Would he say anything politically sensitive, his ministers would be held responsible. That is why the king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander is not entitled to speak on an event like the celebration of the New Year, by MVO Nederland. Instead, a short film was presented to the public, in which we could listen to the king seated in a nice chair, talking about important values, like participation, inclusion and so on; all in line with the central values of … Christmas. Oops… that was a little mistake. Director Willem Lageweg suddenly ran to the microphone to tell us the film should have been ended just before the king made his Christmas remark.
Later on, the king was invited to the stage, to press a button starting a Prezi presentation. His body speech betrayed he didn’t feel comfortable with this role. So I felt relieved when Lageweg announced the king would later on get the opportunity to speak with some leaders of industry, in a smaller setting. I guess, our beloved king liked that part of the day much better.
One of the pitches we all listened to, was by the director of Corendon Airlines, who claimed to work as responsible as possible. ‘We for example always ask our clients not to throw any cans in the ocean, once they had arrived at their sun destination.’ Ouch!!! That was an awkward understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), according to me. It would have been better not to mention it, and instead focus only on a more serious attempt to work in a CSR way, by constructing a complete forest in Turkey.
A little later we were all allowed to start to network, an enjoyable activity when one is amongst people who represent businesses like Fair Climate Fund and Safe Nederland. So the day ended as it should have: lots of people who try to work as sustainable as they can, got the chance to explore their possibilities, share ideas and to make constructive plans, while keeping both feet on the ground.