COMMEET is a foundation, i.e. a not-for-profit organisation. We present communities with the tools to empower themselves, taking their own future into their own hands! Scroll down to read about what we do, how COMMEET is organised and who are involved.
What do we do?
COMMEET contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, 8 and 10.
- We focus on the empowerment of regions
- Our approach includes raising awareness among community members and facilitating their access to our toolkits, knowledge and networks
- We are independent, we have no personal interests or underlying agenda, only the drive to facilitate others
- We base our work on scientific studies, international networks and years of experience in, among other fields, professional education.
Why do we do this?
There are many reasons why we do what we do. To name but a few:
- A basic human need is the ability to sustain oneself
- Professionals form the backbone of any society
- Technical developments are fast and multifold, requiring new skillsets and adaptable professionals
- Skills acquired through (formal) education do not always meet labour market demands
- Young people need to be able to develop their talents and learn skills required for the jobs in their region
- Communities are indispensable in creating fair chances for their future generations.
How do we do this?
COMMEET facilitates tailor-made strategies for Sustainable Regional Development. We focus on the involvement and active participation of the four main regional stakeholders:
- The community: a varying group, which can encompass all the inhabitants, but also specific subgroups (e.g. unemployed people, migrants, women, disadvantaged youth, etc.)
- Educational partners: not only schools and institutions but also professionals (e.g. companies or organisations offering workplace learning)
- Labour market partners: not only employers (small and medium sized enterprises as well as large companies) but also, for example, trade unions
- Government partners: local, regional and national, Chambers of Commerce, etc.
To this effect COMMEET offers toolkits: checklists to help communities formulate tailor-made strategies and action plans to make improvements on their situations. We are available for additional information and offer coaching for advice.
Who are we?
COMMEET is a Fellowship, with Fellows who make active contributions to COMMEET’s goals and development, and Well-Wishers who support our cause. You are always welcome to join us either as a Fellow, or as a Well-Wisher! All Fellows together form a community of passionate individuals.
- They identify themselves with the vision and mission of COMMEET and actively contribute to putting the mission into action. Teams of Fellows are self-organised, and Fellows are encouraged to join one or more teams and pick up tasks based on their skills and interests; they are not assigned to teams top-down. They work and communicate pro-actively, and always strive for the expansion of the COMMEET network. Fellows are expected to invest a set number of hours in COMMEET.
- Fellows/Ambassadors are people with lots of experience and large networks in the fields COMMEET is active in. They actively expand the COMMEET network by raising awareness about the organisation and its values on an international level. They frequently act as advisors to the Board.
- Fellows/the Board are the people serving on COMMEET’s Board. It is the central team of highly committed individuals who take on formal roles needed for COMMEET to classify as a Foundation. In its home country the Netherlands, a Foundation like COMMEET is legally required to have a Board. Such a Board must at least have a Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer, but it can consist of more than these three members.
Well-Wishers are divided in Friends, Sponsors and External Partners.
- Friends are individuals who subscribe to COMMEET’s vision and may promote COMMEET through their own personal and professional networks, for instance on social media.
- Sponsors are people or organisations that make contributions, financial or in kind, for instance by making staff available for a limited number of hours.
- External Partners are (international) organisations that are linked to COMMEET because they are active in the same fields.
The COMMEET team
Fellows / the Board
Chair - External Relations | The Netherlands
I believe in a world with more solidarity. In communities where nobody is left behind there is less discrimination, less inequality and a safer future for all. And it has been proven that people who feel safe show more hospitality towards others who need our help. I founded COMMEET to encourage people to determine for themselves how they want to organise their community in this vision: collectively, safe and open. And I am more than happy with the support of so many dear friends and colleagues.• LinkedIn
Co-chair | The Netherlands
I firmly believe we can learn from 3.8 billion years of natural development of our mother Earth and all the living plants and creatures. As human beings we were the best in adapting to the enduring change of circumstances. Right now we have to protect ourselves from self-destruction and help communities to develop their world and ours in a sustainable manner. Giving meaning to the United Nations SDGs and putting them in practice in local initiatives by individual communities all over the world drives me to support Commeet's goals in Community Empowerment.• LinkedIn
Secretary | The Netherlands
Maarten joined COMMEET shortly before his retirement from Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Maastricht, The Netherlands, where he worked as a lecturer of English and a coordinator of internationalisation. He was keen to devote some of his time and energy to voluntary work after retiring, the call from COMMEET coming at just the right moment. Maarten firmly believes communities should help themselves moving forward to a better future for all; the COMMEET approach of preparing them for this self-empowerment therefore fits him like a glove.• LinkedIn
Treasurer - Financial Management | The Netherlands
Traditional aid for regions has often consisted of a set of rules and regulations which aid providers gave to the receivers and which the receivers were supposed to carry out without asking too many questions. Aid providers largely ignored the fact that regions often know very well what is wrong, but have difficulties arriving at decent solutions for their problems. I am convinced that COMMEET can play an excellent role here, with its international network of experts in very diverse fields, who are committed to helping regions towards empowering themselves to take their future into their own hands.• LinkedIn
manager of the Board | Netherlands
As a student I was elected one of the youngest municipality council members in The Netherlands. With zero experience I tried to serve the local community in my little village to the best of my ability. And it was a great job to do. About half a century later I joined COMMEET. With a backpack of experience in human resources, change management and communication, and some life wisdom, I am trying to contribute to COMMEET’s main mission: promoting sustainable regional development by empowering local communities all over the world. I am proud and happy to be a member of this great and highly committed COMMEET team.
