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Public SPACE steunt op een groot netwerk van invloedrijke bestuurders, ondernemers, wetenschappers en opinieleiders. Uit het netwerk komen ideeën naar voren, het is een klankbord dat helpt om ideeën verder uit te werken en te toetsen. Ook helpt het netwerk mee ideeën uit te dragen.

Rond een vaste kern is er een schil van zo’n 160 denkers, zoals hoogleraren, opinion leaders en journalisten, die we raadplegen als het gaat om specifieke expertise en soms ook uitnodigen voor debatten die Public SPACE zelf entameert.


We komen graag in contact met anderen die een missie verwant aan de onze uitdragen. Private, onafhankelijke denktanks zijn schaars in Nederland. Het is dus zaak elkaar te helpen, op te zoeken, te steunen en wederzijds te inspireren. Als u zich aangesproken voelt, neem contact met ons op. Dat stellen we zeer op prijs.

We werken regelmatig op verzoek van of samen met maatschappelijke partners aan onderzoeksrapporten, studies en essays. We ontwikkelen en implementeren ook innoverende, nieuwe methoden en werkwijzen in de publieke sector. Liggen er vragen waarbij de expertise van Public SPACE kan helpen? Is er behoefte aan maatschappelijke steun of legitimering van onderzoek? Moet er een prikkelend essay geschreven worden over maatschappelijk ondernemerschap of de publieke sector? Neem contact met ons op.

Heeft u een idee voor een congres, brainstormsessies, rondetafel sessies, of behoefte aan een prikkelende dagvoorzitter over de thema’s en onderwerpen waar Public SPACE zich druk om maakt? Neem contact met ons op.

Personen die een bijdrage hebben geleverd en het doel van PublicSPACE steunen:

R.M. (Renee) Bergkamp

Renée Bergkamp is Director-General of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs with Innovation and Entrepreneurship as her special mission.

  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Animal Science Group (Wageningen University and Research)
  • Former director-general at the ministry of Agriculture and Fishery and before that director of Immigration policy, Ministry of Justice.
  • Member of the Ambassador network 2003 (Aim: towards visible female leadership).

The complex issues our society is facing in this era demands the thinking and acting force of government, societal organizations and private enterprise. The Thinktank Public Space combines those different domains and offers an inspiring environment to exchange experiences and insights. In that exchange I’d like to contribute the experiences of the government, more precisely our experiences with the complexity and the stamina of policy implementation.

A.W.H. (Arthur) Docters van Leeuwen

Arthur Docters van Leeuwen is senior research fellow at the Dutch school of public administration and member of several non executive boards, eg insurance company Aegon and social housing organization Rochdale.

  • Chairman of the advisory board of the Royal Theatre at The Hague (Koninklijke schouwburg Den Haag).
  • Former First Chairman of the Board of Holland Financial Centre, a public private initiative to promote the Netherlands as a global financial centre.
  • Former Chief of the Board of Procurators General at the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands.
  • Former Chief of the National Security Service (now called the General Intelligence and Security Service or AIVD).
  • Former Chairman of the Board of the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets.

A.J. (Aart Jan) de Geus

Aart Jan de Geus is deputy secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France.

  • Former minister for social affairs for the Christen Democratic Party (CDA) in the cabinets Balkenende I,II and III.

G.J. (Gertjan) Lankhorst

Gertjan Lankhorst is CEO of GasTerra B.V.

  • Former director-general of Energy at the Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • Former director of Competition Policy, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Execution of public tasks by private companies is still one of the most interesting and promising areas of government policy. Unfortunately the debate is too often dominated by ideological positions. I see the ThinkTank Public Space as an effort to overcome those positions and to find out what can really contribute to a better performance of the public sector.

S.S. (Sandra) Lutchman

Director Common Purpose.

In order to meet the current and future challenges there is a need for guts, vision and a common purpose. Leaders should be able to work with partners from a wide range of sectors, because the challenges at hand can’t be effectively dealt with from within one sector or one point of view.

The bringing together of thinkers and doers from a diversity of sectors, who are willing and able to examine the challenges which face civil society and which of those can be dealt with most effectively by public-private partnerships, can lead to more creativity than could be reached by a (more) homogeneous group. Therefore the Think Tank can position itself as a much needed outside driver of change, which can lead to the development of new visions and policies. Furthermore, the necessary will and acting power can be stimulated, also within one’s own organizations and networks. Through these networks the work and results of the Think Tank can be further disseminated.

F.J.H. (Ferdinand) Mertens

Ferdinand Mertens is Member of the Independent Research Council for Safety, Dean of the Netherlands School for Public Administration (NSOB) and professor in Public Supervision at the Technical University of Delft.

  • Former Director-General at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCenW)
  • Former member of the National Commission on Statistics (CBS)

R.J.J.M. (Ralph) Pans

Ralph Pans is Chairman of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten: VNG).

  • Former mayor of Zaanstad, Rosmalen and Almere.
  • Former vice-president of the Town district of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
  • Former secretary-general of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management of the Netherlands.

Societal problems which are on the cutting edge between public and private sectors and parties, like healthcare, education, housing and culture, touch people in their heart. At the same time they create the biggest challenges for thinkers and doers. In my whole career I always worked in various positions for the public cause and in Public SPACE I found a fascinating ThinkTank in which we, coming from very diverse positions, can all study innovative solutions for these difficult and important topics.

M.J. (Martin) van Rijn

Martin van Rijn is Chairman of the Executive Board PGGM (pensionfund in healthcare).

