Wouter van Tongeren

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 11

Wouter van Tongeren
Senior Strategist, Innovation & Partnerships
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Utrecht


I studied International Relations at the University of Leiden and the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). I started my career working for Royal Dutch Shell, working in the team that launched Shell's premium fuel; V-power. While a sales-driven position, part of my tasks dealt with an organizational change program called 'People Make the Difference Real'. After several years I switched jobs to join a young Amsterdam consultancy firm advising middle size companies. I specialized in matters of sustainability and seeking opportunities in emerging markets. In 2010 I started working for Cordaid, the largest Dutch based international development organizations with 100 years of expertise in structural poverty eradication working in more than 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East. After being responsible for their Urban Program and actively involving the private sector, I soon became Senior Corporate Strategist working with a team of business developers to realize successful pro-poor public private partnerships.


I initiated the Urban Change Labs together with AT Osborne - a multidisciplinary agency for urban matters. The labs bring together future leaders from various organizations to explore business opportunities in the fast urbanization of Global South. I also founded the Social Business Incubator to identify innovative business ideas for those at the so-called Base of Pyramid, validate models and bring them as investor-ready Social Enterprises to the market. I recently worked with various US based change makers, like the Gates Foundation, in a collaborative effort to deliver positive change.


I am passionate about bringing organizations together in cross-sector partnerships and build social ventures based on shared value creation. Moreover I believe that cities will especially be the engines of innovation and sustainability.