Ruud Veltenaar: Global Speaker

One of world’s most inspiring speakers with lasting impact

“What would you do, if you were not affraid?”

Energy, impact and
superb content

Wonder and amazement are fascinating when we think about the future. But great content – substantiated by facts and science – inspires the most and the longest. And helps make the best decisions, toward a future that seems unleashed. I am anything but gloomy, nor annoyingly optimistic. I take the disruptive developments and transformation seriously, but also know that we are on the eve of a better world.

Is there anything funnier than serious people talking about the future?

With witticisms and quips, I reflect and interpret a world that is comical and absurd enough to approach with a wink. No matter how serious the challenges and impact on our lives and work.

Met kwinkslagen duid ik een wereld die kolderiek genoeg is om met een knipoog te benaderen. Hoe serieus de uitdagingen en impact op ons leven en werk ook zijn.

During my inspirations, the energy crackles through the venue. Everyone is on the edge of their seats and beyond their imagination until the end.

Regardless of the length of my contribution. Interactivity is key and my absolute trademark. The more critical the questions and the debate, the more I come into my own.

As a storyteller, speaker and also as a moderator. I don’t mince words and am sometimes confrontationally honest. But I do not scare people, nor do I antagonize the audience.

For me, high ratings and applause are the result of my purpose and intent. IMPACT!  My inspirations are always talked about for a long time. Days, weeks, months and sometimes even years later. The personal reactions are always intense and almost without exception heartwarming.

Themes and topics

What are my inspirements about?

I tell stories and write about a potty world in transformation to the next stage of our civilization. About our great challenges and the vitale ideas and pragmatic solutions that we must find and implement for tomorrows world. On economic stability and inclusiveness or on social cohesion. And of course on climate threats and accelerating loss of biodiversity. About the consequences of digital and technological fragmentation. And the ever-increasing pressure on existing systems and institutions, such as; care, education, work, energy, mobility, agriculture, technology. What does this mean for thought leadership and innovative entrepreneurship? For our lives and work?

We can still reverse the risks and address the challenges, but the window of opportunities is closing. Together, we can take rapid, coordinated action to alleviate the worst impacts and make communities and our businesses more resilient and future-proof.

What am I talking about?

Fascinating collection of inspirements

My expertise

My role and track record as

Progressor:
creator of real
progress

I have a proven track record of almost 30 years as a thought leader, sustainable entrepreneur and impact investor.

As a progressor, I work day to day to create a more sustainable world and fair society.

As a philosopher and scientist, I easily separate sense from nonsense, just like goals from meaning and purpose.

As Homo Verus, I am part of both nature and society and therefore live and work within the limits of our planet and human potential.

Impact investor
Sustainable entrepreneur
Thought Leader
Impact investor

DOING WELL BY DOING GOOD

As an impact investor, I have had the opportunity to lead several large and small funds over the past 20 years. The intent was as clear as simple; doing well by doing good. To create value and progress for all stakeholders. As an investor, what could be more enjoyable and meaningful than getting a good return by creating real progress for as many people as possible on all continents?

I have had the opportunity to invest more than 8 billion USD through family funds in start-ups, scale-ups, projects and the internationalization of successful companies.  We were one of the first investors in LinkedIn (2002) and Tesla (2003). As a co-investor, we were involved in projects with UNOPS, Blackrock, Twinning, Novo Nordisk, GenMab, SunPower Corp and Celltrion.

As of 2019, I am only active as a minor investor and involved in various funds and projects, such as Speakers for Good and The Academy for Good.

My international experience as an impact investor and knowledge gained across many sectors, help me tremendously in my work as a future thinker, motivational speaker and best selling author. Most of my hilarious anecdotes are therefore from my own practice and experience.

Sustainable entrepreneur

INSPIRED BY NATURE

As an impact investor, the main focus was on sustainable business and creating value for all stakeholders; socially, environmentally and economically. Not infrequently, I have been inspired by biomimicry – the science and art of copying the best biological ideas and concepts in nature. As inspiration for applications in our human world and to improve and make our economy, society and society more sustainable.

As an impact investor and sustainable entrepreneur, I was involved in projects with the Biomimicry Institute, Threshold Foundation and the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, among others.

