Sustainable change starts with leaders

I’m in Melbourne already for two working days and enjoying the beautiful people I meet and the inspiration it brings to me working together with so much passionate people at the Monash Business University.

Yesterday I explained about the many forms of collaboration we have created in the Netherlands around the circular economy. For us it seems normal already, but from a perspective where circular economy development is much more at the start of a journey it is really special. The questions my colleagues here ask me, make me reflect what creates this context in the Netherlands. Can we learn from that and bring this to Australia?


People are crucial in any change, but in one where you want to build new networks and new structures of supply chains, even more. So all journeys start with at least one person who is passionate about creating a better world together. That’s actually also one of the insightful findings of the Monash research team of the successes that are already been achieved here. Doing research in this fields therefore often leads us to inspirational entrepreneurs having a vision and fighting for that. Not an easy journey in most cases, but very rewarding when you achieve your first results.


Yesterday I spoke to one of those entrepreneurs on the phone. Great that even contacts from the Netherlands provides me a circular network here in Australia. It is really is small world. This entrepreneur is working in circular economy already for more than a decade. In the Netherlands we experience much support from governments as launching customer and providing subsidies on all kind of projects. In building new business models, technology or experimenting with new supply chain structures. That’s really helpful to build trust within the supply chain without creating and expectations between participants. You can join a project just out of curiosity and to learn about the topic. This entrepreneur just found that he had to do this, without any perspective within a short period of time to a profitable business case. That’s entrepreneurship isn’t it? Believe in your own vision and go for it.


This entrepreneur was working for 3-4 years in this field, he met other leaders in the field to build a circular network. Together they approached other companies to join. And now they have almost a profitable closed cycle of products. Circular change and a more sustainable world starts with the people that share the same vision and passion and show leadership. Wonderful to experience the same passion on the other side of the world as well.