Past Meetings

Recent Meetings:

About the presentation: Mohammed studied Pharmacy at Damascus University and works in this field for many years, in Damascus, Abu Dhabi and Oman. It is only since 4 years, that Mohammed lives in the Netherlands with his wife and three children. They came here as refugees from Syria. He is working since 2016 for Novo Nordisk, a big pharmaceutical company he was already working for about 10 years in Damascus. He is a member of our club since 2017.

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About the presentation: Since 2000, Conny has, together with a small team of professionals, built up ‘Music Generations’, an organisation that offers a platform for intercultural talent development by organizing performances and concerts for musicians and actors. Since three years ‘Music Generations’ is active with projects that include refugees, giving them possibilities for developing and showing their talents. Conny will tell us about different projects that they did and do for smaller and bigger audiences.

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About the presentation: Charles will give us an insight in the background of his newest book  ‘Optimists own the whole world – 96 reasons to look encouraged into the future’ (November 2017). His tipping points concentrate on things that are successful and give hope for a better world and better life circumstances. World leaders with a vision were able to conquer big problems and misfortune. They all have and had an optimistic view on the possibilities of change.

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Qiang will share his timeline with the changes of China during the passed years, and he will present some elements that build today’s China. The interesting point is, what does today’s China mean to Europe, especially to the EU. Qiang will present it, of course, from his perspective.

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Our new member Eric van Beek will give an outline of his experience gained by initiating and organizing the SingelSwim in Utrecht. The SingelSwim team raised over 360.000 EUR in 3 years. The money is used for stemcell research done at the Hubrecht Institute in order to help finding a cure for a disease called FSHD. “I think I have some cool ideas to pump up the donations for the club.” according to Eric.

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Françoise Clijsen MA ,  Intercultural mindset, skillset and ‘heartset’ ?

In this presentation on intercultural competencies the relationship between intercultural theory and practice will be demonstrated first. Special attention will be paid to the cultural model of Richard Lewis.  In an interactive way Françoise will guide us to explore the specific context of the Dutch business culture. Finally we will exchange ideas about how to broaden intercultural competence effectively.

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In their presentation, Cor Jan and Martijn will give an insight into legislation and regulations in the corporate field. This includes Corporate Ethics, Anti Bribery, Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Combating Terrorism Financing, Sanctions and Export Controls. Being in compliance with legislation is just a first step in protecting your corporation from possible claims and fines. Compliance is broader. The relevant question is: can a legal action or transaction be reputationally harmful? And what can be done to prevent reputational damage? The current tensions on the (North) Korean peninsula are a prime example of what is at stake.

A presentation named “Fieldwork in the Philippines with various humanitarian organisations” will be given by Skye Merrick-Stammers.

Skye Merrick-Stammers has been working as a volunteer for the past 2 years in the Philippines with various humanitarian organisations including the Rotary Club in Tacloban City. In July 2017 she moved to Utrecht to begin a Master’s in Toxicology and Environmental Health at Utrecht University, a WASH related field. Skye has UK, New Zealand and U.S citizenship and she has a B.S. in molecular biology from Humboldt State University in California.

Skye will tell about her experiences with volunteer work in the Philippines. One of her main interests is water and sanitation. She has extended experience with the WASH programme, she also worked with during the last 2 years.

A presentation in the series of ‘Sharing a cross-cultural experience’ is a quite personal report of someone’s life story and professional experience. Our new member Aizza Lee will tell us about herself and the Phillipines.

Informal club meeting with a presentation by our club president
Martha Mghendi–Fisher on her plans for the upcoming Rotary year. There will also be an update on the progress of our Global-Grant project in Landi, Kenya.

The meeting will be held at the outgoing President’s residence and the key event will be the President hand-over to next year’s club president, Martha Mghendi.

During the summer months, the regular evening club meetings will be replaced by a varied summer programme.

Tuesday 11th July, TBA.

Tuesday 25th July, Lebowski, a café – restaurant at Domplein 17 in Utrecht. Time: 18.00h.

Tuesday 8th August, TBA.

Tour of the Utrecht Domkerk

Tuesday 22nd August: Guided tour of the Utrecht Dom. Dinner in a restaurant at Oudegracht.

The Global Grant project team will give a report about the ongoing activities. In addition, we will discuss ideas for projects and activities in the coming Rotary year. Contributions are welcome.

About the speaker:
Our speaker, Bright Richards is a writer, actor and theatre maker. He came to the Netherlands in 1993 as a refugee who left his homeland Liberia due to the civil war at the time. He followed professional training at the Theater Academie in Arnhem. He is well known in the Netherlands for his theatre productions and for his engagement with (especially young) refugees. The organisation that he founded ‘New Dutch Connections’ works and engages in different ways for the integration of migrants into Dutch Society. In 2015 the foundation got the Royal award ‘Appeltje van Oranje’, an award of the Oranje Fonds, a foundation in the area of social welfare.

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Earlier Meetings:


Rotary Club Utrecht International