Governance

Para Limes @ EU is a not for profit foundation (under Dutch law). It has a Board of Trustees, and Executive Director and an Advisory Board.

Board of Trustees

Ir Rein Willems(1945) studied Chemical Engineering at Delft University. In 1969 he started his career at Royal Dutch Shell in various manufacturing and marketing functions in Australia, the U.K. and The Netherlands. In 1989 he joined Shell Brasil as Chemicals director. From 1993-1997 he was Country Chairman of the Shell Companies in The Philippines, and from 1997 -2003 he was member of the Shell Chemical global executive committee responsible for the Base Chemicals Division. He became President Director of Shell Netherlands in 2003 until September 2007. He became member of the Government Innovation platform in 2004 under leadership of PM Balkenende. He joined the Dutch Senate in June 2007 as member of the Christian Democratic Party (CDA) until mid 2011. He had various Board positions with Van Leeuwen Buizen (chairman), Essent (chairman), NLII (Netherlands Investment Institute (chairman), FOM, VU, Caldic, between 2007 and 2018. At present he is member of the Supervisory Board of the Boerhaave museum and member of the Stak of Fugro and member of the council of the local Protestant church.

Prof dr. Douwe D. Breimer (1943)studied pharmacy at the University of Groningen and he obtained his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Nijmegen. Since 1975 he is professor of pharmacology at Leiden University and he was director of research of the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research. From 2001 till 2007 he was Rector Magnificus of Leiden University. He (co)authored more that 500 scientific papers and he obtained honorary doctorates from the University of Ghent, Uppsala University, the University of London, the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Hoshi University in Tokyo and the University of Montreal. In more recent years he was vice-chairman of the supervisory board of the Technical University in Delft, member of the governing body of University College Cork and member of the board of KULeuven. He also chaired the non-executive board of a major venture capital company in Amsterdam and he served on advisory or supervisory boards of several non-profit organizations.

Prof. dr. Peter M. A. Sloot (1956) studied Physics and Chemistry and did his PhD at the Dutch Cancer Institute. He studies the way Nature processes information. He is professor of Complex Adaptive Systems at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, endowed professor of Complex Systems, NTU, Singapore, endowed professor of Advanced Computing, St. Petersburg State University, Russia, and director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Amsterdam. He supervised over 50 PhD’s and published over 470 papers, books, chapters, and edited volumes.

Executive Director

Jan Wouter Vasbinder (1945) studied physics at the Technical University of Delft (1972). 45 years working experience in the Netherlands, Israel, USA, Canada and Singapore, working in industry, government, diplomacy, private consultancy and universities. Passionate about exploring new, potentially powerful, combinations of knowledge, arts, philosophy and practice and about developing projects and programs to make such combinations useful. Initiated the interdisciplinary Institute Para Limes in Europe in 2003. Moved to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore in 2011 to develop the NTU Complexity Institute. Organized a large number of high-level interdisciplinary conferences to explore new areas of research, innovation and thought. Returned to the Netherlands in September 2018 to start Para Limes @ Europe. His motto is: “the value of knowledge is in its use”.

Advisory Board

Bertil Andersson(chair) is professor of Biochemistry and retired President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. He is a prominent plant biochemist and expert in photosynthesis research. During his presidency of NTU Singapore in 2011, he led the University to global distinction as the world’s fastest-rising young university that is also ranked first among the world’s young elite universities and the top Asian university in normalized citation impact. He was previously Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation in France, Rector of Linköping University in Sweden, former Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry and previously a Trustee of the Nobel Foundation. He received the Austrian Wilhelm Exner Medal and a number of honorary doctorates.

Brian Arthur is economist and complexity thinker. External professor Santa Fe Institute (SFI) and visiting researcher, System Sciences Lab, PARC. Best known for his work on network effects locking markets into the domination of a single player. He is also one of the pioneers of the science of complexity—the science of how patterns and structures self-organize. He is member of the Founders Society of SFI and in 1988 ran its first research program. Served on SFI’s Science Board for 18 years and its Board of Trustees for 10 years. Held the Morrison Chair of Economics and Population Studies at Stanford from 1983 to 1996. Has degrees in operations research, economics, mathematics, and electrical engineering. In 2019 the Web of Science Groupselected him as a 2019 Citation Laureate.

