Willem de Wit

Founder & Managing Director

Willem de Wit

About Willem

The son of a bulb grower, Willem de Wit grew up among the bulb fields near “de Keukenhof” in Holland. He enjoyed playing outside, but also had to work on the flower farm. At the age of eight, he could already drive a tractor. The motto “roll up your sleeves” was instilled in him at an early age.

As a teenager, Willem longed to understand what life is all about. So, he made the giant leap from the flower fields to study philosophy at Leiden University. He concluded his career as a philosopher by winning the Dutch Pierre Bayle Essay Competition for Philosophy in 1989. This included a cash prize of fl 1,200. This made Willem one of the few who earned money with philosophy :).

Nowadays, Willem combines the down-to-earth mentality of his youth with the heaven-defying mentality of the philosopher striving for what is right.

It is a matter of practical philosophical insight that good solutions prove ineffective when applied to the wrong case. However, everyone risks applying good solutions to the wrong cases because “when you have a hammer (solution), everything starts looking like a nail.” You may have seen examples of this. In order to get true improvement, it is therefore a must to first analyse the case before coming up with a solution.

Willem organises Innovation Dialogues with experts and leaders in the field. Many say the format he uses is so strong because it addresses the real underlying issues that help drive innovation. In Willem’s view, this and better project flow are needed to meet the challenges of climate adaptation and energy transition.

Willem lives in the Netherlands and Germany. He has a partner and two daughters to whom he devotes his private time.