Executive director of Fairwear Foundation
Alexander has extensive experience both working at NGOs and in international businesses. He tries to achieve social development goals by involving the private sector. Alexander aims at ‘business for good’ or ‘finance for good’—using market forces and economic resources for improving the quality of life in developing countries. In his opinion, things must change for this to happen, and that is what FWF is about: creating and promoting alternative ways of doing business in the garment industry, that are both socially and economically sustainable. Alexander's past roles include, director of external affairs at PharmAccess Foundation, an organisation dedicated to connecting more people in Sub-Saharan Africa to better healthcare. Before that, he was Partos CEO—the Dutch platform for development organisations. However, Alexander’s career did not start in the development sector: he first worked as a marketing manager at Sony Europe and the Mitsubishi Group.
Counterterrorism professional, Career Coach, Speaker + Author
Ashley Stahl is a counterterrorism professional turned podcaster, forthcoming author, and career coach who helps clients find their purpose, build their confidence, and launch successful service-based businesses. Ashley also hosts inspirational guests each week on her show, the You Turn Podcast, with the intention of helping listeners work on themselves, raise their confidence—all while taking life less seriously.
Ashley’s been named a “Top 99 Foreign Policy Leader Under 33” by Diplomatic Courier Magazine and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. She’s a columnist for Forbes, and her work has been featured on the Wall Street Journal, CBS, SELF, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and more.
Ashley earned her Master’s degree in IR from King’s College London, and another Master’s in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. She holds a BA from University of Redlands in government, history and French. She's a fluent French speaker, and intermediate in Arabic.
Journalist and writer
Fréderike Geerdink is a journalist and writer. Between 2006 and 2015, she was a freelance Turkey correspondent, and for some years the only foreign journalist based in Diyarbakir in the Kurdish southeast of the country. Turkey kicked her out of the country because of her journalism about the Kurds. She returned to Kurdistan though, to go embedded with the armed movement PKK for a full year. The book about it, published in 2018, was well received. She is now based in Sulaymanya, Kurdistan Region in Iraq, and continues to write about the plight of the Kurds. In Kurdistan, Geerdink learned a lot about destroying structures of power. How can the Kurds' view on suppressive patriarchal structures be used to break down racism, the power structure that is keeping our western societies away from radical equality? The Kurdish lense offers radical solutions!
Journalist and writer
Dutch author and journalist. He has worked for various newspapers and magazines, written books on the journalistic trade and won several
prizes for his work. Henk Blanken was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. His piece “My death is not my own: the legal limits of euthanasia” appeared as a long read in The Guardian. His book titled
“It Won’t Kill You”, a nonfiction novel about “the search for the boundaries of my shrinking world”, was met with critical acclaim in both the Netherlands and Germany. “That something good has come out of this deterioration, makes up for a lot.” At present, he mainly writes as the ‘correspondent death and decline’ for DeCorrespondent about the dilemmas surrounding euthanasia and dementia. His most recent essay is in fact the most personal piece he could write: his own ‘advance directive’, a last will disguised as an argument.
Henk van der klok
Adventurer and Speaker
From a very young age Henk dreamt of discovering the world, but despite his hunger for travel, his ambitions were stifled by fear.
He told himself he was too young, too skinny, and too inexperienced. But in 2011 he decided to just do it. In the years that followed, he hitchhiked across two continents, walked from England to Rome, and cycled from the Netherlands to Istanbul. He also slept in caves, was chased by
feral dogs, and stood face to face with a grizzly bear. His fears turned out to be completely unjustified, and Henk decided to embark on even
greater adventures. He paddled the entire Mississippi River in a boat, and walked 6000 km through Europe and the Middle-East, completely without money. By leaving himself no way out he forced himself to keep moving forward. And despite hunger, thirst, and blisters, he achieved his goal. Henk is convinced that pushing our boundaries makes us grow in unimaginable ways, and he now travels the world encouraging people to say YES! more.
Olivier van Beemen
Olivier van Beemen is an investigative journalist from Amsterdam and the author of the book Heineken in Africa: A Multinational Unleashed (February 2019). The book is the result of six years of thorough journalistic research, more than 400 interviews, and visits to thirteen African countries where the Dutch multinational is operating. Earlier in his career, Van Beemen was correspondent in France for several leading Dutch and Belgian news media and he currently publishes in newspapers
such as Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad and The Guardian. His work has been nominated for several awards in the Netherlands.
Sophie Mayanne is a 25 year old fashion and portrait photographer, splitting her time between London and Cotswolds, UK. Her style is unmistakable, favoring raw, striking imagery that is hers and hers alone. Her work has been recognised by both the fashion and music industries, and has been particularly favored by up and coming artists & publications who admire the honesty and genuineness in her images. Sophie also launched the “Behind The Scars” initiative in 2017, a celebratory project featuring scars of all shapes and sizes, and the stories behind them.
Philosopher and author
Stefan Buijsman graduated with a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Leiden at 18 years of age, after which he left for Sweden to pursue a Ph.D. He completed the four-year doctorate program within a year and a half, making him one of the youngest Ph.D.s ever. At present, he is studying the philosophy of mathematics as a post-doctoral researcher on a grant from the Swedish government. He has also written a children’s book (Het Rekenrijk) and a popular science book (Plussen en Minnen, which will be translated into 15 other languages) about mathematics.