Chief Belief & Founder
As a corporate anthropologist, Marijn inspires people with her vision for a better world. She is passionate about, and stubbornly committed to, solving world problems by unlocking the potential of women, ensuring that they get access to finance and seats at decision making tables. Marijn is an ESG expert, has co-authored the book ‘Banking for a Better World, is a gifted storyteller, facilitator of powerful female leadership programs and has made a docuseries of female role models from the financial sector globally. She has coached numerous executive women worldwide.MORE
Marijn has twenty-two years of sustainable development experience and has worked in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. She masters bridging private sector interests with ESG opportunities. As the founder of Zambia’s first private nursing school, she knows what it takes to do good and make money. Marijn combines strong interpersonal skills with leadership, adaptability and integrity. As a visionary, multi-linguist and free thinker, she is creative, curious and innovative with and in front of all types of stakeholders. Marijn has lived on three continents, travelled to eighty-five countries, worked in thirty-five and is a mother of four. She is a Dutch national and a South African resident.
Souad El Amraoui
Souad is Italo-Moroccan, and based in London. She has recently graduated in International Relations and Politics from London Metropolitan University. Souad is passionate about working to create a world that is more equal and just for women of all ages. Her vocation was inspired by her visits to Morocco as a young child, where she witnessed the systematic disadvantages that women in that country suffer from. After studying Human Sciences for her high school diploma, and International Relations for her university degree, she has only become more determined to fight social and gender inequality.MORE
Her previous work includes volunteering and working in the education and childcare sector in the Italian province of Milan. These experiences reinforced her belief in the singular importance of early-stages education in the dismantling of gender and social barriers. Souad’s professional goals are to help create a more just world, where meritocracy and gender equality are tangible realities. A world where her own six-year-old daughter can grow into a person who is empowered to make a genuine contribution to society, and not be discriminated against because of her gender. One day she aspires to create her own foundation: where she can help the women and young girls of her village to be more aware of, and more importantly to realise, their tremendous potential; to provide a refuge from a culture that represses them, systematically and as a matter of normality; and, last but not least, to bestow an education that will permit them to become economically self-sufficient and independent.
People I like to work with
Marieke is a purpose driven ESG professional with almost 20 years of experience in sustainable finance and E&S risk management. She is passionate about building a green economy and thrive on working with others to create positive impact. While tackling challenges at a strategic level, her focus on tangible results keeps her grounded in local and operational realities. As a connector, she brings together different cultures, disciplines, and points of view, and excels in building long-lasting relationships.MORE
Mareike Hussels is the ESG Director of Sail Ventures, an impact investment firm focused on tropical countries, responsible for ESG risk management and impact measurement. She draws on more than 15 years of experience in sustainable finance, which started at UNEP FI, a public private partnership between the United Nations and financial institutions worldwide. Mareike was responsible for setting up a Latin American working group and managed the development of UNEP FI’s training programme on environmental and social risk management for financial institutions. Following this, Mareike has worked in sustainable enterprise development (World Resources Institute), in clean energy investment (E+Co), and as a consultant (Triodos Facet). Prior to joining Sail Ventures, Mareike spent 6 years as an Environmental & Social Officer at the Dutch Development Bank FMO, where she worked with banks in Latin America to develop environmental and social risk management systems and green financing products.
Nanno served as CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of FMO – The Dutch Development Bank from 2008-2016. FMO is the largest bilateral DFI in Europe. During his distinguished career at FMO, Mr. Kleiterp also served as Chief Investment Officer and Chief Financial Officer. In 2016, together with Marijn Wiersma, he published the book ”Banking for A Better World” (Amsterdam University Press), which lays out the case for sustainable investments in developing countries and the role of Development Finance Institutions.MORE
Nanno holds an MSc in Sociological Economics from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands.
He currently holds the following board positions:
EDFI, Honorary Chairman. EDFI is an association that comprises 15 European bilateral DFIs and a total investment portfolio of EUR 40bn committed to supporting the private sector in developing countries. Nanno was the first independent Chair of EDFI from 2017-2019.
&Green Fund, Chairman of the Board. The Fund’s goal is to prove that financing inclusive, sustainable and deforestation-free commodity production can be commercially viable and replicable.
Van Leer Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Foundation works around the world to improve the health and well-being of babies, toddlers and the people who care for them.
Arise, Board Member. Arise is a leading African investment company backed by three
investors, Norfund, Rabobank, and FMO. Arise has US$ 1bn assets under management and is a minority shareholder in about 10 locally owned financial services providers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sudameris Bank, Board Member. Sudameris is a leader in the creation of the round table for sustainable finance in Paraguay. Sudameris is 4th bank in Paraguay with US$ 1 bn in assets.
