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Date: Tuesday, June 24th

President hand-over

The Rotary year 2013/14 is coming to an end, and presidency is changing once again. Franziska Luxhøj is taking over from Gerhard Blab. The event is held at Franziska Luxhøj’s place, with catering from the delicious Italian Sfizio Delicatessen.


Date: Tuesday, June 10th

Meeting of all international clubs of the Netherlands in The Hague

This meeting was organised by Rotary Club The Hague Metropolitan. All international Rotary clubs of the Netherlands were well represented.


Date: Tuesday, May 27th

Christmas Dinner

Elisabeth Wetzel, Gerhard Blab and Franziska Luxhøj have been at the district conference on May 17. The topic of the day was “Project Y – generations cooperating successfully”. They will give a short summary of the key points made at the DisCon (about 5-10 minutes), followed by a group work using the dialogue method again. The purpose hereof is to give direction, motivation and inspiration for our club in the upcoming Rotary year and beyond. The questions used in the dialogue will be inspired by the context of the conference, but adapted to our club. This is a change from the programme announced at the last meeting.

(Rotary clubs in Holland are divided into 7 districts. We are in District 1570.)


Date: Tuesday, May 13th

Eugene Boeldak, giving an introduction to a conversation technique: the dialogue

A dialogue is not a discussion. A dialogue is a different, more open way of communicating.

Let’s call the evening a workshop in which we will practice the principles of dialogue, which will be introduced before we start. After a short introduction on the principles of dialogue, we will do a short dialogue session on a given theme. The group will be divided in smaller groups, so we will have to make sure we can have 3 – 4 separate tables by the time we start.

Eugene Boeldak is a programme manager for the government department for inspection of education. He organises Het Dialoog Cafe in Utrecht. The cafe facilitates and promotes a dialogue on subjects which arise.

More about: Het Dialoogcafé on Meetup, and Het Dialoogcafé on Twitter


Date: Tuesday, April 29th

Vincent van der Meijden on “Changes from acquisition to quality in a company”

Vincent owns his own company PACER and he will talk about the way his company changes the focus from acquisition to quality and the side effects of it to an ordinary engineering firm.

“We spend 1 day a week in knowledge development at our engineering firm PACER, leaving us with only 80% of the week capable of serving our clients. In fact the boomerang returns positively on our investment rendering us 80 – 90% billable which is amazing considering our competitors remain billable between 60 – 70%. Using the elements such as character, personal ambition, personal energy and skills the engineers pick their subjects and constantly create new business. I have a background in hydraulics engineering and have experience in infrastructure projects in tunneling, rail, road and waterways. From my experience in large scale engineering firms I re-invented the engineering firm that I would love to work in and started PACER.”


Date: Tuesday, April 15th

Our Spanish member Pedro on “Leading change in an organisation”

Pedro will talk about the leadership role and mind set needed to bring about change in an organisation and will illustrate it with slides about the Project Change process followed at his company.

Pedro has lived in Spain, USA, UK and the Netherlands. His wife is British and he has four sons and one daughter. His mother was from Catalonia and his father from Salamanca, a multilingual and multicultural family. He studied civil engineering in Madrid and an MSc in Business Administration at MIT. He joined our club in March 2012.


Date: Tuesday, April 1st

Drs. Carin Beijer and Hala Humida on “Working and learning together towards empowerment of female refugees”

The last two years, Carin Beyer and Hala Humida participated in a EU funded ‘Life Long Learning’ project to help female refugees to become participants in the labour market and in society in general. The LLL programme has been performed by 5 organizations in The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and the U.K. The Quality Centre for Refugee women in Utrecht was the leading organization. In her presentation, Carin Beijer, Psychologist and Project manager, will tell about the training programme and the results that they have achieved. Hala Humida (Sudan) will talk about the project from her participant’s perspective, and the steps she made into setting up her own business.

Carin J. Beijer is an independent consultant psychologist with 20 years’ experience in management training and counselling. Most of her work focuses on change, (personal) leadership, intercultural awareness, stress management and empowerment. She also holds a degree in Clinical Psychology and Medical Anthropology and is an adjunct lecturer for the Maastricht School of Management. Her own business The Ubuntu Company embraces caring about others and seeks to work for the common good.

Hala Humida studied psychology for some years in Sudan before she had to leave her country. In the Netherlands she studied social work. She recently set up her own business, Humida trainingen.


Date: Tuesday, March 18th

Kristyn Rodzinyak on “The European Space Agency and their education programme”

Kristyn will talk about how one can use space to encourage interest in math and the sciences, as well as opportunities for young professionals in space.

Kristyn has a masters degree from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at McGill University, Montreal. At present she is a graduate trainee at ESA’s ESTEC laboratory in Noordwijk.


