EFR Inspiration Days

EFR Inspiration Days

EFR Inspiration Days

10th of April, 2024

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The EFR Inspiration Days is one of the most prestigious events organized by students in Europe. We aspire to be the most innovative, society-aligned event that interactively connects and inspires students from all faculties. The goal is to stimulate you to have a positive influence in your environments and become the leaders of tomorrow by showing you insights of a dynamic world from different perspectives. To meet our goal, we host an interactive congress with varying workshops and discussions relating to the theme of this year: Embrace the Future This theme is supported by three pillars: Innovation, Courage and Unity.

On 9 April 2024 we will host the Lunch Round Table at which participants can have interactive and insightful discussions with a very diverse set of leaders and pioneers from a wide range of sectors and industries. 

On 10 April 2024 we will officially open the event with an opening speech. Following the opening, several inspiring workshops aligned with our pillars will be given.

Subsequently, on the interactive playground you can find several companies showcasing their products. The event will be concluded with the dynamic closing panel.

More info coming soon.

This event is the successor of the well-known EFR World of Business congress.

For any questions please contact us: info@efr-inspirationdays.nl 

  • Tuesday April 9th

  • Lunch round table

  • Wednesday April 10th

  • Opening session


  • Workshops

    CB-2, CB-3, CB-4

  • Playground

    Theil Building (hall)

  • Closing session


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  • Opening/Closing

    The opening session of the EFR Inspiration Days is the plenary opening of the event. During the opening session, the opening speaker will give a speech related to the theme; Embrace the Future. The closing session will consist of a keynote speech which will be followed by a panel discussion. The debate will be led by a host and will focus on various currently relevant topics.
  • Lunch Round Table

    The Lunch Round Table is the direct successor of the Conference Platform of the EFR Business Week. The lunch will consist of 20 prominent speakers including CEOs and founders of various companies. They will discuss topics related to the theme of the EFR Inspiration Days with 60 highly motivated students. This way the students can learn from the insights of the speakers, but also challenge themselves and present their own views on the topics.
  • Workshops

    During the workshop sessions, students will be divided over three different rooms. In every room, one of the pillars of the main theme will be discussed. During the workshop, you will get a chance to learn about a topic from an expert in an interactive way. Each group will consist of 100 students.
  • Playground

    The playground is all about socializing and discovering the innovations of the future. At the playground, several innovative and creative companies and initiatives will showcase themselves or their product. This is also the chance to socialise with other students and alumni.

Last year's speakers

  • Panel speakers

  • Stephanie Hottenhuis

    CEO of KPMG Netherlands
    Stephanie is CEO and Chair of the Board of KPMG in the Netherlands since 2018. She has more than 20 years of experience in leading professional services organizations. Previously, she was a member of the Global Board of Directors of Arcadis N.V., being responsible for multiple regions, for mergers & acquisitions and integration of large business units as well as the company’s global accounts. Prior to her position on the Board she held various international management positions for Arcadis. She led the European Region, and was the CEO of Arcadis’ German activities.
  • Jeroen van der Veer

    Chairman of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.
    Jeroen, a Dutch national (1947) was CEO of Shell 2004-2009. Before that he was President of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company since 2000, having been a Managing Director since 1997. As CEO, Jeroen led Shell through major change. After his CEO-ship he was Non-executive Director of Royal Dutch Shell 2009-2013. He was Vice-Chairman and Senior Independent Director of Unilever from 2002 to 2011. He was on the Supervisory Boards of ING from 2009 and Chairman from 2011-2018 and of Royal Phillips from 2009 and Chairman from 2011-2021 and Chairman of the Supervisory Council of Technical University of Delft from 2013-2021. In October 2012 he became Chairman of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative. He was on the Governing Board (2012-2016) of the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology). Jeroen is a Honorary Citizen of Singapore. In 2009-2010 Jeroen was Vice-Chairman of a Group of Experts who advised for a new Strategic Concept for NATO. He was World President of the Society of Chemical Industry from 2002 to 2004. From 2000-2004 he served as a supervisory board member of The Dutch Central Bank. He was Advisor to Oman since 2009. He chaired ‘Platform Beta Techniek’, a governmental institute promoting education in science and technology from 2009 to 2019. And he chaired the Chairpersons Community of the WEF (World Economic Forum) from 2017 to 2020. Jeroen served on the Equinor Board (Norway) 2016-2022 and was Vice Chair, Chair of The Auditcom / Financial Expert (for SEC) since 2018. Presently Jeroen is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Royal Boskalis Westminster . He is involved in a number of smaller companies in various capacities. Jeroen also has various roles in several foundations and charities.
  • Won Yip

