Donald Pols

Donald Pols
Chief Executive
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Amsterdam
THNK connection: THNKer , AMS Class 16

I was born in South Africa and grew up on a farm some 20 kilometers from the closest human settlement (for non-South Africans the farm would look more like a nature reserve). Growing up in nature together with having experienced the change from apartheid to democracy shaped who I am. I believe that major social change is possible if people mobilize themselves. For me, environmentalism and social activism share the intrinsic element of compassion and appreciation of life in all of its fascinating manifestations. In my professional career, I focus on how social change can be achieved with the aim of working towards a harmonious society. I did my master's thesis on the subject of social change based on amongst others the theory of the sociologist Anthony Giddens. My main interest is the dynamic of “the battle of ideas” and how it influences policy: How to develop and garner support for a frame that can achieve major changes in society and policymaking? Authentic leadership is my goal. My dirty secret is that I love to 'braai' (bbq). I can easily spend a day to prepare something special for friends and loved ones.

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