Sean Cleary is chairman of Strategic Concepts (Pty) Ltd., founder and executive vice chair of the FutureWorld Foundation. He served in the South African Navy on the staff of the Commander Maritime Defence before beginning a diplomatic career in the Middle East, the United States and Namibia. As chief director in Namibia in the mid-1980s, he initiated negotiations between all political parties, the release of political prisoners and the adoption of a Bill of Rights, paving the way for independence. He is a faculty member of the Parmenides Foundation, a member of the Advisory Councils of EIT Climate-KIC, and the World-Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, a Senior Adviser and Senior Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar; Special Advisor to the Global Solutions Initiative, Executive Consultant to the World Government Summit, Strategic Adviser to the World Economic Forum, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Geopolitics. Co-author, with Thierry Malleret, of “Resilience to Risk” (Human and Rousseau, 2006), and “Global Risks” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Roland Fletcher has an international reputation as a radical theorist and as the instigator of the Greater Angkor Project. His fields of expertise are the theory and philosophy of archaeology, the study of settlement growth and decline and the analysis of large-scale cultural phenomena over time. In 1995 he published The Limits of Settlement Growth, an analysis of the past 15,000 years of settlement-growth and decline, with Cambridge University Press. He initiated new teaching programs in the Archaeology of Asia and has taught a generation of diverse, innovative professional archaeologists. Created a multi-disciplinary research team of local and international research students and staff, linking the Humanities and the Sciences. His program of research on Angkor has developed international collaborations for the University and has enhanced its public profile through media presentations, such as the National Geographic International TV program “Lost City”.

Nik Gowing was a main news presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News 1996-2014. He has extensive reporting experience over three decades in diplomacy, defence and international security. He co-authored initial findings of the “Thinking the Unthinkable” study. Based on sixty top level confidential interviews of corporate and public service leaders, plus the new generation of millennials, it reveals the factors which explain why so many have failed to identify what looms in the “new normal” since late 2013. His peer-reviewed study at Oxford University “Skyful of Lies and Black Swans” predicts and identifies the new vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space. Nik is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics. He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Exeter University in 2012 and Bristol University in 2015 for both his ongoing cutting-edge analysis and distinguished career in international journalism.

Peter Ho is the senior advisor to the Centre for Strategic Futures and a senior fellow in the Civil Service College. He is chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore, chairman of the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering and member of the National University Board of Trustees. He is board member of the Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship, board member of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, and council member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He is also member of Statoil’s Strategy Advisory Council and the McKinsey Center for Government Advisory Council. When he retired from the Singapore Administrative Service in 2010 after a 34 years career in the Public Service, he was Head, Civil Service, concurrent with his other appointments of Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs), Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination), and Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the Prime Minister’s Office. Before that, he was Permanent Secretary (Defence).

Atsushi Iriki received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1986. He held research positions at that University and then at the Rockefeller University (USA). He joined the faculty of Toho University Medical School as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor in Physiology (1991-1999). In 1999, he returned to Tokyo Medical and Dental University as a full professor and chairman of Cognitive Neurobiology. Since 2004 he is a head of Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development at RIKEN Institute, Japan. He holds visiting professorships at the University College London (UK) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), an adjunct professorship at Keio University, a research professorship at Kyoto University. He is a senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (Canada).

Sander van der Leeuw is the 2012 United Nations Champion of the Earth for Science and Innovation. His expertise lies in the role of invention, sustainability and innovation in societies around the world. He and his research team investigate how invention occurs, what the preconditions are, how the context influences it, and its role in society. An archaeologist and historian by training, he has studied ancient technologies, ancient and modern man-land relationships, and Complex Systems Theory. He has done archaeological fieldwork in Syria, Holland, and France, and conducted ethno-archaeological studies in the Near East, the Philippines and Mexico. Since 1992 he has coordinated a series of interdisciplinary research projects on socio-natural interactions and modern environmental problems. He is an external professor of the Santa Fe Institute and a corresponding Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.

Sriven Naidu has more than 20 year’s experience in higher education, professional development and knowledge enterprises, including leading Higher Education Policy, Executive Masters Programs, & University Strategy (at Singapore Management University). He is adept in synergizing across research, industry engagement, professional development & thought-leadership and experienced at building frontrunner programs, strategic alliances and high-performance teams that adapt in uncertain, ambiguous & fast-changing environments. Currently he is researching Innovation Policy & Governance to better lead programs and institutes of higher learning that are committed to economic and societal impact at scale. His current work also further strengthens his influence as a ‘super-node’ for convening scientific & professional experts, and non-expert stakeholders to transform Business & Society. Sriven is one of the Royal Society of the Arts’ Global Ambassador. The RSA is an enlightenment organization committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges”.

Helga Nowotny is professor emerita of Social Studies of Science, ETH Zurich, and a founding member of the European Research Council (ERC). In 2007 she was elected ERC Vice President and from March 2010 until December 2013 President of the ERC. She is Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria and Vice-President of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Sheholds a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University, NY, and a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Vienna. She has held teaching and research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Vienna; the King’s College, Cambridge; the University of Bielefeld; the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; l’École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; the Science Center for Social Sciences, Berlin; the Collegium Budapest. Among other positions, she is foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and continues to serve on many international advisory boards throughout Europe. She received doctorates honoris causae from several European universities and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She has published widely in social studies of science and technology and on social time.