Date: Tuesday, March 4th

Our Norwegian member Vegard Sivertsen on Lean Startup

“Lean startup” is a method for developing businesses and products first proposed in 2011 by Eric Ries. Based on his previous experience working in several U.S. startups, Ries claims that startups can shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and what he calls “validated learning”. Ries’ overall claim is that if startups invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches and failures.

I will talk about my own experience with founding 3 companies, pitfalls, successes and best practices. I will also talk about how we apply Lean startup with our current company. Lastly I will talk about books and people that inspire me in the field of entrepreneurship.

Vegard joined the club in February 2005. He is now the club treasurer.


Date: Tuesday, February 18th

Our Austrian member Franziska Luxhøj on “European City Tourism and Competitiveness of Destinations”

Tourism has been growing very fast since the 1950’s. I guess it is safe to say that every member of our club loves traveling. In my talk I am going to present some more theoretical aspects of tourism and destinations. The talk is based on my master thesis, which I wrote on the topic “Competition on Emotional Content in European City Tourism”.

European cities are in fierce competition with many other destinations. What is it that makes a destination competitive? What can Destination Marketing Organizations do to make a destination more attractive? I will talk about the possibilities there are, and about the tool I have researched in my thesis: destination personalities.

Franziska joined the club in May 2012 and is now incoming chairman of the club. According to Rotary rules, she will be club chairman in July 2014.


Date: Tuesday, February 4th

Talk in the series “Sharing a cross-cultural experience”

Rodrigo Lozano will talk about “a stereotypical (and somehow politically incorrect) study of European peoples: a pseudo-ethnographic analysis”.


Date: Tuesday, January 21st

Angela Dekker on “Diplomats of the Czar, the exiles of the Russian revolution”

When the Russian revolution started in 1917, it led to the end of the Czarist embassy in Den Haag. What happened to the diplomats who lost their country and their job? Angela Dekker is a writer and a journalist for Vrij Nederland. She wrote the book Diplomaat van de Tsaar


Date: Tuesday, January 7th

Business meeting

Club president Gerhard Blab has asked the treasurer and all committee chairmen to give a short report on the different activities.


Christmas break


Date: Tuesday, December 14th

Christmas Dinner

This year’s Christmas Dinner is organised as a potluck dinner at Franziska Luxhøj’s home.


Date: Tuesday, November 26th

Koos Iseger on “The Rotary Foundation and International Projects”

The Rotary Foundation is the engine for service projects. I shall give a short overview of the history, the mission, the goals and the practical possibilities of the foundation. I shall give a few examples of successful international (club-) projects. How did they arise, grow and become a success?

Koos Iseger is a member of Rotary Club Scherpenzeel – Woudenberg. He is a Past District Governor and his special interest is with the Rotary Foundation, the international Polio project and a few other larger projects.


Date: Tuesday, November 12th

Our German member Mirko Schaefer on “Doing thing with

The EU Commissionair Neelie Kroes raves about data as the ‘oil of the 21st century’. The so-called Big Data Revolution holds many promises for social progress. Big Data initiatives are sprout like mushrooms and popular media provide glossy infographics, interactive apps and exciting talks on the far reaching possibilities of data.

I encountered my personal data revolution, changing rapidly my research and teaching activities. Last year I co-founded the Utrecht Data School (www.dataschool.nl) which provides students with the opportunity to sift through data samples of external partners (governments, NGO’s and corporations). Within less than a year the project pitchforked us into the midst of the rapidly transforming information society. We do not only see many data sets, we also see a changing landscape of information processes and ways of doing research. However, as a scholar and a sceptic, I do not solely consider opportunities but also pitfalls. In my talk, I’ll invite you to come along to revisit what data are and what we do with them, what they tell us and how we ‘read’ them in persuasive visualizations, how they affect our social lives and how they challenge us to develop new literacies.


Date: Tuesday, October 29th

Workshop organized by the PR committee

The goal of the meeting is to come up with a more efficient PR strategy for the club. Input from all members is desired.


Date: Tuesday, October 15th

Visit of the district governor, Mr. Ernst Jilderda

Ernst Jilderda is a member of the Rotary Club Leusden c.a. The governor is a position for one year and in that time he visits all the clubs in his district.


Date: Tuesday, October 1st

Talk by one of our members in the series “Sharing a cross-cultural experience”

The member is from Cyprus and will share a personal and economical perspective on the currently crisis-shaken country with us.


Date: Tuesday, September 17th

Talk by our member Jeannette de Noord in the series “Sharing a cross-cultural experience”

Jeannette is Dutch and has international experience from among others Japan, Turkey, Spain, Hong Kong and France. She is working with and reflecting on culture and its influence on team effectiveness and cooperation. Do you want to know more about that evening? Click here.


Date: Tuesday, September 3rd

Official opening of the new Rotary Year