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Our new steering group’s first meeting at the NWO office in Utrecht!

On 22 April 2024, we celebrated a significant moment: our new steering group convened for the first time at the NWO office in Utrecht! This gathering was a crucial milestone for KIN, marking the beginning of an exciting new phase. In this blog, we’ll take you through the highlights of this inspiring meeting, explain the role of the steering group, introduce you to its members, and share the key decisions made.

What is the KIN steering group?

The KIN steering group plays a vital role in the strategic management of KIN. KIN is established to accelerate system transitions through demand-driven research and collaboration with societal partners. The steering group ensures KIN stays on track and makes decisions regarding the substantive, strategic, and organisational development of the network and its intended programmes. The KIN steering group is mandated to allocate programmes and draft annual plans.

Members of the KIN steering group

The steering group consists of the following members:

  • Gerard van der Steenhoven (Chairman): Advisor at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Chairman of the Board at the Delta Climate Center. Van der Steenhoven is also a part-time professor at the University of Twente and a member of advisory boards including TNO and NIOO. Previously, he was the director of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Twente.
  • Eddy Moors: (until September) Dean at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. He also holds the position of Professor of ‘Water and Climate’ at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Moors began his career at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), working in Africa and the Caribbean. Before joining Delft, he worked at Wageningen Environmental Research.
  • Marjolein Demmers: Director of Nature and Environment. Until 2016, she worked internationally as Director of Sustainability at Royal HaskoningDHV. Her previous roles at Essent, McKinsey&Company, and PRé Consultants always centred on finding sustainable solutions and strategies.

From September, Eddy Moors will be succeeded by Stientje van Veldhoven. Van Veldhoven is Vice President and Regional Director for Europe at the World Resources Institute (WRI), contributing to research and the implementation of large-scale solutions for climate, development cooperation, biodiversity, water, and environmental issues. Until 2017, Van Veldhoven was a Member of Parliament, and from 2017 to 2021, she served as State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management and Minister for the Environment and Housing.

From abstraction to action

During the meeting, various fascinating topics were discussed. One of the initial themes was the current state of KIN and future plans for the network. Michiel gave a presentation emphasising the importance of building a strong network with societal partners.

A recurring topic was working in a demand-driven manner. Marjolein Demmers shared her experiences and underscored that demand-driven work and identifying problem owners are essential for achieving system transitions. This approach involves asking societal or policy partners, “What keeps you up at night?” Based on this problem identification, concrete and practical research questions are formulated, and a problem owner is identified. This ensures that the research questions genuinely originate from practice.

However, it is often challenging to articulate well-defined research questions or to find a problem owner with sufficient decision-making authority over regulations or budgets. Demmers advises KIN to develop one or more tools to support this process, thus genuinely stimulating system transitions.

In Conclusion

The next steps for the KIN team and the steering group include further developing our demand-driven approach and better integrating societal and policy partners into the KIN Pact and its working groups. Additionally, the next meeting will focus on the international component of KIN: Global Transitions.

In the coming months, KIN will remain focused on strengthening our collaboration with societal partners and developing concrete research programmes that enable real system transitions. The steering group will play a leading role by closely monitoring the progress and direction of our network.

Stay updated on our developments within KIN and follow our steps towards a more sustainable future. For more information or to participate in our initiatives, visit our website or contact us.