Giovanni Stijnen

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 15

Giovanni Stijnen
My pronouns are: he/him/his
I am based in: Utrecht
Other projects and organizations include: NEMO Science and NEMO Kennislink

As a kid I read Steven Weinberg's The First Three Minutes, describing the events right after the Big Bang in 200 (!) pages, and it opened my eyes to the world in a profound way. Nature is everything and everywhere and present everywhere ranging from atomic structures to the complex innovation (urban) ecosystems many of us live in today. Growing up in Germany on a Dutch NATO base during the cold war added a sense of urgency to my childhood. I moved to Belgium and lived there for several years, finishing high school in Maastricht. I studied biology at Utrecht University and worked as a researcher for a couple of years.

As much as I loved working in science I decided to switch to the new and emerging field of internet and digital media in 2000. I joined the pioneer team that was developing a new online public science communication platform in the Netherlands. We called it After a pioneer phase the project was granted long-term continuity by the Dutch government. When it became part of NEMO Science Museum (the largest science museum in the Netherlands), I became project leader and manager of the NEMO Digital Productions & Publications department. NEMO Kennislink gradually developed into a sister brand next to NEMO Science Museum. Current employment: 15 science journalists and partnerships with over 80 partners in science, education, policy, public-private consortia and creative (media) industries. Annual online vistors: 3,2 million.

In 2022 I became Director of Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory. At the historic 19th-century observatory, scientists deciphered the composition of the sun and made the first weather forecasts. Today, Sonnenborgh is a museum where visitors can conduct their own research. Climb the stairs to the observatory and wonder at the starry heavens on a Star Viewing Night. Learn all about the unique building, the stars overhead and the weather in one of our exhibitions, tours or lectures. Sonnenborgh was built on a monumental 16th-century bastion, and is one of the best-preserved city wall bastions in Northern Europe.