Who is Ruud Veltenaar?

World leading Future thinker, Global speaker and Best selling author

“We live in soap bubbles, that are beautiful, but also unreal.”

That’s me

Stand-up philosopher,
scientist and progressor

World in transformation

The global pandemic, economic recession, protests against inequality and also the ongoing climate change have brought to the surface a deeper, more fundamental problem. Our current economic system rewards maximizing wealth over collective well-being and encourages individualism over interdependence. Never has there been a better time for reflection to reshape our future. Recognize the interdependence of healthy people, planet, and economies. Balance the relationships between the private sector, government and civil society. Ensure that everyone has access to free and fair markets.

Radical interdependency

We can no longer wait for the fog of uncertainty to vanish. The global economic system is broken and it is time for a fundamental reset. To that end, we must enter the new era fearlessly and with tons of wisdom. Invent new solutions for major economic, social and environmental challenges. And we will only succeed if we put the Commons at the center and work together in mutual desire. To create true progress for mankind and remove structural inequality. Leave nobody behind. Do what is desirable and desired. And because it is incredibly fun!


As successful entrepreneur and former impact investor, I have a keen understanding of the economic, social and technological forces that combine a new form of balanced power. As a philosopher and flip-thinker, I am critical to leaders, policy makers and organizations with egocentric agendas. Those who prioritize their individual goals above the profound purpose and the common good. And with a science background and activist mindset, I’m more scientivist than scientist. And because I work every day to create a better world, I am much more a progressor than a professor.

Walk the talk

For decades I have been committed to a better world. For a more sustainable living environment and just society. I have managed companies all over the world. From small to large, sometimes listed on the stock exchange. As an entrepreneur, I lived many adventures on my own account and built successful companies. As an impact investor, I had the opportunity to invest billions from third parties in new companies. Every year I provide hundreds of motivational talks and lectures and write about a better world we all are longing for.

My expertise

What I do and WHY?

I encourage people and organizations to make the most of their unlimited potential

In essence, I speak and write about the crazy and disruptive changes that people and organizations are facingin the new era. Mostly with humor and witticisms and always with hilarious anecdotes from my own practice as thought leader and serial entrepreneur. With fascinating insights and global perspective, although of course it may vary from your persepctive. I offer clarity about the future and tons of hope for a better world. I am flip-thinker and progressor who translates vague visions into concrete actions and pragmatic tools in the here and now. With this I stimulate people and organizations to become more aware of their challenges and unlimited potential. And how they can make a relevant difference in revolutionary and turbulent times. And especially how they can achieve maximal impact and the best results and seize opportunities that are currently not seen or out of reach. Both, in their personal lives and in work. And not just by thinking and talking about it; but especially by DOING it.

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end!

My role and track record as

creator of real

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


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


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


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


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


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


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.