Enterprising The Hague gathered yesterday in Amare for a dose of inspiration during Den Haag Inspireert! Entrepreneurs and employers jointly looked at the future of the city and joined forces. Collaboration, connection and new opportunities were central at the employers- and networking event organized by the Economic Board The Hague and the municipality of The Hague.
Chairman of the Economic Board The Hague, Harry Wientjens, looks back on a successful day: “We have chosen to combine energetic seven-minute talks with in-depth knowledge sessions. This resulted in an afternoon full of inspiration and new perspectives. It was great to see that more than 500 guests from the city and region entered into the conversation on various levels. That’s what we do it for, making new connections and creating new collaboration opportunities.”
The opening act was a mix of music legends from The Hague by DJ I-REEN. Then it was time for the seven minute talks. The eight inspiring speakers, each nominated by an alderman of the municipality of The Hague, spoke about a topical subject.
Merei Wagenaar, executive director at UN Global Compact Network Netherlands, spoke on behalf of Marielle Vavier about the ‘sustainable development goals’ and how entrepreneurs can get started with them. Lisa Jordan of DRK Foundation spoke on behalf of Saskia Bruines about ‘social impact economy’. Stefan Baecke founder of Yespers, invited by Arjen Kapteijns, talked about sustainability in the production chain. Marjolein ten Hoonte spoke on behalf of Kavita Parbhudayal about inclusive employment and the labor market.
Halfway through the show, the audience was surprised with a combination of classical and rap by the Residentie Orkest and the Haags HipHop Centrum. During this intermezzo, various social themes were incorporated into a contemporary ‘rhapsody’.
The program continued full of energy with Philip Nijgh, invited by Martijn Balster, who spoke about The Hague South West and the role of the Meppel, a new school of the ROC Mondriaan. Hendrik Halbe, CEO of Unknown Group, entered the scene on behalf of Robert van Asten and outlined the dream of Europe’s largest impact hub in The Hague with the help of the Johnnie Walker theory; ‘Keep Walkin’. Geert Kloppenburg presented a vision of the future on mobility on behalf of Anne Mulder and impressed the guests. The ‘seven minute pitches’ were concluded by Yvonne Beusker who was invited by Hilbert Bredemeijer, she spoke about ‘sea power’ with opportunities for sports, education and entrepreneurs.
Finally, the Hague Pearls 2023 were awarded. Saskia Bruines presented the Hague Entrepreneur Award to the winners The Shore, in the Exceptional Contribution category, and Dyflexis, in the Family Businesses category.
After the plenary program it was time for the ten in-depth knowledge sessions. This enabled discussions with the top of the business community in The Hague and with new international companies that have established themselves in The Hague in the past year. In addition, there were various sessions about, among other things: sustainability, staff shortages and ‘quick wins’ for managers.
Mayor Jan van Zanen congratulated the winners of the pub quiz as ‘The smartest Hagenees/Hagenaar’ and the ‘Haagse Innovation Prize’ was also awarded. “Connection and inspiration were central. Inspiring speakers have brought attention to the major topics of you and our aldermen, ”says van Zanen.
Den Haag Inspireert! was presented by moderator of the day, Donatello Piras. The networking drink was offered by MKB The Hague, VNO-NCW region The Hague and Koninklijke Horeca Den Haag.