Ernst Pöppel is a German psychologist and neuroscientist. He is mostly known for his research on neuropsychology of vision and temporal perception, and for his. Moreover, during his career, Ernst promoted the cooperation between scientists and artists, a field, that lately became known as Neuro-esthetics. He is chairman of the Human Science Center and founder and former director of the Institute of Medical Psychology, Ludwig- Maximilians-University in Munich. He has been a board member of the National Research Center Jülich in Germany being responsible for the Life Sciences and Environmental research. He is guest professor of Peking University, being also associated with the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (ML), the Russian Academy of Education (Moscow), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (Salzburg and the Academia Europaea (London).

Andrew Sheng is a distinguished fellow of Asia Global Institute. He is well known in global financial circles as a former central banker and financial regulator in Asia and a commentator on global finance. Amongst his many functions he is chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission, a board member of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysia, a member of the International Advisory Panel to the Australian Treasury’s Financial System Inquiry, and an advisor to the United Nations Environment Program Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. He also serves as a member of the International Advisory Council of the China Investment Corporation, the China Development Bank, the Advisory Council on Shanghai as an International Financial Centre and the International Council of the Freie University, Berlin. He is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing and the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. In April 2013, he was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Stefan Thurner is full professor for Science of Complex Systems at the Medical University of Vienna, where he chairs Section for Science of Complex Systems. He is external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, senior researcher at IIASA, and president of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna.He obtained a PhD in theoretical physics from the Technical University of Vienna and a PhD in economics from the University of Vienna. He held postdoc positions at Humboldt University of Berlin and Boston University before joining the faculty of the University of Vienna and later Medical University. His habilitation is in theoretical physics. He started his career with contributions to theoretical particle physics, but – strongly influenced by visits to the Santa Fe Institute – he began to shift his focus from theoretical physics to biological and complex systems, which are now his main areas of scientific work. For his ongoing efforts and his skills to communicate complexity science to an interested public Stefan was elected Austrian “scientist of the year” in 2018

Alexander Zehnder is a globally recognized water expert with decades of experience. He is a visiting professor and member of the Board of Trustees of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, founder and director of triple Z Ltd. He was president of the ETH Board, director of the Swiss water research institute (Eawag) and professor emeritus of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He holds an honorary doctoral degree of the University in Nancy, France, is member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences, the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Academia Europaea, a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, obtained the Ordre of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Public Service Medal, Republic of Singapore. He is one of the “founding fathers” of the concept of the “2000 Watt” Society and some of his work contributed to the creation of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Ovid Tzeng is Chancellor of the University System of Taiwan (UST) and a distinguished research Fellow and an Academician of Academia Sinica. He was the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Council for Cultural Affairs. He is an outstanding researcher in cognitive neuroscience and neurolinguistics and an experienced administrator in academic institutions. He has established UST to oversee and integrate the research and teaching developments of Taiwan’s four top research universities and has been the Chancellor of the System since 2012. Prior to the Chancellorship, he was Vice President of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, in charge of the International Scholarly Exchange Program and the development of Taiwan’s International Graduate Program (TIGP). He was named a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences in 2010. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University in the US and the First-class Professional Education-Culture Medal from the Ministry of Education in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Vera Zabotkinais Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, Director of the Centre for Cognitive Programs and Technologies, professor of English at the Department of Interpretation and Translation at the Russian State University for the Humanities, and alumna of University College London (English department). She is one of the founding figures of the Russian school of cognitive neology and the author of more than 250 publications on the changes in the English conceptual worldview, pragmatics, conceptual semantics, and cognitive linguistics. She has organized numerous conferences on cognitive linguistics and cognitive science. She is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (Salzburg) and a certified HERE (Higher Education Reform Expert). Prof. Zabotkina has expertise in EU project management (Erasmus+, EM Joint MAs, Tempus, Council of Europe, UNESCO and UNICEF projects, etc.). She is a member of the advising board of Horizon 2020 project InsSciDE (Inventing a shared Science Diplomacy for Europe). She is Bologna promoter and has experience in developing the university strategy of international cooperation with focus on compatibility of degrees, and curricula development for 2 cycles based on the needs of the labor market. She has also expertise in setting up quality assurance system within dual degree programme in the framework of Joint European Tempus Project “Enhancement of Russian creative education: new Master programme in Digital Arts in line with EU standards” of Cognitive Linguistics) – SCOPUS; Tuning Journal for Higher Education (University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain).