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The members of the Strategy and Advisory Board have been announced

On Friday, March 1st, 2024, the first meeting of the Pact Strategy and Advisory Board took place! The members physically convened for a full-day Pressure Cooker Prioritization Session in Utrecht. The members of the SAR represent (partially) various societal perspectives in climate transitions, including psychology, the financial sector, water management, policy, and energy transition.

What is the SAR and what does it do?

The Pact Strategy and Advisory Board (SAR) have the important task of identifying and prioritising issues from societal partners. The members each have extensive experience in various aspects of climate transitions from their respective positions. Together, they bring diverse perspectives from societal viewpoints in climate transitions, including psychology, the financial sector, water management, policy, and energy transition.

The members

Linda Steg is a professor of environmental psychology at the University of Groningen. Her research focuses on the interaction between humans and the environment, with particular attention to climate change and sustainable energy transition. In 2020, Steg was awarded the Stevin Prize by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The selection committee emphasized “the enormous impact that Steg’s research has on international climate policy and the fight against climate change, a battle that, according to the committee, she fuels with important new perspectives and tools.”

Dr. Bregje van Wesenbeeck is the scientific director of Deltares, a Dutch research institute for water management. She is also an associate professor at Delft University of Technology and a senior expert in nature-based solutions. Her research focuses on biogeomorphic interactions in deltas, such as salt marshes and mangroves. With over 15 years of experience, she advises development banks, the United Nations, NGOs, and governments on flood risks, erosion, and climate adaptation.

Richard van de Sanden is the scientific director of the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES), a professor at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, and leads a research group in the field of energy conversion technologies using plasmas at the NWO-I institute DIFFER. Between 2017 and 2022, he chaired the Electrochemical Conversion and Materials (ECCM) advisory committee and was an active member of the Energy Committee of the European Academies for Science Advisory Council (EASAC). In 2021, he joined the board of NWO-TTW, and since 2022, he has represented this board in the NWO-NWA program committee. Since 2023, he has been a member of the Top Team Energy (Captain of Science of the Energy Top Sector).

Piet Sprengers is the Manager of Sustainability Strategy and Policy at ASN Bank. Throughout his entire professional career, he has been dedicated to exploring the positive impact of money on sustainability. This pursuit brings him a great deal of satisfaction, wonder, energy, and inspiration. He was the founder of the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development. With over 15 years of experience at ASN Bank, he played a pivotal role in establishing the bank’s climate goals and its investment funds. He shares his insights on sustainability through his columns and essays.

Olof van der Gaag is the chairman of the Dutch Association for Sustainable Energy (NVDE). In this role, Van der Gaag represents 6,000 companies dedicated to accelerating the energy transition and actively working towards a fully sustainable energy supply. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Staatsbosbeheer.

Olof van der Gaag is the chairman of the Dutch Association for Sustainable Energy (NVDE). In this role, Van der Gaag represents 6,000 companies dedicated to accelerating the energy transition and actively working towards a fully sustainable energy supply. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Staatsbosbeheer.

Joost Koch is a senior advisor on energy transition and innovation at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl). During his time at RVO, he has gained extensive knowledge and experience in implementing and monitoring energy innovation and transition policies. Joost is an energetic advisor who enjoys tackling the complex societal challenge of our time: climate change.

Stefan Kuks serves as the water board chairman of the Vechtstromen Water Authority. Additionally, he chairs the Delta Programme for Spatial Adaptation, holds the position of professor of Innovation and Implementation of Water Policy at the University of Twente, chairs the NWB Water Innovation Fund in The Hague, and serves as chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Rijksmuseum Twenthe and the Museumfabriek in Enschede. Furthermore, he chairs the Programme Council of the Trendbureau Overijssel.

Geeke Feiter is the director at the Association of Insurers and aims to further connect the insurance sector with today’s and tomorrow’s societal challenges. This encompasses everything from climate risks to personal injury, from access to justice to cyber risks and sustainability. Geeke also serves on the Social Advisory Council of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).

Lot van Hooijdonk is a Dutch politician from the GroenLinks party. Since 2014, she has been a councilor in Utrecht, with portfolios ranging from mobility and energy to spatial projects such as Lunetten-Koningsweg and Overvecht. Her aim is to create a city that is ready for the future, with sustainability at its core. As chair of the VNG Committee on Economy, Climate, Energy, and Environment and a member of the board of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), she works on addressing societal challenges at the national level.

What's next?

The SAR is currently finalizing the details of the advice that emerged from the initial Pressure Cooker Prioritization Session. Another milestone was the official launch of the KIN Pact on Thursday, April 18th. During this event, the advice from the SAR was further elaborated upon, and substantive discussions were organized around it.