did a lot of volunteering for others who needed it. I saw women from different cultures struggling, because they still didn’t have the same position as men in their culture. I thought that gender equality in the Netherlands was taken care of, but I saw this is not true. So, I went to one of the volunteers and told her that I wanted to volunteer as well, so that I can help women in the Schilderswijk who feel left alone. I am excited, because I do not know what is coming, but I do know that I need to broad my horizon for there are so many problems just around the corner. And I was blind for helping them. So when it comes to being MAD I want to add something: being MAD is to listen to others until you understand the other. Only then you can speak, but always speak with respect and understanding.

I am looking forward to the rest of my lessons that I will learn with One Young World and my volunteer work!”

 

 

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