For my own account and risk, I have been the (co-)founder and of Silvac (ICT – sold to RAET in 1992), Planet Internet (sold to KPN in 1996), Park-line and Parkmobile (sold to BMW in 2016), among others.

In 2020 I started Speakers for Good (introduction in Sept 2021) and behind the scenes we are working on Events for Good (introduction in 2022) and the Academy for Good (introduction in 2022 or 2023).

Thought Leader

INSPIRING PEOPLE WITH INNOVATIVE IDEAS

As a thought leader, I always stayed true to my profound purpose and non-negotiable values for almost thirty years. Even when the majority disagreed or the scorn descended on me.

Important principles: compassion, empathic listening, walk the talk, sharing enthusiasm, self-development and gathering relevant knowledge and facts. And being open to criticism and daring to let go of your own limiting beliefs.

After my studies and volunteer work, my career took off during a collaboration and multi-year assignment at IBM HQ and McKinsey through Desisco [1983-1987].

Back in Europe I was part of the executive board of the Volmac Software Group (now Cap Gemini) [1987-1988] . After a conflict with the board, I started my first own company Silvac [1988-1992], which I sold to Raet (now Getronics) four years later, and then joined the board of directors [1992-1996].

Following the sale of Raet to Getronics, I became CEO and co-shareholder at Planet Internet and was responsible for the integration with World Access and the sale of Planet Internet to KPN [1996-1998].

During my role as CEO of Net Ventures [1999-2009], I was an investor at the birth of Park-line [2002], among others, and was responsible for the integrated acquisition and merger of Park-line and Parkmobile, the company I founded in 2002 and sold to BMW in 2016.

Very recently I founded Speakers For Good [2020], an international boutique speakers agency In Amsterdam. Unique in its kind because it is 100% ‘purpose driven’. An inspiring organization where our planet and 8 billion people get a voice that is heard.

Scientivist & Flip-thinker
Stand-up philosopher
Homo Verus
Scientivist & Flip-thinker

LEARNING IS ALWAYS REBELLION

I consider myself a passionate and rebellious scientist who helps people and organizations daily to create the world that almost everyone desires. I call for wise reflections and movement and make a non-exempt appeal to the head and heart, without putting people or organizations in harm’s way. It’s not about what your intentions are, but about what you demonstrably do and don’t do.

I apply science pragmatically in my daily life and work. No complicated academic treatises on economics or philosophical fallacies on extinction. Just concrete facts, objective reflections, and critical considerations. In simple language and in the here and now.

On the way to tomorrow, the day after and beyond. Based on vital ideas and solutions that create real progress for all stakeholders. Leaving nobody behind.

Stand-up philosopher

LIVE – LEARN – LOVE – LEAVE a LEGACY

My studies philosophy (in Amsterdam, Paris and New York) and business administration (Boston) help me to emancipate science, philosophy and the emerging future. Not only by showing people and organizations how accessible this is, but especially by stimulating them to do something concrete with it. For example, to create real progress, and not just financially, but also ecologically and socially.

I am not obstructively optimistic and am more of a fresh-eyed than a black-eyed observer, and like to consider the serious challenges facing humanity in the seemingly light, everyday here and now.

As a philosopher and future thinker, I understand the art of questioning by reference to the great philosophers. This leads to more awareness and reflection and is important in an era of fake news, where everyone is talking at the same time and opinions quickly take on the apparent value of facts.

The result is that I stimulate people and organizations to ask themselves and others essential and true questions that surprise and make you think. As a result, reflections and conversations lead to more depth and connection. With the other, with yourself and with the deeper intentions.

Homo Verus

LIVE BETTER – HELP MORE – WONDER OFTEN

Born, raised and living in Amsterdam and married to my dear Jeannette. Father to Martine, Floyd and Eva and together with Jeannette we cherish eight lovely and passionate children.

In my lectures and publications I often talk about the Homo Verus, the ‘truly wise man’. The inevitable successor of the Homo Economicus.

The ‘species’ of Homo Economicus has made people and planet subservient to economic growth and prosperity. Because of this we live in bubbles, which seem beautiful, but are in fact unrealistic and more often immoral and inhuman.

As Homo Verus, I live and work from the principle that people are also part of nature, rather than, for example, stewards or the immoral operator of it. And that we must connect differently, in radical interdependence, with each other and with nature.

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