  • Former director-general on Health Care at the ministry of VWS, specifically leading the transition on liberalization of health insurance.

Other relevant activities:

  • Member several non-executive boards in non profit organizations;
  • Member board of De Baak, management centre for industry and NSOB, management centre for public administration

The issues of modern society are all about seeking a balance between increasing individual and collective responsibility. This balance changes continuously due to demographic, economic, technical and social-cultural developments. One-dimension-approaches don’t work anymore. It proves complicated in practice to realize a working combination of knowledge, skills and experience of government, industry, civil society and science. The Public SPACE ThinkTank offers a unique platform to bring all these disciplines together and has proven this combination can work. I find it a challenge to explore on this platform with an open mind and neutral of vested interests, new solutions outside of the normal mindset.

R. (René) Scherpenisse

Social Entrepreneur and consultant in social housing issues.

  • Former Chairman of the board of Portaal, one of the largest social housing companies in the NetherlandsFormer director of the Foundation for Experiments in social housing (SEV), a national innovation organization.

The next few years is all about putting the civic enterprise en social entrepreneurship to the test and learning by doing in the public domain. For me the ThinkTank of Public SPACE is a very good and well focused way to contribute to this goal.

W.P.M. (Willem) van der Schoot

Willem van der Schoot, non executive board member of several cultural institutes, including chairman of Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

  • Former President of the executive Board of Nijenrode University, the only purely privately funded university in the Netherlands.
  • Former member of the Board of Executives of the Robeco Group.
  • Former director-general of the ABN/AMRO bank.
  • Former chairman of the Board of Boer & Croon Strategy and Management Group.

H.G. (Harry) Starren

Chairman of the executive board of De Baak, Management center of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW).

  • Beside his management function he is active as a coach, lecturer and consultant, particularly in the field of the management of professional organizations. He is on the supervisory board of two companies, was announcer of the TV program “Grootmeesters (Masters) in Management” and wrote several books on management

The public domain is in the interest of us all and so rightly deserves the attention of all people having special responsibility in and for society. The ThinkTank offers me the opportunity to meet other people than I normally work with and for in my daily reality. In those unthought-of and unexepected encounters lingers the chance on innovation and the possibility of break throughs in our thinking.

E. (Ed) van Thijn

Ed van Thijn, Former mayor of Amsterdam, Former minister for Internal Affairs; and is former member of the Senate of the Dutch Parliament (Eerste Kamer).

  • Member of the Council for Journalistic Conduct.
  • Chairman of the supervisory board of the Netherlands Refugee Foundation.
  • Former professor at the Amsterdam University and the University of Leiden.
  • Member of the board of executives of the European Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia.
  • Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
  • Former mayor of Amsterdam and Former Minister for Internal Affairs.

Public SPACE is thinking in a creative and innovative way about the tangent plane between market and government. This is much more than just an in-between, it is the core of modern society. This cornerstone is most of the time overlooked by those digital thinkers (and mainly doers) who interpret society by using polarisations like government vs. market, public vs. private, etc. They are missing the whole point, for example the upcoming civil society

R. (Rob) van Tulder

Rob van Tulder is Professor in Business and International Business Society Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Chairman of the Department of Business Society Management.

  • Coordinator of the ERASM research project “Internationalization and Competitive Space” Acted as consultant for the International Metalworkers’ Federation, the European Parliament, the Commission of the European Communities, the OECD, The World Bank, the Dutch Ministry of economic Affairs, the Technical Institute TNO and the Dutch Organization for Technology Assessment (NOTA).

The rise of an international ‘bargaining society’ – in which increasingly all citizens negotiate over the design and future of society – has resulted in a sizable institutional void: an area in which old societal arrangements are not valid any more and new arrangements have to be created. Semi-public and semi-private rules of the game are experimented with, but their effectiveness is strongly disputed. “Public Space” runs the risk of becoming a “public void” – a big societal desert in which primarily the strongest and/or the smartest thrive. My participation in the ThinkTank of the Public Space Foundation is triggered by my desire to help fill this public void and develop productive and innovative alternatives. In my opinion this entails in particular a rejuvenation of the European model of a social market economy. This model provides the best opportunities to deal in a concise manner with pressing global issues like global warming, income disparity, poverty and health – all prime problems of redistribution. Neither the North-American nor the rising Asian model present adequate approaches. If Europe in general and the Netherlands in specific want to create a viable alternative, it should also provide the breading ground for the development of new visions on the basis of experiments in which all relevant stakeholders participate.

F.J.M. (Jos) Werner

Jos Werner is Chairman of a parliamentary party of the Senate of the Dutch Parliament (Eerste Kamer), and Chairman of the Dutch Foundation for Brain Research (Hersenstichting).

  • Member of the supervisory board of Cordis
  • Member of the board of the Mondriaan Foundation
  • Chairman of the Dutch Foundation for Brain Research (Hersenstichting)
  • Vice-chairman of the Board of the Amsterdam university Medical Center (AMC)
  • Former crown-appointed Member of the Health Insurance Funds Council
  • Former chairman of the board of executives of the University Medial Center of St. Radboud

Maatschappelijke organisaties in het netwerk van Public SPACE:

Denktanks waarmee we nauw contact hebben:

  • Prospekt: een vooral virtuele kring van jonge denkers
  • De Publieke Zaak: een maatschappelijk initiatief van Mickey Huijbregtsen (ex-McKinsey) gericht op actief burgerschap en sociale vernieuwing.

Belangrijke mediapartners:

Andere partners waarmee we regelmatig samenwerken: