Our founders unite their passion for bringing forward natural abundance in a more conscious world
Herman Wijffels (1942) was appointed as professor of Sustainability and Societal Change at the Utrecht Sustainability Institute(USI) of Utrecht University since 2009.
Wijffels studied economics at Tilburg University. He worked at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture & Fishery and subsequently as secretary general of the Dutch Christian Employers Association (NCW).
In 1981 he joined Rabobank as an executive director and was appointed Chair of the Executive Board in 1986. In 1999 he followed his appointment as Chairman of the Social-Economic Council (SER). From 2006 to 2008 Wijffels was executive director at the World Bank in Washington DC.
Herman Wijffels also served on a number of Boards in both the public and private sector, such as president of the Association ‘Natuurmonumenten’, the Board of Tilburg University and the Supervisory Boards of the ‘Rijksmuseum’, Utrecht University Medical Centre and TNO, as well as the corporate Boards of DSM and SHV.
Kees (born 1946) received his Masters degree in chemical engineering from the Technical University in Delft, the Netherlands in 1970. He held several senior positions in the oil and chemical industry in the Netherlands and the UK prior to cofounding a petrochemicals trading company (LOGA) 1985. In 1992 LOGA was bought by ENRON, an oil and gas company in the USA.
After having worked for two years in the head office of ENRON in Houston, Kees decided to leave ENRON in 1994 to start his own venture capital firm KEGADO, a company which focussed on implementing solutions addressing climate change.
In 2002 KEGADO co-founded the Climate Neutral Group (CNG), a company which markets CO2 certificates originating from reforestation projects in Africa, South- East Asia and South America, which were created by the FACE Foundation, which started these projects in 1990. In 2009 KEGADO co-founded FACE the FUTURE, a company which executes forest restoration projects worldwide, continuing and expanding the activities of the FACE Foundation. During the period 2014-2016 Kees was CEO of FACE The FUTURE.
In this period it became obvious to Kees that the restoration of nature is of great importance to the future of our civilisation. The large scale deforestation that took place in the last 100 years is the main cause of climate change. The increased incidence of droughts, floods, hurricanes, land-slides, forest fires and climate change is a direct consequence of deforestation.
The deforestation is the result of the increase in animal farming across the world. As the world population grows and affluence rises more meat is produced. This puts further pressure on forests and agricultural lands. This will inevitably lead to local and global water, food and refugee crises in the years to come, unless we take appropriate and decisive action as soon as possible.
By unifying detailed scientific research in many diverse fields of science Kees was able to find a relative simple solution to all these complex challenges. In 2017 Kees co-founded the Unifying Fields Foundation to start a new grass-roots movement by inviting people to restore nature while at the same time making a lifestyle switch to a whole food plant based lifestyle.
Robert was born in 1961 in Paisley, Scotland. He graduated in Electronics and Electronics Engineering with Engineering Management from the University of Glasgow in 1985. He held several senior positions in manufacturing before specialising in global business transformation consulting with Ernst & Young. In 2000 he started a cloud computing company and in 2006 he started to offer private consultancy.
He began to study the science of consciousness and founded Peacemasters then co-founded Tomtom.tv to allow conscious authors to bring inspiration to their worldwide audience. The first globally interactive audience event was launched on a 2007 tour. Tomtom.tv then supported the largest global meditation event from 200 sacred sites in 2012.
Robert and Kees met while he was co-producing a conscious wellbeing event, and in 2012 they joined forces to work on the Vital4Life Foundation, which developed many of the early foundations for their later work together.
In 2014 Robert helped launch Foundation VIE working with a conscious birthing leader and former UN technical advisor to create a global shift in conscious wellbeing. The ‘Birthing the New Humanity Programme’ is currently being developed for health ministries in China, India and Africa. A UK report states that this subject “is as important as the defence of the realm”.
Robert co-founded Unifying Fields in 2017 where a new perspective on climate change has led to new insights and the creation of simple solutions, which create far more than climate change mitigation. They also effectively address a large number of other profound challenges, such as the global water, food and migrant crises, which are worsening at this time. In fact most UN Sustainable Development Goals are radically influenced when these integral solutions are implemented.
Alliances with key indigenous leaders have propelled the art of the possible forward with deeper insights and greater alliances than were previously understood. Robert sees the unification of the non-physical with the physical world as key to our collective evolutionary shift.
Frank Nagel has been a venture capitalist since 2004, focusing on: healthcare, energy, food security and bio stimulants for agriculture and aquaculture, after having a career as tax adviser (EY, Ernst & Young), and in Trust Management.
Since 2004 Frank became interested in some physical principles and the effects on environmental issues such as energy and global warming. He decided to focus on these issues from that moment on. He realised that the chances in agriculture and food production are paramount for the future and that climate change should be addressed.
Frank has, among others, been involved in a company focused on sustainable agriculture since 2005, as shareholder and business development manager. Frank holds a Master Degree in Tax law at the University of Groningen.
Josha van der Beek
Josha van der Beek (1980) works as a sustainability and circular economy consultant at a large Dutch distribution system operator - Alliander. She gained several degrees in ecology in The Netherlands and South Africa, specialising in large-scale ecosystems.
Watching the movie “The Bear” in a theater at 7 years of age, kindled a burning passion for nature. She was so struck by the beauty and force of the wilderness in that movie, it became almost an obsession. Waking up and falling asleep with a fire burning inside; fantasising about humankind living in balance with nature. This fire never let her go and she is still driven by it every day, focusing on creating impact towards a more sustainable future on this earth.
As an ecologist it is almost natural for her to oversee the complete system of which something is a part. Everything is intertwined; actions create reactions like a cascade effect. She therefore not only sees connections but specifically creates them to build a more intricate and therefore resilient (eco)system of people, talents, ambitions and ideals, professions and initiatives. In this way she hopes the path towards a sustainable future can evolve and real paradigm shifts can take place.
Richard guides 21st century leaders to continually evolve and realise talent and potential. He supports and challenges to expand self-awareness - to be their own inspiration for sustainable performance, real impact and positive social influence.
Since 2009, Richard has collaborated with Mowgli Mentoring in developing mentors and entrepreneurs as role models and leaders in the Middle East & Africa; and, since 2013, with Help For Heroes in UK to guide and enable injured veterans through transition into an independent and meaningful civilian life. He also combines his passions, skills and experience to co-lead small groups on “open adventures of self-exploration” in remote parts of the world. In all the above, follow up programmes of support and accountability, for individuals and peer-led groups, embed profound learning through regular practise and deepening relationships, to deliver new levels and sustainable results.
Richard’s career background includes workflow and business process re-engineering (SAP & Siebel) in more than 15 businesses in Europe over 7 years, delivering full cycle projects across functions and processes, and across diverse industries from aerospace to pharmaceuticals, beverages to public sector (Diageo, Hewlett-Packard, Lufthansa…). Other experiences of working and living abroad include teaching English in Spain and helping set up a boutique travel business in South Africa.
Richard is a graduate (BA) in Modern Languages (fluent French and Spanish). He has been a visiting lecturer at University College London, Henley Business School (University of Reading) and London Metropolitan University, and visiting tutor, facilitator and lecturer at University College London. He is a trustee for the London Sports Trust (inspiring young Londoners for sustainable change through sport), and for Sporting Force (supporting veterans into work experience and placements in the sports industry). He continues to volunteer as a mentor through both Mowgli Mentoring and Help For Heroes.
Oda Heijsteeg is a process facilitator from the heart and soul. She works with people and organisations to untangle knots of tension, stress and stagnation, to be able to look beyond and work towards a bright future. She is an accelerator of discovery and creation. Often tensions arise from being detached from nature. Oda guides the restoration of contact with people’s inner nature and the meaningfulness and natural flow of processes that are happening at different levels.
"At the moment, many aspects of life show us that we don't know how to recover. We keep on running. While we should be working on healthy systems and a sound base for a prosperous future to grow."
Oda is analytically strong, insightful and has a clear mind. She oversees the bigger picture, and helps to navigate the discovery process along with organisations and their people to see what it takes to develop and move things forward. She is driven to help people grow and manifest potential.
Oda has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and she studied Modern Japanese Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She Worked in various management, advisory and coaching roles in ICT, higher education, charity, profit and non-profit organisations. She has travelled extensively and feels at home in the world. She is interested in, (the intersections of), people, work, health, society, nature, systems, innovative technology, development and strategy.
The annual accounts for the Foundtion's first two years are shown below: