Princess Laurentien to visit Erasmus University

Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands will be attending the EFR Business Week at Erasmus University on 22nd of March 2017. 

In the Netherlands, Princess Laurentien is well known for her literacy work. She established the Reading & Writing Foundation (Stichting Lezen & Schrijven). She also chairs the High Level Expert Group on Literacy since its launch in 2011 by the European Commission. She was also appointed UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development.

Probably less well known is her work for the Missing Chapter Foundation. It was founded in 2010 by HRH Princess Laurentien to contribute to future-proof solutions to social issues. They encourage decision-makers to include the perspectives of children and youngsters.

Based on her work with children she wrote a Management Book, Nog Lang en Gelukkig. In this book she and co author Jeroen Smit wrote down personal interviews with Dutch CEO’s, commented on by children aged 9-12.

“If you’re not happy, you don’t give it your best shot. Therefore you put a burden on other people’s shoulders.” (Bedirhan, 9 years).

“Leaders say ‘I’ a lot. Don’t they realise they are surrounded by many people?” (Anne Sofie, 12 years)

These and many other children’s quotes are to be found in Princess Laurentien’s Management Book which is on the list of Management Book of the Year.

You can read some excerpts here:

“I was an insecure child. My school career was not easy. I was certainly not the hero of my class. At a certain point I had to change schools. I still remember. I had a hard time adjusting. My parents however always supported me. They had a strong believe in using your full potential. It is your responsibility to find out what you're good at. Thanks to their trust I made good progress in school. But I had to work hard to get my A levels. Eventually I started studying biomedicine. Not an easy choice, but I loved it: molecules, DNA, the building blocks of life. I won a major price during my studies and at the same time had a busy life. Then, for the first time I was convinced that I could be successful. From that moment I became really ambitious. That is why I studied business administration after my studies.”

Feike Sijbesma, CEO DSM, Erasmus University Alumnus

“A CEO is just a well paid performer. I don’t like to be on stage, but I have to. I never read newspaper to find out what they say about me. It’s useless. They don’t write about Paul Polman, they write about the CEO of Unilever. I get to see myself in third person. While the people around me - like my mother and children - don’t.

It’s frightening to see how the world around you changes once you are the boss. Everybody wants to carry your bags. I am the face of the company. The one to make quite a lot of decisions. There are many things I do all by myself, but I always try to involve others. That’s important in a company this size.

I believe strongly that problems are there to be solved. There are always possibilities. People around me don’t always follow. I take too much weight on my shoulders. Hence I disappoint people. Perhaps I should cooperate a bit more.”

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever


Date: Wednesday 22nd of March

Location: Erasmus University Rotterdam

Time: 13:30 – 19:00

Selection: Open to all students

Language: English

Dress code: Business casual

Subscription deadline: 17th of March


Register now

The EFR Business Week will take place from 22nd of March until 4th of April

A main ticket for the whole week € 12,50

A single ticket for the World of Business € 7,50


More info

The EFR Business Week has been the leading student congress in Europe for over 30 years. The speakers of this year’s edition come from a wide variety of disciplines. In line with the theme ‘Play to Win’ they will tell you about the risks they took in life and how this contributed to their current success.

Text: Manon Sikkel

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