    Founder & Owner of Yip Group and panel member of The Dragons' Den (the Netherlands).
    Won Yip was born to Chinese immigrants who fled to the Netherlands in the 60's. Though he became a high school drop-out at the age of fourteen, he bought his first pub at the tender age of nineteen. In 2021, he became one of the biggest pub owners in Amsterdam. Besides that, he is also the co-owner of the restaurant chain of Sushisamba and has real estate and other investments in multiple countries. Won Yip has been a panel member of The Dragons' Den in 2020 and 2021. A show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to seasoned business executives in order for them to invest in their enterprise.
  • Christianne van der Wal

    Minister of Nature & Nitrogen Policy
  • Workshop speakers

  • Christos Christou

    International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).
    Dr. Christos Christou is the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since 2019. He first joined MSF in 2002 as a doctor, working with refugees in his home country of Greece, then going on international assignments to Zambia and Malawi to provide care for people with HIV, and has worked as a surgeon in South Sudan, Iraq, Cameroon and Greece. Dr. Christou graduated from the Aristotle University Medical School and holds a PhD in surgery from Kapodestrian University in Athens “I am inspired every day by being a part of a powerful chain of humanitarian action, made up of people around the world who support, enable and implement, linked together in partnership to alleviate suffering through solidarity and humanity.”
  • Mirjam de Blécourt

    Partner Employment Law at Baker McKenzie and member of the Senate (Eerste Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament.
    Mirjam de Blécourt, widely regarded as one of the best employment lawyers in Europe, is partner at Baker McKenzie and leads the Amsterdam Employment and Pensions Law Practice group. She is also a member of the Senate (Eerste Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament and Beneluxraad, Beneluxparlement and sits on various boards and advisory committees, such as Rutgers, Stichting African Parks Foundation and Female Cancer Foundation. Mirjam has been committed to diversity and the equal treatment of women for decades and has recently written the book ‘Vrijgevochten’ about her career path, balancing work and family, and achieving success in a male-dominated environment. Her personal story is a highly engaging window into the world of how one female leader confronted and broke through the glass ceiling.
  • Patrick Haede

    Co-Founder & CEO of Sonic
    Patrick Haede is the Co-Founder and CEO at Sonic, a Product, Technology and Strategy Studio based in Amsterdam and Berlin. He is the former Head of Product at Gorillas and co-founded Mapify, a travel startup which was acquired by HomeToGo in 2021. Patrick is an active Angel Investor into Europe-based startups, among them Amie, Aware and Junto. With "Quick Coffee", Patrick is hosting a weekly podcast on Product, Design and Startups.
  • Lunch speakers

  • Frank van Sprang

    Inspector-General of the Military Forces
    "A true leader does not impose their decision on others, but the leader will rather find a way for others to impose that decision on themselves."
  • Paul van Merrienboer

    Managing Director & Co-Founder of Check
    Paul grew up in Breda and started off his career as a management trainee at Pon Holdings after his degree in Business Economics in Maastricht. He had a various functions in the mobility industry, in which the focus was always on the development of new brands, propositions and channels. Before he founded Check, he worked at Greenwheels for 4 years. During his time at Greenwheels, he noticed that mobility in cities could be done much more efficiently. Therefore, the core mission of Check is to offer people the quickest way to get around town. He runs the enterprise together with his former classmate, Marco Knitel. Check is a technology firm that develops mobility products together with data-driven people. Fast forwarding three years later, Check has transported 15 million people with their vehicles already.
  • Michiel Schipperus

    Former CEO of Sana Commerce
    Michiel has been working in e-commerce since 1999 when he joined ISM eCompany, located in the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam. Sana Commerce is a spin-off of ISM eCompany and has built an e-commerce platform that is being used by over a thousand companies around the world. Michiel has grown Sana to over 600 people worldwide and stepped down as CEO in December 2022. Michiel is driven by international growth and building a company culture that promotes an entrepreneurial way of working, competing with yourself every day to become better and enjoying the ride. Michiel is an Erasmus alumnus and organized the EFR Business week in 2002.
  • Rianne Schorrel

    CEO of Move the Brain & former professional football player
    Rianne Schorel is a former professional football player in the USA and the Netherlands, she is CEO of Move the Brain, author of two books, and a thought leader on sports-related brain and head injury prevention and recovery. As a professional football player Rianne got a life-changing brain injury through heading the ball. Following a long road of nearly ten-years recovery, she decided that things had to change when it comes to prevention and treatment of brain trauma. Together with her twin sister Nanja she founded Move the Brain, a multidisciplinary training center dedicated to getting people, including many athletes, back into normal life following brain related injuries.
  • Erica Burett

