Kim van der Leeuw
Kim is a sustainable serial entrepreneur. Within Lead by Nature, he is our sustainable impact advisor. With a background in earth science and resource management, he brings a wealth of sustainability and developing country experience to the table. He coordinated a large (4 years and 15 countries) programme on poverty reduction and environmental management in Asia and Africa for the VU University Amsterdam. Projects included a large avoided deforestation project in Cambodia, marine parks in Vietnam and the world’s first human elephant conflict insurance in Sri Lanka.
Returning to native soil, Kim set up Amsterdam’s hydrogen strategy, and worked on the international film documentary Meat the Truth. The last four years, he has put his expertise to work with Do-inc, a specialised climate change consultancy. Here, he specialises in distilling the fundamental issues from complex local problems, and making them applicable in a business environment. His latest venture is WakaWaka, a solar light for the bottom of the pyramid (www.wakawakalight.com).
My first memories are the colourful, fragrant, lively visions of India where I spent part of my youth. The world I encountered there has always been a leading theme in my life. Walking through the Himalayas at a young age, I remember asking my mother how the mountains formed. Ultimately it was this curiosity that led me to study geology and environmental issues. Learning about the intricacies of our past, the fine balance in our climatic system and interactions we have with our environment truly shows life’s grandeur. In my work, I combine all of this: planet, people and economy.
Kim counts himself very lucky to have work that brings him all over the world. Currently, he and his girlfriend divide their time between Amsterdam and Cape Town. Living in Africa enables him to experience first hand the issues faced in many of the projects he works on. Lead by Nature is the embodiment of the new paradigm that Kim wants to see in the world: positive impact, personal evolution and good business combined!
“Someone once said ‘The best business model is doing insanely awesome stuff’. I couldn’t agree more.”
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