Our Distinguished Speaker Lineup

In the world of events and conferences, the caliber of speakers often defines the success of an occasion. At our Thrive 2024, we take immense pride in presenting a speaker lineup that embodies excellence, innovation, and inspiration.

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Prof. Lucas Meijs

Lucas C.P.M. Meijs (1963) is professor of “Strategic Philanthropy and Voluntary Work” at the Department of Business-Society Management, Rotterdam School of Management. He publishes regularly in leading journals such as Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Voluntas and Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Lucas teaches NGO management and Volunteer Management. Lucas is a board member of Rotterdam Voor Goed (supporting social enterprise development in Rotterdam) and ISA fort youth (sport for development in Africa). He has three sons and lives in Rhoon.

Louisa Stewart

Louisa Stewart is an extraordinary individual who brings a wealth of expertise and passion to her work. With a deep understanding of various fields, including psychology, education, and leadership, Louisa excels in applying her knowledge to real-world contexts. She is skilled in program development, team management, and strategic planning, consistently delivering outstanding results. Louisa’s dedication to accreditation and curriculum design, particularly in the areas of liberal arts and international education, sets her apart as a true leader in her field. Beyond her professional achievements, Louisa is also deeply committed to making a positive impact in the world. She actively contributes to non-profit initiatives, working to address important social issues and bring about meaningful change. Louisa’s remarkable accomplishments and unwavering dedication make her an inspiration to all who have the pleasure of working with her.

Taslim Alade

Presently Taslim is a lecturer at Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His lecturing areas of domain include Sustainable Business Models, Professional Development, Infrastructure Management, Urban Governance, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Space Applications. He has an excellent track record in supervising master’s theses.
Prior to the present, Taslim was a GIS Analyst and Data Scientist with thirteen years of work experience.

Work experiences in GIS analysis; Satellite Image Processing; Data collection, preprocessing, integration, and analysis. He is an alumnus of the International Space University, France.
Another area of valuable experience for Taslim is in large Infrastructure adoption within the Urban Governance and Smart City Development domains, with eight years of work experience.

Taslim’s additional valuable experience is in project management as a trained project manager by The United Nations International Charter, Space, and Major Disasters.

In addition, Taslim has a special interest and experience in doing research, with a good track record of writing and publishing articles.

Ebere Adekiri

Ebere Adekiri is the Founder of Rise and Lead Women, she has been on a global mission since 2018 to support women across different industries in fulfilling their leadership aspirations. With over 25 years of experience in developing big ideas and strategies, building companies and initiatives from scratch, and connecting leaders on essential topics, she is dedicated to creating a future where equality and diversity rule the world. She offers resources, support, and fosters connections for women to lead fearlessly. Additionally, she cultivates long-term strategic partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies, helping them create programs and events that advance women in leadership. She also shares her knowledge and expertise through various training programs, empowering women to achieve their professional and business dreams. Apart from running Rise and Lead Women, she is also the founder of Ataro Foods, a venture that showcases the richness of African cuisine to the world.

Myra Colis

Myra is a highly experienced professional with over 15 years of expertise in information, learning & teaching, research, data analysis, marketing, and communications. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law in Society (LL.B) and a Master’s Degree in International Technology Law (LL.M) from VU University Amsterdam. Her career began as a news reporter in the Philippines and later transitioned to teaching English as a second language. She then pursued web design and development as well as business administration in China. In the Netherlands, she ran her own entrepreneurial initiative and founded MABIKAs Foundation. Myra is also an author, having published a book titled “unWANTED Adventure with Big C: a surprisingly REWARDing Journey of HOPE, STRENGTH & LOVE” after surviving breast cancer in 2019. With a strong background in communication and content creation, she possesses a deep understanding of the power of data.

Hilda Akhideno

Hilda Akhideno earned her MSc Chemistry from the University of Leiden in 2007. She is a Regulatory Chemist in the Chemical Industry where she currently a member of the leadership team.

Abderrahim Kajouane

Abderrahim Kajouane is a highly skilled and experienced coach and trainer, specializing in helping women, small businesses, teams, and non-profits. With over 10 years of experience in operations, projects, program development, and stakeholder management, Abderrahim is dedicated to providing clarity, strategy, and roadmaps for sustainable growth and change. He combines creative methods like workshops and art to facilitate transformation and learning. Abderrahim is a certified coach, a certified scrum master, and a trained person-centered counselor with over 500 hours of coaching experience. With his expertise and passion for personal growth, Abderrahim is here to guide and empower you on your journey to success.

Dr. Sheetal Shah

Dr. Sheetal Shah is an incredibly accomplished and respected international psychologist. With a deep understanding of psychological theories, Dr. Shah applies this knowledge to real-world contexts such as education, public health, and leadership. Her expertise extends to program development, team management, and strategic planning, where she consistently demonstrates exceptional skills. Dr. Shah’s specialization in accreditation and curriculum design, particularly in the field of liberal arts and international education, sets her apart as a true leader in her field. Beyond her professional achievements, Dr. Shah’s passion for making a positive impact is evident through her role as the Founder and Chair of THE BIJLMER PROJECT/TheBridge2Hope Foundation. This non-profit grassroots collaborative project, in partnership with Webster University and CARF, addresses the psychosocial needs of victims of human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation. Dr. Shah’s dedication to this cause exemplifies her unwavering commitment to creating change and bringing hope to those in need. Her remarkable accomplishments and tireless efforts make her an inspiration to all.

Margriet Krijtenburg

Margriet Krijtenburg is a senior lecturer in Spanish and Leadership at the European Studies Programme, Faculty of Management & Organisation of The Hague University of Applied Sciences and does research on European Integration.

She obtained her PhD on “Schuman’s Europe – his frame of reference” at Leiden University in September 2012. The book is translated into French in “L’Europe de Schuman – ses racines” in 2013. She converted her PhD thesis with Arjen de Wit (PhD) into the children book “The Father of Europe” in 2018. The book has been published in six different languages and led to Schuman for Kids events at The European School of The Hague and in other schools across The Netherlands and beyond.

Margriet has a Master Degree in Spanish and European Studies. She lived, studied and worked in several countries. She stayed in India for eight years where she worked among others as Director of the University Exchange Programme India-Europe. Back in The Netherlands she taught European Integration and Spanish at Windesheim University (Zwolle), Fontys University (Venlo) and since 2004 at European Studies, Faculty of Management & Organisation of The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

She is involved in the organization of EU seminars, like the Annual International Schuman Student Congress, does research, writes (scientific) articles, gives lots of presentations related to her thesis all over Europe. Furthermore she is writing a book and presenting papers on European unification from shuman perspective. 

Irene Davis

Irene Davids has been working as a project advisor on donations at Fund 1818 in The Hague since 2011. Fund 1818 gives money and support to organisations and local residents working for a better society. Before that, Irene worked in all kinds of positions at many different social organisations. Her training as a cultural anthropologist always comes in handy.

“It’s a ticket to unemployment.” That is what Irene was told by her high school teachers when she told them in the late 1970s that she wanted to study anthropology at the Catholic University (now Radboud University) in Nijmegen. These demoralising words did not deter her from taking this path. Fortunately not, as Irene still benefits greatly from the study, which she completed in 1984. She lives in Escamp, a busy part of The Hague with many urban problems that keep repeating themselves. But there are also always many positive forces that make a difference in people’s lives.

When Irene graduated almost forty years ago, she could have done doctoral research. But she chose to work in practice and started a family. Now her three grown-up children have flown out and she is grandmother to six grandchildren. Still, PhD research kept playing through her mind, especially when it comes to the world of philanthropy and funds. Irene likes the fact that she can still do this now a few years before her retirement. It completes the circle nicely. It is also a long, lonely road full of obstacles, but Irene is determined to persevere.

Thus, at 64, she hopes to be a role model for women and girls who think they are too old or too young, or that they are not smart, rich, or socially skilled enough. Trying is more important than achieving!

Tetyana Benzeroual

Tetyana Benzeroul is a talented individual who possesses a unique blend of creativity and analytical thinking. With a background in design and a passion for innovation, Tetyana consistently delivers exceptional results in her work. Her attention to detail and ability to think outside the box make her a valuable asset in any project she takes on. Tetyana’s expertise in user experience design and user interface design allows her to create intuitive and visually appealing digital experiences. She is also skilled in project management, ensuring that every project she works on is delivered on time and within budget. Beyond her professional achievements, Tetyana is a collaborative team member who brings a positive attitude and dedication to her craft. Her warm personality and strong interpersonal skills make her a pleasure to work with. Tetyana Benzeroul is truly an exceptional individual who continues to inspire those around her.

Veena Joseph

Veena Joseph is a seasoned professional with 10+ years of experience in operations, projects, and stakeholder management. She’s passionate about empowering women, small businesses, and non-profits to achieve sustainable growth. As an ICF-certified coach and certified scrum master, Veena uses creative methods and storytelling to facilitate transformation and learning. She’s the founder of Forerunners Consulting and Coaching and co-founder of SheSustains. Veena’s expertise lies in career reinvention, life transitions, and women’s development. 🌟

Esther Langen

Esther Langen likes to make the world a little more beautiful and strives unconcernedly for the ideal. Full of ideas, enterprising and a go-getter. Fundraiser, initiator, coordinator of beautiful projects – far away and close by. Esther is co-founder and coordinator of Coöperatie Eva, which assists women distanced from the labour market in starting and developing their own business.

Irenosen Agbana

“Irenosen Agbana is a growth manager with a cross-functional background in marketing and strategic business development. She has successfully brainstormed and implemented the Women Arise Conference in Rotterdam and beyond. With excellent negotiation skills and stakeholder management, she handles the relevant logistics of events and ensures smooth operations. Irenosen is known for her strategic thinking, resourcefulness, and problem-solving abilities. She is a dedicated professional who manages branding and communication for events while actively seeking and implementing feedback. Her passion and expertise make her a valuable asset in the industry.”