Jean Paul Wijers – Protocolbureau

Jean Paul Wijers is the founder and managing director of Protocolbureau and the Institute of Strategic Relationship Management. In 1996 he graduated from the Hotelschool The Hague, one year after founding Protocolbureau. Between 2001 and 2009 Jean Paul Wijers worked for the Dutch Royal Family as head-usher at the Royal Weddings, State Funerals and Royal Baptisms.

Jean Paul Wijers is one of the best European protocol experts and has been called upon to assist at numerous official events, ceremonies and networking meetings. He is asked as trainer, in Europe and beyond, for his expertise in protocol and the management of high-level events.

The unique vision of Jean Paul Wijers on contemporary protocol management is the basis of a postgraduate programme on strategic relationship management: Protocol translates a networking strategy into an effective meeting with the stakeholders.


Karl Raats

Karl Raats made sense that in 2006 he became a full time-trainer in and facilitator of creative and innovative processes. As a certified de Bono trainer in Lateral Thinking, Buzan Licensed Instructor in Mindmapping, post-grad in Creativity, Innovation and Change and a former partner at the Belgian Center for the Development of Creative Thinking, he worked with several thousand managers, entrepreneurs and PhD students worldwide.

But for him that did not suffice. On January 1st 2009 he declared himself a living experiment in applied creative thinking, at which point he engaged in several creative endeavors. This unconventional and at times hilarious “Pinching the Ostrich” project was deliberately confronted him with his fears as well as his own creative potential.

The combination of his knowledge, experience and the fact that his own creative exploits have become an inherent part of his private and professional life make him an authentic and much sought after speaker and mentor across many industries. His approach is hands-on, tongue-in-cheek and always in touch with the real world, which he will demonstrate is actually not a place, but rather an excuses.


Geert-Jan Knoops

Geert-Jan Alexander Knoops is professor by special appointment of Politics of International Law at the University of Amsterdam and visiting Professor of International Criminal Law at Shandong University (Jinan, China); from 2003 to 2013 he was professor of International Criminal Law at Utrecht University. He holds two PhD degrees. One in criminal law (duress) from the University of Leiden (The Netherlands) and one in international criminal law from the University of Ireland, at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway. He also holds a LL.M degree in public international law and international criminal law from the University of Leiden (the Netherlands).

As of 1994 Professor Knoops practises international criminal law as an attorney at the law firm Knoops’ International Lawyers in Amsterdam. He has appeared as defence counsel before several international courts such as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In his capacity as international criminal law expert, professor Knoops has appeared as an expert witness before the Dutch Parliamentary Commission on the ISAF  mission (Uruzgan, Afghanistan) in January 2006 as well as December 2007, before the Parliamentary Commission on Combating Piracy in 2009 and 2011, and before the Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Affairs in 2016 concerning the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17.

On 29 April 2009 professor Knoops was knighted as an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for his legal-political services to the country and elected as best lawyer of the Netherlands in 2000-2002 and 2010. He also received the Amsterdam Bar Association Award in 2006.


Roderik van Grieken

Roderik van Grieken is founder (1998) and director of the Nederlands Debat Instituut (Dutch Debate Institute).

Roderik is a conference facilitator and moderates meetings and conferences of both industry and (semi-) Government. Roderik is able to challenge participants to listen critically, to express viewpoints and to counter arguments, like no other. In this way, he enables participants to exchange views in an open, competitive and fun way. In addition Roderik coaches politicians and other well-known speakers in the public domain, in debating, presenting and persuasion. 

Roderik has several publications to his name and regularly analyses (political) speeches and debates for a variety of media. He is frequently asked to review the quality of the public debate, for example in his columns published in “de Volkskrant”. Moreover, Roderik advises in the format of political debates. He was the architect of the political leaders’ debate in “Carré Theatre” during the 2010, 2012 and 2017 election campaigns, broadcasted on RTL4 and BNR. Lastly, He awards a price to the best debater in Dutch parliament during the “Algemene Beschouwingen” that are held in The Hague each year.