Heleen is a registered mediator specialized in employment and collaborative issues, and a PhD researcher in socially responsible business at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She brings people and organizations with different ideas and interests together, to explore mutually supported resolutions. Heleen has a legal background and professional experience in corporate social responsibility, business & human rights, mediation, and stakeholder dialogue. She has a history of working in and collaborating with civic & social organizations.MORE
As a business and human rights specialist at Amnesty International Netherlands, she engaged with various companies on their CSR policies and was involved in the establishment of the special chair on International Business and Human Rights at the Rotterdam School of Management. As a member of the steering committee of the Dutch CSR-Platform (more than 30 civil society organizations and trade unions working together to promote corporate social responsibility) she was involved in lobby and advocacy towards national politics aiming for better policy and regulation with respect to Dutch multinationals to help them better respect human rights when operating abroad.
As a PhD researcher she studies how to mainstream the social part of corporate social responsibility in global supply chains by looking at cross-sector partnerships and the role of financial institutions.
As an agile master mind and change management expert, Diana has unshakeable faith in people’s potential. She is an articulate communicator who builds consensus through listening and knows how to rally a team around a common goal. She places a high premium on team work which she believes is the bedrock for turning any strategy into operational and financial success. She has a solid back ground in strategy execution, operational excellence and customer centric service delivery with a clear understanding of the commercial banking value chain and the current FinTech evolution.MORE
In her role as Chief Operations Officer of Zambia National Commercial Bank PLC(one of Zambia’s foremost banks), Diana keeps high-level strategy front-and-center while remaining a resourceful problem solver who is comfortable digging in to identify the root causes and finds creative ways to resolve issues. Being a seasoned expert with more than 15 years’ industry experience, she served as Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Cavmont Bank Zambia prior to joining Zanaco, where she ensured strategic vision translated into profitable operations by improving operational quality and team efficiency while leveraging on technology and innovation to drive positive change across the bank.
Diana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Zambia, a Master’s Degree in Communication & Information Systems from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in China and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Copperbelt University. She is a final year candidate of a Doctorate of Business Administration at the Binary University of Management Entrepreneurship of Malaysia.
Marijn is warm, wise and impactful.
“Marijn contacted me asking if I would feature in a series of documentaries on female role models in the financial sector. During the process of making the documentary I got to know Marijn as warm, wise and impactful. Her experience, dedication and passion for female leadership, female entrepreneurship and access to finance for women are inspiring.”
Kshama Fernandes – CEO Northern Arc. Chennai, India.
Marijn brings female bankers and female entrepreneurs together.
“It was during a bus ride to a dinner, at the Global Banking Alliance for Women’s annual meeting in Sao Paulo, that we started talking. That conversation led to us organizing a female focus on financial inclusion leadership program in Zambia. Bringing female bankers and female entrepreneurs together proved to be an effective catalyst for change and Zambian banks have become much more effective in creating access to finance for women. “
Tukiya Kankasa-Mabula – Former Deputy Governor Central Bank. Lusaka, Zambia.
I have loved every second of our precious coaching time.
“Marijn has walked with me on my professional journey over the past year as I have been orchestrating the transition into the ‘third act’ of my career. Her warm, supportive and structured coaching style has helped me to reflect deeply, challenge my assumptions and distil my skills, experiences and preferences into a vision for the future that I feel confident to set into motion. I have loved every second of our precious coaching time together.”
Jen Braswell – Director Value Creation Strategies, CDC. London, United Kingdom.
I have acquired a lifetime lesson.
“I was at a crossroads in my life, when I approached Marijn, asking for help to express an unusual request to our top management. We critically analyzed my case, build various scenarios, and counterarguments, and together developed a narrative that would support my upcoming negotiation. I have no doubt that I have acquired a lifetime lesson – for these kinds of high-level requests, it is a must to come prepared.”
Clarisse Ingabire – Livestock Specialist, FAO. Rome, Italy.
The person who introduced me to the world of sustainability.
“Marijn was the person who introduced me to the world of sustainability: green financing, social responsibility and women leadership. I always say she has an extraordinary gift: she can read women´s hearts and bring the best out of everyone. She inspires through meaningful conversations and storytelling events, empowering us, helping us discover our potential, transforming the way we see ourselves.”
Karla Icaza – Writer & Chief Corporate Governance Grupo Promerica. Managua, Nicaragua.