Login Register

Leadership for Good Debate


As we start recovering from COVID-19, we should ask ourselves whether and how we can build back better. Is Corona is a ‘moment of truth’? An opportunity to create a new normal that ensures a liveable planet for generations to come, that invests in solutions that help people and planet thrive together, that promotes entrepreneurship and creativity, creates decent and safe work conditions, that leaves no one behind?

In such times, more than ever, there’s a need for “real leaders”. But who are these leaders? What behaviors and attitudes do we expect from them? What can we learn from them?

Here at Enactus we are dedicated to do our part in creating leaders that are equipped with the mindset, attitudes, and skills to tackle some of the most complex challenges. This moment is a chance for us to learn from leading representatives from business and the academic world about leadership in the 21st century, what it means in times of crisis and what is needed to build more sustainable and fair societies.


Caroline Pauwels, Dean VUB

Prof. Dr. Caroline  Pauwels  is rector of the Vrije  Universiteit Brussels since 2016 . She studied philosophy and communication sciences, and is a member of the communication sciences department since 1989, that she presided for the last years. She promoted in 1995 with a dissertation on the audiovisual policy of the European Union. From 2000 to 2016, rector  Pauwels  directed the research center SMIT, that specializes in information and communication technologies, and that became part of  iMinds (now IMEC) in 2004. Within iMinds, rector  Pauwels  was head of the Digital Society Department that unites research groups from the universities of Ghent, Leuven and Brussels. From 2012 to 2014, the University of Ghent awarded her the  Francqui  Chair. In addition, she was/is  a member of several boards of directors, functioned as government commissioner for  the VRT and is a member of the  Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. 

Piet Colruyt, Impact Investor

Piet Colruyt has an academic background in philosophy, civil engineering, architecture & corporate finance, and started out his professional career as an architect – aiming to make supermarkets more sustainable & less energy consuming. Piet then transitioned to become the promotor par excellence of social entrepreneurship and impact investing in Belgium.  He became investor and board member in a series of Impact Enterprises focusing on 4 domains in particular: Retail, Real Estate, Renewable Energy, Re-thinking Economy (the 4 RE’s). In 2009, he co-founded Re-Vive, a brownfield development company, in 2012 the SI² Fund Social Impact through Sustainable Investments, of which he is also chairman. Piet is also the founder of Impact Capital and Impact House www.impacthouse.be. He shared his views on the role of social entrepreneurship as co-author of the book Allemaal Sociaal 3.0 . Kunnen ondernemers de wereld redden?” (All of us Social 3.0 – Can entrepreneurs save the world?).  Piet is a Board Member of Korys, the holding company of the Colruyt family. 

Gert Linthout, Social entrepreneur, Ray & Jules

Gert Linthout has an academic background in bio engineering.  He worked 15 year as an advisor for Möbius, where he established this business consulting company’s sustainability and circular economy business unit.  Together with his wife Jona, and after the birth of their two kids, he started Mic Mac Minuscule, a one-stop-shop service for birth lists featuring second-hand baby goods. This started his journey as a social entrepreneur, and more recently, Gert joined Ray & Jules, boasting the world’s very first solar-roasted and delicious coffee.  Gert is also member of the Board of ‘Netwerk Bewust Verbruiken’ (Network Responsible Consumption), a movement inspiring people to live more sustainably.  

Wilfried Remans, Director CSR & Public Affairs, BNP Paribas Fortis  

Wilfried Remans started his career as an adviser in International Humanitarian Law and head of the international department at the Belgian Red Cross. Thereafter, he acted as the spokesperson for the Belgian flag carrier Sabena and as Global Director Press Relations for the international Financial Services Group Fortis. From 2010 to 2016, he headed the Social Relations department of BNP Paribas Fortis, overseeing trade union negotiations and well-being activities. Since October 2016, Wilfried Remans has taken up the role as Director CSR & Public Affairs for BNP Paribas Fortis. 

Nienke Dhondt, Co-founder and President of Enactus Gent

Nienke is President and co-founder of Enactus Gent. As a student electromechanical engineering, Nienke has a passion for innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship. She believes that these three combined are key to transition to a new, more circular and inclusive economy. Enactus allows Nienke to develop her leadership skills and entrepreneurial talents further  

Moderator – Kaat Peeters

Kaat Peeters is an impact maker with a track record in associations as well as governmental institutes. Kaat established a European network and worked as a manager to develop two newly founded cultural associations into stable organizations. Meanwhile, Kaat ran both a shop that sold Persian and Arabic interior objects and a B&B. In 2013, Kaat became the manager of the Sociale Innovatiefabriek. Building a network, helping social entrepreneurs and innovators, sharing stories, setting up international collaborations and researching impact measurement were some of the activities that Kaat undertook in her managerial role. 

Nowadays, Kaat teaches social innovation at Erasmus University College Brussels. Through her consulting organization, Social Impact Projects, Kaat helps impact organizations to design and implement their growth strategies. She is also a keynote speaker, delivering inspiring talks about social entrepreneurship and off course, about how we can increase our impact. Kaat is author of Leaving a Legacy, about how to increase your impact and of Zaken die je Raken, an inspiring book about how social entrepreneurs in Belgium and the Netherlands make the world a better place. Kaat is also a contributor to the European Social Innovation Academy. As a hands-on member of the board of directors of several cultural associations (youth theatre house Larf and music management Zephyrus), social enterprises (Rising You, Community Land Trust Ghent and EVA – ethical vegetarian alternative) and the Belgian sustainability network The Shift, as well as a member of the jury in international contests, creating an impact is always of paramount importance to her work. Recently, Kaat became president of Demos, a non-partisan public research and advocacy organization that focuses on social and policy developments in culture, youth work and sports.