    Founder of The Career Lounge
    Erica’s story to Germany is one of determination and resilience. She arrived as an Au Pair with no connections and limited language skills, but with a clear goal: To make the most of this opportunity and strive for success. Her journey was not without its challenges. In order to finance her studies, she took on odd jobs, including cleaning houses, which allowed her to gain valuable insights into the differences in wealth and social class in Germany. Despite facing 80 job rejections, Erica eventually landed a role in Germany’s largest Investment bank, marking her entry into the corporate world and now works at one of the largest consulting firms in the world. However, her journey did not stop there as she navigated the challenges of being a young, foreign woman in a heavily male-dominated industry. Despite these challenges, Erica persevered and rose to where she is today. She credits her success to her strong mental resilience and she believes that anything is possible with determination and hard work. Through sharing her story, she aims to inspire others to develop the mental resilience to reach their own goals and create their dream life.
  • Laurens van Nues

    Co-founder & CEO of Magnet.me
    Laurens van Nues is co-founder and CEO of Magnet.me, the largest career network for students, graduates and employers in the Netherlands. Laurens is passionate about their mission to make it easier to find a job you love or the talent you need. A mission that's even more salient with the current labour shortage. He regularly speaks on this topic, work and careers, and entrepreneurship in general. For me, being the difference revolves around focus and dedication. In order to really bring the world forward we need people to work on the hard problems. And solving hard problems is - it's in the name - hard. You need perseverance and dedication. And focus. Stay away from spending too much of your time and energy on low impact, low effort work that gives a false sense of (meaningful) progress.
  • Arthur Nederlof

    Co-founder & CEO of VANAD Group
    I am kind of like the 'University of Life' type of entrepreneur. The type that approaches challenges head on and works in a team effectively based on trust, mutual respect and lots of passion. However, it is vital to surround yourselves with people who know how to do things better than you. The risk of an entrepreneur equals the profit of an entrepeneur.
  • Matthijs Visch

    Former General Manager EMEA of Patagonia
    Matthijs has many years of experience working in international teams and delivering solid results. After working for Nike many years, he wanted something different. He wanted to work for a company that had the ability and the purpose to make an impact. Matthijs made the switch to Patagonia as General Manager EMEA to put the brand on the map in this region. "In business to save our home planet"
  • Jeroen Hertzberger

    Former professional hockey player & entrepreneur
    Jeroen has been an Olympic field hockey player three times and has won the European Championship twice. Currently he is the captain of the Rotterdam field hockey team (Heren 1). Besides being active on the field, Jeroen is also very active off the field. He is the founder of several companies, such as: ThunderSports, HertzbergerTV and HertzbergerTV Premium. HertzbergerTV is currently the biggest field hockey learning & entertainment platform in the world. "Ambition is the path to succes. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in."
  • Mary Pieterse-Bloem

    Head of Investments Office at Rabobank and Professor Financial Markets at Erasmus School of Economics
    Mary Pieterse-Bloem is Professor Financial Markets at the Erasmus School of Economics. Mary combines her Chair with a senior position in the financial sector. She is currently the head of the Investment Office at Rabobank. She is also the co-Chair of the Anglo-Dutch Financial Services Dialogue. Previously in her working career she held senior positions at ABN Amro Private Bank, All Pensions Group AM and Nationale Nederlanden Investment Partners (recently renamed as Goldman Sachs Asset Management) in the Netherlands, and at Lehman Brothers, Dresdner KW and BNP Paribas in London.
  • Terry Afram

    Founder & Managing Director of Bridge Partners.
    Terry Afram is an Accra-based, serial entrepreneur, born and raised in the Netherlands but of Ghanaian descent. He is the founder and Managing Director of Bridge Partners, a consultancy firm that bridges the gap between The West and Africa, by acting as a local partner and providing market entry and -growth solutions.
  • Iffat Rose Gill

    Founder of The Code to Change
    Iffat Rose Gill is a powerhouse in the tech industry, blazing a trail as a social innovator, digital strategist, and an award-winning global leader in women's digital inclusion. With a track record of success, she has established numerous programs, initiatives, and multi-stakeholder partnerships aimed at tackling the shortage of skilled labor and empowering women to take on leadership roles within the tech sector. Her initiative; The Code to Change, has already impacted the lives of nearly 15,000 women across Europe and Asia with its digital-skills training programs. Her upcoming program to support entrepreneurs in Asia and Africa will expand these efforts and enable even more individuals to thrive and succeed in the tech industry- she's gearing up to launch an even more extensive program to support entrepreneurs in Asia and Africa, helping them to thrive and succeed in the digital sector. Her latest venture, Digital Starling, leverages the power of artificial intelligence and blockchain to provide freelance opportunities to underrepresented female talent across the globe.
  • Jos Grootscholten

    Owner & chef of Michelin starred 'Restaurant Perceel'
    "I started working in the kitchen when I was 15 years old. In this restaurant (Elzenduin) I worked for 7 years. The owner gave me a lot of freedom to explore cooking techniques and products. In these 7 years I also worked in other resaturants during my education (e.g. restaurant Callas*, The Hague - restaurant Vermeer**, Amsterdam - La Rive** 'Amstel Hotel' Amsterdam and Beluga**, Maastricht). In 2009, Sharon and I did an internship at restaurant Berastequi*** in San Sebastian for 3 months, followed by an internship at restaruant NOMA** in Copenhagen for 3 weeks."
  • Sybelle Gielisse

    Head of Tribe Wealth Management at Rabobank.
    As Lead of the Tribe Wealth Management, Sybelle is responsible for investment services, product development & digitization of savings and investments for retail, private banking and SME clients in the Netherlands. End-to-end responsible for improving customer and employee journeys and the determination of the assortment (products) associated with the Tribe Wealth accumulation including the realization of the commercial objectives within Savings and Investing. In addition, as theme lead Financial Healthy Living, Sybelle is responsible for the strategy, positioning, propositions and alignment of all product tribes on this theme including the connection with the Local Banks of Rabobank. Sybelle is also Member of the Executive Board of Rabobank Groenbank. Rabobank Groenbank collects savings from private customers who receive a possible tax benefit. The savings are used to finance green projects with an interest discount.
  • Patrick Jordens

    Founder of DMCC Group
    Patrick Jordens is an entrepreneur and founder of DMCC Group, a group of organizations that specialize in compliance with consumer law, privacy law and information security and that offer a complementary package of compliance services to the Dutch market.
  • Kathelijn van Elk

    Global Impact Manager of Too Good To Go
    Kathelijn van Elk is the Global Impact Manager of Too Good To Go and she in charge of the awareness program for expiration dates on food products. Besides that, she has made it her goal to inspire future leaders and she is an expert on food waste reduction. Kathelijn studied at Wageningen University and worked at FMCG companies for many years, acquiring experience in the process here in the Netherlands and abroad.
  • Edmond Fokker

    Violinist & former secret agent for the Dutch Government
    Edmond Fokker, autodidact, violinist, family-member of the Fokker aircraft-family, performed in 2019 in Amsterdam’s Royal Concerthall and two weeks later in Carnegie Hall in a tribute to Niccolo Paganini. He plays all around the world, in interesting and unusual places, for amazing people, from Royal courts to warzones, for Kings and orphanages with gypsies and orchestra’s.

EFR wall of fame

EFR strives to inspire students. We do this by inviting all sorts of speakers to our events, ranging from worldwide political leaders to captains of industries. These people have been invited to events like the World of Business congres and EFR/EenVandaag election debate, see here our wall of fame.

  • Jeroen Dijsselbloem

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem is a Dutch politician and economist. Former Minister of Finance and President of the Eurogroup.
    He is a member of the Labour Party (PvdA), he has also been Chairman of the supervisory board of Wageningen University since 1 April 2019.
  • Pim Fortuyn

    Pim Fortuyn was a Dutch politician, academic, author and businessman who formed his own party: the Pim Fortuyn List.
    Fortuyn prompted controversy in the Netherlands with his views on multiculturalism, immigration and Islam in the Netherlands. He called Islam "a backward culture", and was quoted as saying that if it were legally possible, he would close the borders for Muslim immigrants.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev

    Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is the former President of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
    He is a Russian and formerly Soviet politician. Mikhail was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union and the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Ideologically, he initially adhered to Marxism-Leninism although by the early 1990s had moved toward social democracy.
  • Ban Ki-moon

    Ban Ki-moon is a South-Korean diplomat and politician. Former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
    He is a South Korean politician and diplomat who served as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he graduated from university, accepting his first post in New Delhi, India.
  • Neelie Kroes

    Neelie Kroes is a former Dutch politician and European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda.
    Neelie Kroes is a retired Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and businesswoman In 2007 Neelie Kroes became 59th on the Forbes-lijst The 100 Most Powerful Women, one year later she became 47th.
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Each year EFR organises multiple events. Below you can find an overview of the biggest events.

Flagship events

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