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. This year, the closing session also includes an interactive interview with the CEO of Bunq, Ali Niknam.

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.

This year's speakers

  • Panel speakers

  • Jort Kelder as Moderator of the panel

    Journalist, television presenter and former chief editor of the magazine Quote
    Journalist, columnist, and presenter Jort Kelder you might know from the flagship program of NPO, Op1, his radio show Dr. Kelder & Co, his weekly column in het Financieele Dagblad, or perhaps from the rather witty Snobcast. In the public eye, he's renowned as one of the sharpest moderators around, yet thankfully with a sense of humor. Kelder coined the term 'Green Right': as much as he's concerned about the country's economy, and understands it better than many, he's equally principled in advocating for animal rights and nature conservation. He rose to fame as the cheeky editor-in-chief of Quote magazine, publishing the fortunes of the Dutch elite in the now famous Quote500. Though he's been away from that role longer than he held it, he likely sheds that title as easily as his trademark suspenders, which, -zoals het heurt-, are firmly attached to his tailored trousers. Journalist, columnist en presentator Jort Kelder kent u mogelijk van het vlaggenschip der NPO Op1, zijn radioprogramma Dr. Kelder & Co, zijn wekelijkse column in het Financieele Dagblad of van de nogal geestige Snobcast. ‘In het land’ staat hij bekend als een van de scherpste dagvoorzitters, waarmee gelukkig ook te lachen valt. Kelder muntte niet voor niets de term ‘Groen Rechts’: zo zeer als hij begaan is met ’s lands economie, en daar meer van snapt dan menig ander, zo principieel komt hij op voor de rechten van dieren en natuur. Hij werd beroemd als de blagerige hoofdredacteur van Quote die de vermogens van tout Nederland publiceerde in de inmiddels vermaarde Quote500. Hij is er inmiddels langer weg dan dat hij er de scepter zwaaide, maar van die titel komt hij vermoedelijk net zo makkelijk los als van zijn eeuwige bretels, die -zoals het heurt- duurzaam vastgeknoopt zitten aan zijn op maat gesneden broek.
  • Ali Niknam

    Founder and CEO of Bunq
    Ali Niknam is a highly regarded entrepreneur known for his innovative contributions to the fintech industry. As the founder and CEO of bunq, he has demonstrated remarkable vision and leadership, driving the company to new heights of success. With a huge commitment to user-centric principles, Niknam has reshaped the banking experience, prioritizing simplicity, transparency, and customer empowerment above all else. Something other banks can learn from. His dedication to excellence has gained widespread admiration, making bunq a trusted and beloved platform for users worldwide. Ali Niknam's passion for innovation continues to inspire both customers and industry professionals alike, solidifying his reputation as a trailblazer in the world of finance.
  • Alexander Rinnooy Kan

    Former Senator D66 and Chairman of the Social and Economic Council (SER)
    Alexander Rinnooy Kan is a highly respected figure in both the academic and business realms, celebrated for his exceptional contributions to various fields. With a distinguished career spanning academia, business, and public service, Rinnooy Kan has earned widespread admiration for his visionary leadership and profound expertise. As a former chairman of the Dutch employer's organization VNO-NCW and the Social and Economic Council (SER), he has played a pivotal role in shaping economic policies and fostering collaboration between different sectors. Rinnooy Kan's commitment to excellence and his ability to navigate complex challenges with poise and foresight have made him a trusted advisor and influencer in both national and international spheres.
  • Workshop speakers

  • Fatimazhra Belhirch

    Dutch Senator for D66, former CEO of Foundation for Student Refugees (UAF)
    Fatimazhra Belhirch is a Dutch Senator. She embodies a resolute commitment to building a more solidary, just and equitable society on both national and international fronts. These are pillars that ensure a humane society and a society where everyone can be themselves and lead a dignified life. She Studied Contract Law and Corporate Law at the Erasmus University during which she studied in France and Japan. Fatimazhra was active in student politics. She held various position such as student Member of the Law Faculty Council, a student Member of the University Council. After her studies she started as a lawyer but she realised she wanted to have more social impact and decided to get a master in International and European Law at the University of Amsterdam. In various positions she was the first woman to pave the way for others. Also, she dedicated more than 20 years for women’s rights and strives to support more women into politics, because representation matters. She has been committed to human rights, peace and security for over 25 years. As a human rights defender and diplomat, where she worked and visited many countries (Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan etc.) she has seen what conflict does and what its consequences are. But also, how important it is to prevent and solve causes of conflict - such as poverty and inequality. Fatimazhra believes that exploration for peace, security and stability is important. Peace, stability and security are often taken for granted. Engage in dialogue and seek connections with each other. Even when times are tough. This is precisely when it is time to start a conversation to have more understanding for each other and to combat polarization. Let's start a conversation together about hope and courage for the future. Next to being a Senator Fatimazhra was until recently CEO of the Foundation for Student Refugees (UAF), a Dutch organisation dedicated to supporting refugees and defending their human rights. She fulfills various positions on boards such as Scapino Ballet Rotterdam.
  • 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.
  • Daan Smits

    Head of Operational Development Mosa Meat, former BCG
  • Lunch speakers

  • Dagmar Oudshoorn

    Director of Amnesty International, Netherlands
    Dagmar Oudshoorn-Tinga has been the director of Amnesty International, Netherlands branch, since January 1, 2020. In 2021, she was the chair of the Advisory Committee Dialogue Group Slavery Past. From 2018 to 2019, she worked at the Amsterdam police as head of Operations. Prior to that, she served as the mayor of Uithoorn from 2010 to 2018 and as the chair of the Feijenoord district in Rotterdam from 2006 to 2010. Previously, she worked at the Custodial Institutions Agency in The Hague (2000-2004) and at the Child Protection Council in Rotterdam (1998-2002). Additionally, she served as a member of the board of trustees of VluchtelingenWerk Nederland for five years.
  • Hanne Buis

    Member supervisory board Stedin and Former COO Schiphol
    Hanne Buis, a double bachelor Erasmus University alum, transitioned from Olympic-level athletics to pivotal roles at Schiphol Group. As COO, she led the airport's post-COVID recovery, following earlier success as CEO of Lelystad Airport. She now serves on Stedin's supervisory board and chairs the Dutch Bach Society's supervisory board.
  • Jan de Jong

    CEO Eredivisie CV, former CEO NOS and Feyenoord
    Jan de Jong, former CEO of NOS, the largest Dutch news broadcaster, and former CEO of Feyenoord Rotterdam, nowadays directs Eredivisie CV. This means he oversees strategic initiatives for the top Dutch football league. His leadership ensures the league's success, making him an influential figure in sports and inspiring aspiring professionals.
  • Berry Diepeveen

    Managing Director and Senior Partner Boston Consulting Group
    Berry Diepeveen, Managing Director and Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, is a leader in digital transformation and technology strategy with over 20 years of experience. Previously, he was a Senior Partner at Bain & Company and owned Partake Consulting, acquired by Ernst & Young. His expertise and success make him an inspiring role model for aspiring professionals.
  • Philip van den Heuvel

    Co-founder & CFO Breeze
    Philip studied Electrical Engineering in Delft and actively participated in various extracurricular activities. It was through one of these engagements, De Kleine Consultant, that the idea of entrepreneurship sparked within his group. Eventually Philip and his team launched the dating app Breeze, which already organized over 150.000 dates. At Breeze, upon matching, individuals proceed directly to a date.
  • Lieke Pijpers

    Managing Director Circularity Gap Solutions
    Lieke Pijpers is a dynamic leader passionate about the circular economy, leveraging over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience. As Managing Director at Circularity Gap Solutions, she drives impactful initiatives, aiming to double global circularity by 2032.
  • Marion Koopmans

    Head of Viroscience Department Erasmus MC
    Prof. Marion Koopmans, leading virologist at Erasmus Medical Centre, directs global efforts in emerging infectious diseases. Her pivotal research and coordination of international networks combat disease spread, notably during the COVID-19 crisis. As a beacon of reliability, she's widely sought-after in media and co-authored over 700 influential articles.
  • Eva Wiessing

    NOS News economics reporter
    Eva Wiessing, NOS News economics reporter, delves into macroeconomic trends in the Eurozone and banking. With extensive coverage from the euro's inception to global crises, notably in Greece, she sheds light on complex economic issues. Her insightful reporting inspires and educates audiences on pivotal financial matters.
  • Sander van Ginkel

    Senior Managing Director Accenture
    Sander van Ginkel, Senior Managing Director at Accenture, spearheads the global Strategy & Consulting industry practice for utilities, specializing in the net zero energy transition. His deep expertise and passion for developing future leaders make him an inspirational figure in driving sustainable innovation and addressing climate challenges.
  • Diederik Gommers

    Chair of department Intensive Care Erasmus MC
    Diederik Gommers, renowned intensivist and professor at Erasmus MC, founded a startup during his research on long surfactant, impacting adult ARDS patients. As chair of the Dutch ICU Association, he played a pivotal role in advising the government during the COVID pandemic, gaining national recognition as an ICU physician. Currently focused on healthcare sustainability and digital transformation for future challenges.
  • Joyce Knappe

    Founder & CEO Pro Parents
    Joyce Knappe, an educator and corporate anthropologist, is the director and founder of Pro Parents, a trailblazing initiative in Workable Parenthood. Globally recognized as a Woman To Watch, she champions inclusive employer practices. Pro Parents' pioneering Health-Tech Platform supports working parents with evidence-based resources, promoting inclusive workplaces.
  • Daan Bovenberg

    CEO Excelsior Rotterdam
    Daan Bovenberg has been CEO of soccer club Excelsior since 2021 and has held a board seat since 2019. Prior to his career in club management, Daan played professional soccer in the Eredivisie while also studying business administration at our own Erasmus University. His journey intertwines sports and business at a high level, offering valuable insights into the world of sports management.
  • Edwin van der Ham

    Founder & CEO Monta
    Edwin van der Ham founded Montapacking (now Monta), transforming it from a small packaging company into the largest B2C fulfillment company in the Netherlands. With a focus on IT and innovation, Monta prioritizes its employees' well-being, aiming for inclusivity by offering opportunities to those from marginalized backgrounds.
  • Lita Cabellut

    Spanish multidisciplinary artist
    Lita Cabellut, acclaimed as the third most valued Spanish artist, is a versatile force in the art world, residing and creating in The Hague. Her multidisciplinary approach spans from monumental paintings to opera scenography, driven by her poetic sensibility. Recognized globally, her works adorn prestigious museums and collections, embodying profound social narratives.
  • François Geurds

    Two-Michelin-Star Chef
    François Geurds, renowned for his culinary mastery, leads FG Restaurant and FG Food Labs, boasting both a two-star and a one-star Michelin rating. His dedication to perfecting flavors and pushing culinary boundaries has positioned him as a luminary in Rotterdam's gastronomic scene, inspiring aspiring chefs and setting new standards of excellence.
  • Maxine Mantel

    Founder and owner of De Pindakaasmakerij BV
    Born in 1984 as a headstrong and entrepreneurial daughter in a family of three children. After studying law in Utrecht and having worked as a tax lawyer at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, it was clear that I preferred to take matters into my own hands. In 2014, I started the peanut butter brand 'VANMAX', which grew into a production company for peanut butter and nut pastes for the Dutch and European market.
  • Bartje Schotman-Kruiten

    Head of Information & Operational Risk Management ABN AMRO Bank
    Bartje is a seasoned banking professional with over 30 years of experience, currently leading ABN AMRO's Information & Operational Risk Management department and serving on the Supervisory Board of ABN AMRO Clearing. With a master's degree in Financial Economics, she has also held senior roles at ING Bank and overseen risk management functions, demonstrating expertise and dedication in the field of banking.
  • Mathijs Rotteveel

    Columnist Financieele Dagblad
    Mathijs Rotteveel, a seasoned professional in finance, has held roles as a risk manager on the Amsterdam stock exchange and a reporter on Wall Street. Presently, he shares his interesting insights through columns and analyses for Het Financieele Dagblad.
  • Robert Dur

    Professor of Economics at the Erasmus University and chairman of the Royal Economic Society
    Robert Dur, a prominent economist based in Rotterdam, is renowned for his extensive contributions to the field. As a professor at Erasmus University since 2008, he conducts influential research on organizational behavior, the labor market, and politics. His leadership roles in academic and governmental institutions, coupled with his regular column for De Correspondent, make him a notable figure inspiring future generations in economics.

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.
History image

Each year EFR organises multiple events. Below you can find an overview of the biggest events.

Flagship events

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