• Leendert Bikker (initiator and executive director World Expo Rotterdam 2025)

Leendert Bikker is an entrepreneur.  He founded Bikker Communications Group in 1989, which he sold in 1999 to Euro RSCG Worldwide. Until 2004 he was a member of the Board in New York. He also is the founder of ZIN, the monastery for meaning and work in Vught and he is a former chairman of the Wadden Sea Society and the Economic Development Board Rotterdam.

At this moment he is linked to Bikker & Company and founder / executive director of the Foundation World Expo Rotterdam 2025.

"Global trends such as strong urbanization, resource depletion, frequent problems with water (both concerning safety and the availability of drinking water) and the growing shortage of food asks for action. The Netherlands may, by means of a rapid transition, set a good example for a Next Economy and the use of  knowledge and expertise to motivate the rest of the world to follow suit.

The Netherlands does a lot to boost growth and to make the transition to new economic models. But to maintain our prosperity and well-being, we need to do more. And not only from an ecological necessity.

The function of the World Expo and the path towards it, will be used as an instrument to organise the necessary focus to work together towards growth. Expo 2025 has by means of the thematic, programming, objectives and by opening up to more participants than usual a focus on business and visitors from all over the world. They contribute the most to our growth and transition goals."

  • Theo Duijvestijn (Vice-major Westland and board member Roadmap Next Economy MRDH)

T. (Theo) Duijvestijn is alderman (member of the municipal executive board) on behalf of the Christian Democratic political party (CDA) in the municipality of Westland since 2006, and as such responsible for economical affairs. Economic development and economic sustainability are amongst his main priorities. Theo is also member of the advisory committee on the economic business establishment climate for the general management of MRDH. Prior to that he owned a horticultural company, which he sold in 2005.

“The municipality of Westland should be leading in sustainability, thats what I strive to achieve as alderman. Startups have a very important role in this matter, because they dare to be different. They challenge conventional governance structures and they bring new innovative products to the market. Ofcourse, startups have the luxury of being able to try, whereas our more traditional companies are bound to do – they have a lot to lose. But as such, startups stimulate the whole economy, because creativity reaches the market a lot sooner.”

“Thats why as an alderman and in my position as member of the MRDH-advisory committee on the economic business establishment climate I will always have a special eye for the interests of startups, and Westland is commited to strengthen their position in our region. I am convinced that the Greenport Horti Campus, a new educational facility, will have a positive effect on the possibilities for startups in Westland.”

  • Duke Urbanik (entrepreneur in residence YES!Delft)

Duke is a typical tech-starter: during his study Mechanical Engineering at the TU Delft he started his own software company. The company grew on the waves of computer and software innovations and eventually sold in 1999, at which time it had subsidiary offices in the USA and Singapore. After that he has been active as an invester and coach, the last 9 years as Entrepreneur in Residence at YES!Delft. Since 2013 he is actively involved as a co-founder with the Venture Generator: a company that designs and executes startups for corporates. He is also chairman of the board of Venture Cafe located in CIC Rotterdam, a weekly gathering event of innovators and entrepreneurs.

"My vision on the Next Economy is that communication and the necessary infrastructure will become more and more important, not only for communication between people, but increasingly between systems, amongst that the IoT. Energy will become a commodity and oil will be a raw material and less a energy source. recycling and retrieving valuable components from waste is increasingly possible and eventually it will be the norm.

The World Expo 2025 is an important driver to actually implement new technologies. Countries want to show off what they are capable of and that they are ahead of the rest. This race will fuel new innovations, with a deadline for showing them in real life. Only participating in the bidding process is enough of a driver to create ambitious plans, and the local economy can maximize the gain by showing off what a small country is can achieve."


  • Laurens Groen (CEO Milgro) 

Laurens is founder and CEO of Milgro, an independent ‘greentech’ solution provider for sustainable resource management. After graduating in technology & business administration, Laurens started Milgro in 1993 as a b-2-b consultancy in improving waste separation. Over a period of 20 years, he developed Milgro into a leading solution provider, enabling companies to start the innovative journey towards circularity. Laurens combines his passion for profitable sustainability (or sustainable profitability) with a keen interest in travel, cuisine/cooking and great wine. 

"NEXT economy aims at stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship. This goal aligns greatly to Milgro’s spirit of entrepeneurship, innovation and continuous improvement. It’s not just about becoming the best of the world, but even more the best for the world!”.


About Milgro

Milgro delivers the control room for sector leaders to start the innovative journey towards circularity. With a tailored IT system, processes, partners, knowledge and business intelligence, Milgro supports its partners to make circularity data-driven. Built on proven solutions, Milgro enables its customers to:

• control waste: achieving ‘best in class’ waste performance

• make wastage visible: enhancing resource efficiency

• close loops: facilitating supply chain innovation.

Milgro’s unique approach yields more return on resources: measurable results for profit, planet and people. The track record involves leading international companies in food, retail, logistics, mobility, offices, construction & chemical industry.


  • Herman Kienhuis (managing director KPN Ventures)

Herman is Managing Director of KPN Ventures, the venturing arm of leading Dutch ICT services provider KPN.  Prior to that he managed SanomaVentures, was responsible for digital product development and was Strategy and M&A director at European media group Sanoma Corporation. Herman, who started his career as strategy consultant at McKinsey, holds a masters degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Groningen and an MBA from INSEAD. He combines a strong interest in technology, innovation and sustainable development with a love for vintage design, live music and slowfood.

About KPN Ventures
KPN Ventures is the venturing arm of KPN, The Netherlands’ leading telecom & ICT company.  KPN Ventures invests, both directly and indirectly, in companies with innovative products and business models to create technological and economical synergies with KPN and its customers. KPN does this, not only by providing capital, but more importantly by enabling access to KPN’s extensive expertise in connectivity, security and related technologies, to our leading network infrastructure and to our large customer base.  KPN Ventures focuses on early growth-stage investments in European technology companies in the segments: Internet of Things, Smart Home, e-Health, Cyber Security, Cloud/OTT services and Big Data applications.  KPN Ventures has its main office in Rotterdam and has invested in Actility and Jasper Technologies.

kpnventures.com | twitter.com/kpnventures

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