About Ruben

My name is Ruben van der Laan

My name is Ruben van der Laan. I work with complex change and innovation since 1999.
I am based in the Netherlands, working globally.


‘Ose être nomade, crée et rigole’


My adventure with 21st century meetings

My adventure with meetings started at the weekly staff meeting of my first job. One of my colleagues always took a nap; sometimes short, sometimes for almost the entire meeting. The meeting leader just let it happen and so did we, happy to leave the hierarchy do its non-interventionist job.

It showed the failure of our meetings and their low level of engagement. It also showed they were not fit for our current complex times. So I started looking at ways to have meetings that respond to the challenge of complexity. And I discovered that it requires 3 things:

  • inclusion & participation from all participants,
  • a more facilitative type of leadership, away from the hierarchy,
  • a meetings structure centered around participation.

In 3 words: my passion for 21st century meetings was ignited.

It also gave me one of the most engaging stories to introduce my work. I started to feel the power of this adventure some time ago. Now I tell it almost every time when leading a meeting, running a workshop or giving a keynote.

My clients

  • UN
  • SAP
  • Tate & Lyle
  • Rabobank
  • AkzoNobel
  • GIZ
  • RIVM
  • Red Cross and Red Crescent
  • politie
  • BBC Trust
  • Peutz
  • Rijkswaterstaat
  • Kleurrijk wonen
  • FAO
  • APEC
  • Schagen
  • Hollands Kroon
  • Zoetermeer
  • ODMH
  • NN
  • concorde
  • Amsterdam
  • Woonbron
  • Enexis
  • Mary Kay
  • Onderwijsspecialisten
  • GGZ InGeest