Marten grew up in a small town in the Netherlands. He was brought up with the belief that people are good and business bad. After working in oil & gas, and backpacking through Guatemala as a student in law, his perception of good and bad changed. It all started with helping out a young girl by giving her a pair of shoes, which initiated the founding of an internationally recognized NGO which focuses on education and poverty eradication.
In his search for a solution to create long-term change, Marten realized that what was missing, was a business model that combines doing business with “doing the right thing” and the creation of premium products. This led into the start-up of Good Hotel – providing premium hospitality with a cause & the proof that business can be harnessed to do good.
Renate was born in 1970 in Vienna. She is Master of Commercial Science, Master of Business Administration and Master of Communication and Leadership. After working in trade and tourism development of ACP-Countries, European Commission, Brussels she joins EVN in 1996 working in Investor Relations and Corporate Communications Units. In 2010 she joins the Human Resources Department. Today she runs management of the EVN's CSR organisation. Renate knows Macedonia, she has run marketing related projects along with EVN Macedonia.
I can say that I was lucky being in the position to observe how adopting CSR practices and consequently growing CSR culture among employees and the managerial staff, grows the business also. Below is the informative list of the values that CSR brings to persistent companies as per my observation.
• Strengthening of customer relations
• Strengthening of reputation and brand
• Improvement of Investor Relations
• Increase employee satisfaction and loyalty
• Acquisition and maintaining of talents as responsible employer
• Fulfilling requirements in the supply chain
• Development of new business by new products and opening of new markets opportunities
• Early awarness of potential for improvement, risks and chances
• Strengthening the ability to innovate
• „License to operate“ – written evidence of CSR performance
• Improves strategic management decisions – „you get the whole picture“
• Being listed in sustainability indexes
• Fullfilling the data requirements of reserach organisations, CDP etc.
• Increase efficiency by aligning data systems, management processes and governance structures for financial and non-financial topics
Founder of Holistic communications, advertising agency that designs communication on social issues solely.
Holistic has partnered with UNICEF, IOM and other international organizations and Governments, for 15 years now, on issues tackling social phenomenon in Balkan region and Africa. The local project we've stumbled upon (Lice v lice street paper), impacted our professional view on designing communication.
It shifted its focus toward ourselves.
Instead of looking into communicating a certain issue to achieve a societal change, we now first let the issue change us. We realized that working with Self and enabling "It" to learn, changes how you perceive your own business.
Holistic now works to enable this process within entities dedicated to designing the social field capable of transforming Businesses, Society and Self in their own activities.
She starts her career as Personal and Professional Development Trainer in The Netherlands were she has been living for 17 years. In 2007 she founded Agency for Communications ‘Ksantika’ today “Centre for Business Psychology – Systemic NLP – South East Europe”, which is the first training centre that provides international NLP certification in Macedonia.
Through the years working with many companies and individuals she developed her own training style, which is motivational and respectful towards the other. Her approach encourages others to make long lasting changes in their professional and personal life.
Marina is certified Yoga Teacher and Holistic Therapist. She is successfully combining both with the needs of the modern person; for individuals and in the business environment.
"Lets make people aware of their drives, patterns, inspiration and achievement in life. By utilising knowledge, skills, insights and psychological tools to become more professional, self confident, enthusiastic and happier people gets freedom to make their own choices and become a part of a constructive change."
Sladjana comes from the United States Agency for International Development in Macedonia (USAID). She has extensive experience in managing democracy and governance projects, including community development, municipal governance, political processes development and civil society. Her education covers the areas of social work (BA), social policy (MA) and corporate social policy (PhD), all at the State University “Cyril and Methodius” Skopje.
“In Macedonia we always say that we live in interesting times…I was happy to be able to research the pioneering efforts by local businesses to develop their corporate social strategies and reach out to communities to help them deal with their problems. We still have a long way to learn, but the examples are set - we cannot have successful businesses when the society around them fails”.