Norbert Both

The Hague, Netherlands

About Norbert


PhD in International Relations, University of Sheffield. Fifteen years of experience in communication and foreign policy. 2006, joined Shell as Senior Speechwriter; currently, Vice-President Corporate Communications, responsible for supporting the CEO and CFO in their external communications. Former diplomat in the Netherlands diplomatic service; held several positions, including speechwriter to the Foreign Minister. Co-Author, Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime (1996). Member of the Board, Netherlands Atlantic Association.

TED Conference

TEDGlobal 2012

An idea worth spreading

We're all connected / we're all in the same boat. Expressions for that exist in so many languages and cultures, including Lakota (Sioux) and Mandarin. Let's behave accordingly.

I'm passionate about

Lots of things: understanding long-term trends; the fate of humankind; Malawi and Africa; the "European project" and more mundane things like Feyenoord Rotterdam

My TED story

Shell has invested considerable time trying to understand the connections across these vital resources, and what they might mean in terms of challenges and opportunities both to our company and to society. For example, how we manage or mitigate the stresses on the water system will influence our decisions on the energy system, and vice versa.
I will briefly cover some examples of what Shell has been working on in this space through our academic and Scenario building work, and on the ground in our operations. This includes case studies from our operations in Brazil and the Middle East.

Comments & conversations

Norbert Both
Posted over 2 years ago
A conversation with Shell: How can the smarter use of energy and other resources unlock the true potential of cities?
It's not just about getting the energy challenge right. We also face urgent stresses with regard to food, water, metals, land. So we have to understand the interrelationship between the various resource stresses and environmental stresses in the global system, or we risk pushing the wrong buttons in the nexus. For instance, can we develop and deploy technologies that increase energy efficiency and water efficiency at the same time? From the work that Shell and TED fellow Eric Berlow have jointly undertaken, it emerges that carbon regulation/pricing and sustainable urban design are the two crucial levers in the system that we need to pull.