World of Business

The EFR Business Week has been the leading student congress in Europe for over 30 years. The power always has been the magnitude of its reach and ability to amaze. The “World of Business” will give you unorthodox ways of thinking, an innovative way of showing and a new way of expanding your horizon. Get inspired by our speakers and step into a new dimension of inspiration.

The speakers of this year’s edition come from a wide variety of disciplines. In line with the theme ‘Play to Win’ they will tell you about the risks they took in life and how this contributed to their current success. By sharing personal experiences they will emphasize their own ups and downs and discuss when people consider themselves or others as winners of the game, called life.

Speakers of 2017
Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal (host)

Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal is a Dutch journalist. He holds a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Groningen. Upon graduation he went to work as an editor and reporter for NOS Dutch Public Television. Between 2007 and 2013, Bosch van Rosenthal was based in Washington, D.C., covering the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. Upon return, Bosch van Rosenthal began working as a reporter for Nieuwsuur (Newshour), the main current affairs program on Dutch TV. Over the years, he also worked as a freelance writer for various Dutch magazines and newspapers. His work took him to over 30 countries across the globe. In 2013, Bosch van Rosenthal was awarded the Professor Herman Wekker Prize for outstanding service to the spread of information about English-speaking countries among the Dutch public.

Arundhati Bhattacharya
Arundhati Bhattacharya

Mrs. Arundhati Bhattacharya joined State Bank of India in 1977 and has worked in various challenging assignments across the length and breadth of the country and abroad to become the first woman Chairman of this 210 year old Fortune 500 Company.  She has been ranked the 5th “Most Powerful Women in Finance” in 2016 by Forbes Magazine and has been featured in the Fortune List of Top 50 globally most powerful women in business.

Under her stewardship, the bank has transformed from a traditional PSU Bank to a modern, forward thinking, tech-savvy bank, much ahead of its PSU peers.

Improving the work-life balance of women is a subject close to her heart and she has initiated several steps in her organization towards this end. She is also associated with various initiatives and institutions for empowering the challenged and differently abled with the aim of integrating them in the society.

She strongly believes that one should develop the skills of “listening” and should be open to new ideas and thoughts. According to Mrs. Bhattacharya, self-confidence and confronting one’s fears to overcome them are the two guiding values that have stood her in good stead throughout her life.

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands

Princess Laurentien works to promote issues focusing on the development of individuals and their impact on society. In particular, she is active in the fields of child participation, sustainability and literacy.

The Missing Chapter Foundation has been active since 2010 and originates from the notion that decisions are more durable and gain value if they take into account the sharp insights, logical questions and surprising solutions from children and teenagers. For this reason, it is MCF’s mission to bring together children and decision-makers to engage in dialogue and discuss themes related to sustainability, among others.

She is also the author of both children’s books and management books, focusing on the dialogue between generations. Her latest book ‘Nog lang en gelukkig’ is currently on the longlist for management book of the year.

Boudewijn van Eenennaam
Boudewijn van Eenennaam

Fascinated by ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and cabaret at the Gymnasium in Apeldoorn Boudewijn decided to study Law and Dramaturgy at Leiden University and then to join the Netherlands Foreign Service. As Director Atlantic Cooperation and Security Affairs, Director General Political Affairs, Ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations in Geneva he worked on politico-military East-West relations, EU common foreign and security policy, peace-keeping and -enforcement operations, conflicts in the Middle East, the Former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan, promotion of Dutch business interests, public diplomacy, art and culture, trade and investment, moral and ethical issues, human rights and refugees. He published articles and a book on deployment of cruise missiles in The Netherlands and was appointed Netherlands Sherpa to the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. After his diplomatic career he became Ambassador in Residence and Development Advisor at The Hague Institute for Global Justice.

Elissar Eliwi

“In 2011 my world collapsed,” says Elissar, “From being a graduate of English literature in a university, and working for a big international company, I ended up without a home and in line for food.” Elissar however stayed surprisingly positive, although she knows what suffering is. When she was forced to leave her old life behind, she struggled to fit into a new world, however she realized that she has the power to change her surroundings. And so, she wants to change the lives of a generation of youngsters whom will be the real change of future. My goal is to help new comers to add value to host communities, integrate effectively and participate in building up host countries by getting refugees and host communities on the same page.

Michael van Praag
Michael van Praag

Michael van Praag is the President of the Royal Netherlands Football Association and Vice President of UEFA. He was serving as the Chairman of AFC Ajax during its heyday in the nineties. Besides he has a lot of experience in the world of business by selling Duty Free electronica products and in his previous function as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of O’Neill. In 2015 he impressed the world by daring to stand up against FIFA president Blatter during the FIFA Presidential Election where he expressed his concern about corruption and trustworthiness of the FIFA. “Winners of Tomorrow is the most important football technical project in Dutch soccer”, says Van Praag with which he supports firmly an initiative of KNVB and a lot of members of our Dutch football-family, to get our sport back on tracks. Van Praag also wants to stimulate, among others, gay acceptance, but also women football and the representation of the Netherlands at organizations as the UEFA.

Andre Cats

Andre Cats (48) is Technical Director at the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation. In that capacity responsible for the disciplines swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming and springboard diving. He has to manage an improvement process within the swimming federation with the disappointing results in RIO in 2016 as a starting point. Both water polo teams were not present in Rio and the swim team left the pool without medals. Cats was the Chef de Mission of the Paralympic TeamNL in the period 2008-2016 and in that position significantly contributed to the professionalization of the Paralympic sport. With a seventh place in the medal ranking and 62 medals, of which 17 gold, the Paralympic team was more successful than ever. In eight years, he has brought about a whole metamorphosis within the sport. Cats attaches high value to team cohesion, bearing joint responsibility and cooperative leadership. Lead by example truly works!

Chris Figee

The motto of the EFR conference is ‘play to win’. For me, the motto is ‘play to play’. Throughout my career a few key themes re-occur: fun, learn and recognize and opportunity when it present itself. From my first job as a fund manager at Aegon, through 10 years at McKinsey and subsequently as deputy CFO and ‘official’ CFO at Achmea and a.s.r. I have always focused on enjoying the ride, learning about the job at hand and be ready for opportunities, where-ever and whenever they come by. And of course, a healthy dose of hard work helps.

Frank Crebas
Frank Crébas

Frank Crébas, one of the Dutch Internet pioneers, completely changed his life after he left as the company’s CEO when it was sold to eBay in 2004. During his career Frank always created and was given the opportunity’s to follow his heart and passions. He moved out from his parent’s place at age 14 to become a forester. Soon after, he got involved in Harness Horse racing as a trainer and, eventually professional driver winning many key stake races in, and outside the Netherlands. After 10 years of being an active horseman he was given the opportunity to transfer to the then unknown website in the year 2000 becoming the second employee of the company. After Marktplaats became an eBay company Frank started a new company, Netl, with his family. More importantly he picked up his passion for aviation photography and is now one of the premier aviation photographers in the world. During his lecture Frank will speak about his success in life but also about the down side of success. Is it cool to sell your baby?

Polly Higgins

Polly Higgins is a lawyer unlike any other; her client is the Earth. Her job, or rather her quest, is to advance an international law to protect people and planet. The law of Ecocide stops mass damage and destruction, and imposes a mandatory legal duty to ensure the health and wellbeing of communities who are facing climate crisis. For the past 7 years Polly has been legally advising governments, organisations and communities across the world. Polly is known as the lead expert on Ecocide law.

Christiaan Triebert
Christiaan Triebert

How to remain positive about our conflict-ridden world if you’re confronted with the harsh reality every day? Having worked in several conflict areas as a (photo)journalist such as Iraq and Syria, and investigating possible war crimes as conflict analyst with Bellingcat and Airwars, it’s sometimes hard for Christiaan not to become pessimistic. But his hitchhiking experiences from all over the world, such as from Groningen to Cape Town, remind him how to remain positive about the world we live in. How can that hitchhiking spirit career choices, and perhaps even life? Christiaan recently graduated from King’s College London’s War Studies Department after obtaining his bachelor degrees in International Relations and Political Philosophy at the University of Groningen. His work has been referred or featured by a wide variety of media and organisations, such as Financial Times, Amnesty International, EenVandaag and VPRO Tegenlicht.

Mechteld Karlien de Jongh (Intermezzo)

For a wide range of venues, ranging from ‘Zwarte Cross’ music & motorcross festival to the Hermitage, from tent to castle, circus to chic, dance or a classical event, local to international, funeral to wedding, harpist Mechteld Karlien de Jongh is asked, because of her delicate performance, presence and sublime harps! Mechteld Karlien has a wide range of musical interests and was inspired from the age of five years old, by great harp players such as Mariëlle Nordmann, Arianna Savall, Rosa Spier en Masumi Nagasawa. Now she herself belongs to the leading harpists in the Netherlands. Mechteld will perform with her Erard concert harp dating from 1818 harp which she has financed by means of crowdfunding. And as the builder of one of her harps, Franz Reschenhofer, clarifies: The sound of her harp is like the waves of the sea, a greeting of endless universe!

Martin Lloyd
Martin Lloyd has spent 12 years at Greenpeace, working to address the biggest environmental issues of our time. He’s currently mobilisation and communication director at Greenpeace Netherlands. In recent years Martin and his team have worked on everything from the TTIP trade deal, to protecting the Arctic from oil companies, the protection of the Amazon Rainforest and Dutch energy policy. Previously he held a number of roles at Greenpeace International, including three years during which he was responsible for global communication about climate change.
Prior to Greenpeace Martin completed an MBA at Oxford University, and spent five years working in the nascent e-commerce industry. British by birth Martin has now lived in the Netherlands for 13 years.