Nominations Societal Impact Award 2017

The Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance strongly believes that research and education should have societal impact. Therefore the faculty of Law, Economics and Governance has created the yearly Societal Impact Award to highlight the societal impact of work by students and staff. 

Student nominations 2016:

A level playing field for students in Utrecht

Nominees: Yasmin Ahmed - Benjamin Asante – Minke Reijneveld – Danielle Snaathorst

A level playing field for students in Utrecht is a project concerned with discrimination of any kind that students studying in Utrecht may encounter. Its primary focus is to find out the scope and forms of discrimination – if any – within the university itself and Utrecht’s ‘horeca’. The premise of the project is that students should have a level playing field while studying in Utrecht and that support should be available if someone has encountered discrimination. The group of students is preparing a research project that will start in the spring of 2017.


Nominees: Jaimy Nijnens

KlikStart is a project founded by the non-profit Enactus Utrecht. It is run by students who volunteer to help the elderly make sense of computers and tablets. Klikstart has the ambition to ensure the elderly are part of the digital community. Together with Rabobank Utrecht, ROC Midden Nederland and several residential care homes the students have put together several courses focussing on the use of laptops and tablets. These courses are given by enthusiastic ROC-interns.


Public Note

Nominees: Wieke Blijleven - Idwer Doosje – Floris de Krijger – Yvonne La Grouw – Stefan Lubberding – Evelijn Martinius – Joost Monster 

Public Note is an online platform where research from governance student scan be published as peer-reviewed articles (Scientific Note) or as a pitch (Public Note).  Every year students graduate on relevant cases of public governance. Unfortunately this knowledge often ‘disappears’ into the archives of the university. Public Note tries to build a bridge between current knowledge and governance in practice, to bind students, researchers and professionals of public governance by distributing knowledge and stimulate discussion.



Nominees: Elke van Burghoorn – Sjoerd Kempen – Fay Koster – Lilian Mooren – Saskia Littooij

Potjemet is a sociale enterprise, founded by Enactus, that focusses on reducing the waste of perfectly fine food. In the Netherlands in between 1.7 and 2.6 billion kilos of food is thrown away every year. In collaboration with a biological carrot farmer Potjemet produces carrot marmalade made from carrots that otherwise would have been thrown away, due to being to ‘ugly’ for sale. Persons with special needs are employed in the production process of the marmalade, to contribute to a inclusive society for all.


Taalles Vluchtelingen Utrecht

Nominees: Roos Ykema

Taalles Vluchtelingen Utrecht is a initiative run by volunteers that organises courses in Dutch for refugees in the refugee center in Oog in Al. It started at the temporary emergency shelter in Kanaleneiland, which had a urgent need for tutors and enough available places in the courses for the refugees. The initiative has managed to give two hour long sessions twice a week to about 40 people, thanks to the effort of 15 to 20 volunteers who run small groupsessions, tackling subjects ranging from literacy to advanced grammar.

Taste Before You Waste Utrecht

Nominees: Francesca Ali

Taste Before You Waste is an initiative focused on the prevention of food waste that was founded in Amsterdam in November 2012. By picking up surplus food and using these goodies as inspiration and fuel for all our activities, ranging from Food Cycle Markets, Community Dinners and Educational Workshops to Event Caterings, Presentations and Donations to Charities we aim to raise awareness about the enormous amount of food that is thrown away and educate people about what they can do to prevent this from happening.


The Story of Western Sahara’s Forgotten People

Nominees: Cvetka Poprask

The Story of Western Sahara’s Forgotten People is a project that aims to raise awareness on the conflict regarding the Western Sahara and its consequences for the local population. The project started with the organisation of round tables and panel discussions yet expanded its activities to visits to Sahrawi refugee camps and organising travelogue presentations and a fundraiser for children with special needs in Sahrawi refugee camps.


Staff nominations 2016:

Debatseries Europe and the other en Terrorisme & de Rechtstaat

Nominees: Hanneke van Eijken – Pauline Phoa

The two debate series offered a multidisciplinary approach to and analysis of the two societal problems. The series tried to build a bridge between relevant academic research and public debate.  This came from the conviction that the university, and more specifically the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance with a large curriculum in the area of EU and international (criminal) law and human rights, has a public responsibility to offer our students and staff a forum for debate. A forum that could bring forward the aspects of these complex issues and tried to answer how we can participate in the public debate in a critical and well-informed way, and how can students and researchers contribute to finding a solution.



Nominees: Hilke Grootelaar – Marij Swinkels – Elena Valbusa

InclUUsion is a bottom-up initiated project to increase access and inclusion in higher education for newcomers in the Netherlands. This project is aimed at those students that are currently ‘on hold’ in emergency shelters, refugee centers or in their new houses. Not only colleagues at Utrecht University, but also the Utrecht Summer School, the municipality of Utrecht, the Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF), Studium Generale and language institute BABEL are partners of Utrecht University InclUUsion.


Kofi Annan Business School

Nominees: Caspar de Bok – Leendert de Bell – Erik Stam – Hein Roelfsema

The KABS foundation aims to stimulate local entrepreneurship by creating a new generation of innovative and socially responsible entrepreneurs in developing regions. With its scholarships KABS provides opportunities for talented and motivated students from developing areas, to study at and obtain a diploma from one of the associated partners in Europe. In September 2016 Joseph Kaputula from Zambia started as the first Kofi Annan Business School (KABS) fellow at Utrecht University. Joseph is enrolled in the Master’s programme Business Development and Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance.


Project Money - Jenaplan Utrecht

Nominee: Mark Sanders

The project was executed at the Jenaplan School in Utrecht and was aimed at improving knowledge, and decision power for children in the final grade of the primary school (11-12 years). It involved letting the children design their own currency but then also bringing that currency into circulation in class through requiring the children pay tax and allowing the teachers to spend the currency into circulation. By closely following what happened in class and reflecting with the children on these events, the project took a unique and very effective approach to making children experience rather than learn about money.


Nominee: Pernille van der Plank

Schoonschip is the project that tries to realise a floating neighbourhood in the Johan van Hasseltkanaal in Amsterdam Noord. The neighbourhood of 46 households would bet he most sustainable neighbourhood of Europe and would serve as an inspiration for a less encumbering way of life. Schoonschip has the ambition to lead an exemplary role in the field of ecological and societal sustainability.


Sustainable Finance Lab

Nominees: Rens van Tilburg – Lu Zhang

The Sustainable Finance Lab is an informal interdisciplinary network of mostly academics of different Dutch universities. The aim of the Sustainable Finance Lab is a stable and robust financial sector that contributes to an economy that serves humanity without depleting its environment. To this end we develop ideas and provide a platform to discuss these, thus bridging science and practice.


Winners 2016

This year the Impact Award is handed out to Marij Swinkels, Hilke Grootelaar and Elena Valbusa for the project InclUUsion and to student Francesca Ali for the project Taste before you waste.