President’s Letter

Dear friends from INSEAD,

With the holidays coming up, it is time to look back. Clearly, most of us hoped that we could leave COVID-19 behind and that we would return to the ‘old’ normal. Unfortunately, 2021 turned out to be a hybrid year, requiring us to move back and forth between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ normal.

The volunteers of our association organized over 30 events this year, all with inspiring speakers, great content, and many exciting participants. Of course, most events were over Zoom, but luckily, we were able to go back to in-person events again. And although we wish we could have done more of these, the ones that took place brought so much energy, making us realize and appreciate the importance of our work for our alumni.

In 2021 we had our second wave of the mentorship program. It is safe to say that mentoring has deserved a permanent place in our community, and I hope that more members will join this program to take the opportunity to meet and learn from other alumni and to experience the amazing power and value that is in our network.

At the end of the year we were gearing up to the apotheosis of the Dutch Force for Good Initiative with the last Strategy Forum (out of the three), named ACT FOR IMPACT: from words to action and the reveal of the results of our fund-raising initiative. The event could not take place, but I am happy to announce that the event will take place on the 16th of June @ the Hermitage Amsterdam, and we hope to see many of you in person at the forum with so many fascinating speakers.

As for the fund-raising target, we are very excited to announce that we have just surpassed our initial target of €1m! The initiative started in 2019, and we are extending the deadline to July 1st to increase our target to €1.5m. We count on you to make this happen, and remember that every gift, of any size, makes a difference. Over the past two years, the pandemic has created some real challenges for our school: classes moved online for the safety of students, faculty and staff, and scholarship requests increased dramatically as aspiring students faced significant financial hurdles. But we know that INSEAD is looking to the future with hope and optimism. And there are good reasons to be proud of our global community, including a record number of more than 5,000 donors in 2020/2021. Eager to learn more? Check out the INSEAD Fund Impact report.

Last but not least: in May 2022, my term as president will come to an end. After 11 years of volunteering at the board, I have decided to pass on the baton. The board has initiated the process of finding a successor and has asked a succession committee, consisting of Nicole Boevé, Bart Blommers and Charles Kotting, to guide and advise the board in this process. If you are interested in leading our association in the next years, you are kindly invited to apply by sending your motivation letter here before 31 January 2022.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers who are putting in their energy and countless hours. Thanks to them, we continue to be able to offer inspiring events and to have one of the most thriving alumni associations in the world.

On behalf of the Board of the INSEAD Alumni Association the Netherlands, I wish you all wonderful holidays and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022!

Sven Cobben
INSEAD Alumni Association the Netherlands