Discover Benelux, Issue 64, April 2019

Page 44

Discover Benelux  |  Top Dutch Education  |  Building a Bright Future

Jacob-Jan van der Marel (left) and Ruben van Merweland (right).

Together, we are building a dream TEXT: EVA MENGER  |  PHOTOS: ROGIER BOS

Everybody is different. While some have a natural affinity for numbers, others may rather express themselves through acting or product design. At IV Estate, it is all about encouraging people to chase those talents and build their dreams. “Talent, dream, courage, wonder: those are the pillars we stand on – all held together by energy.”

ucational and professional background in business, a need for doing something more impactful took him to education. IV Estate strikes the perfect balance: in setting up special enterprises or social projects that have positive change in education and care at the heart of them, initiatives are driven from the bottom-up.

IV Estate founder Ruben van Merweland initially trained as an education professional, but his keen interest in entrepreneurship led him to top it up with an executive MBA from the prestigious Nyenrode Business University. For Jacob-Jan van der Marel, a key member of the organisation’s strategic management team, it was the other way around; with a strong ed-

It all started with a search for the human essence; who are we and how can we ensure that our society reflects that? “From experience, I learned that people are often scared of taking action,” Van Merweland explains. “Both in business and education we see constant developments, but what do we really do with it? In encouraging people to look around

44  |  Issue 64  |  April 2019

The IV Pillars Change Model (2019)

and be curious, we want to show them that they are much stronger and braver than they think they are.” At the heart of the organisation lies the internally developed IV Pillars Change Model, inspired by the model of Appreciative Inquiry (Tjepkema & Kabalt, 2012) and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow Theory (1990). A central theme for IV Estate is energy. “No change without energy,” says Van Merweland, “and besides, it powers dreams, courage, curiosity and talent.” IV Estate reaches out to partners that match their own values when looking for new projects. “Everyone we work with shares our energy and dream – and most of all, they know how important their own talents are!”