Fellows / Ambassadors
UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, York University, Toronto | Canada
My interest lies in improving education and training while addressing a sustainable future for “all”. Currently Indigenous and other marginalized youth are a particular focus.• LinkedIn
Executive Chair Coordinator at York University Toronto (Canada) | Managing Director at the German Commission for UNESCO | Canada / Germany
COMMEET´s promotion of entrepreneurial thinking in communities as an overarching vision of seeing opportunity and fostering innovation contributes to the SDGs in a unique way.• LinkedIn
Dzulkifli Abdul Razak
Rector of the International Islamic University of Malaysia | Malaysia
From my experience - in diverse capacities - with education on a global level, I can subscribe wholeheartedly to COMMEET’s community involved approach to vocational education.• URL
Dr Shyamal Majumdar
Dr Shyamal Majumdar is the former head of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training(TVET). | India
My interest lies at rural transformation in response to sustainable development goals, using skills as a driver. I firmly believe in empowering rural community. Currently rural youth, girls, and disadvantages group are a particular focus.• LinkedIn
Mediation as Country expert Bangladesh | Director at Streekarchief Midden-Holland | the Netherlands
COMMEET enables me to develop my skills and knowledge while helping communities in developing countries toward empowerment and learning. COMMEET helps me to make the invisible visible.• LinkedIn
Ali Bukar Ahmad
Country expert Nigeria | Assistant General Manager at Transmission Company of Nigeria | Nigeria
I value COMMEET's richness of content in activities, sincerity of intent and its mission general in outlook nature, cutting across all developmental horizons, and culture.• LinkedIn
PhD student in the field of Sustainability at the Centre for Environmental Policy of Imperial College London | United Kingdom
I am happy to support COMMEET’s commitment to promoting Sustainable Development through empowering local communities and bringing bottom-up change.• LinkedIn
Dr Alex Mifsud
Dr Alex Mifsud is a founding member of the Centre for Environmental Education and Research, University of Malta. She lectures Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Malta and the UK, with a focus on employee engagement and training. Dr Mifsud develops ESD courses and training programmes to a wide range of audiences. She is working on climate action and migration through her work in Carbon Literacy Training.
Mediation | Senior lecturer International Business, Hogeschool Zuyd | the Netherlands
COMMEET’s ideals appeal to me because they focus on sharing know how on the essential capacity building elements of education and entrepreneurship.• LinkedIn
Ahmet Sayer is a founder and president of European Migrant Platform. Over the last few years, he has worked as project researcher/coordinator and community builder in numerous projects co-financed by EU funds. He also has over ten years of experience as a senior auditor in the public sector with working experience in the fields of financial, compliance and performance audits. Besides, he holds a Master degree in International Political Economy with EU External Relations at Brussels School of International Studies. | Belgium
Discovering his fascination for people and communities, he joined the COMMEET Fellowship to use his skills, knowledge and experience for unlocking the potentials among immigrants both for adding value to the society and integration into the host country.• LinkedIn
Sustainability Communications Coordinator at RCE Greater Portland | USA
Telling and creating better stories for a more peaceful, sustainable and socially just future.• LinkedIn
My degree is in geography; I taught in East Africa and the UK, and moved on to become editor and education officer at the Commonwealth Institute in London and then Director of the UK Council for Environmental Education. Since 1989 I have been a free-lance consultant in environment, sustainability, education and training, working nationally and internationally for businesses, governments, NGOs and international bodies. I was also a tutor on the distance learning programme MSc Education for Sustainability at London South Bank University. In 1989 Queen Elizabeth II honoured me with an MBE for my services to environmental education. I am Senior Vice President of the Institution of Environmental Sciences. | UK
Throughout my career promoting sustainable development and sustainability, I have used a set of guiding principles, including: • Promoting systems thinking • Listening to and using the knowledge and experience of participants • Developing critical thinking skills • Challenging existing paradigms • Ensuring interaction between participants • Identifying priority issues, finding appropriate resolutions and sharing results • Setting a good example firstname.lastname@example.org
Romy van den Akker
Project leader and policy advisor at Zuyderland Care, located in Sittard, the Netherlands. MSc in Global Health from Maastricht University and coordinator of a successful refugee and migrant project in the healthcare sector ‘Into Care – to be Carefree’, providing refugees and migrants with tailor-made education in care for the elderly. The refugees and migrants study and earn money simultaneously, all paid for by Zuyderland, and receive a permanent contract upon completing the programme. | The Netherlands
I am happy to be Fellow of COMMEET and to spread Good Practices such as ‘Into Care – to be Carefree’ into the world. I highly value COMMEET’s ideals of local practices and the bottom-up approach of empowering local communities to implement good practices. I am glad and proud to be part of the COMMEET network and to raise international awareness about the local implementation of good practices.
Education | Lecturer at Faculty of International Business and Communication at Hogeschool Zuyd, Netherlands | the Netherlands
I’m committed to COMMEET’s ideals of valuing vocational training, bettering the lives of individuals through effective education and improving communities by connecting stakeholders with a capable workforce.
Dr Ayar Ata
Freelance social researcher and linguist working for the Ministry of Justice in London | UK
Ayar is an active member of Sustainability Research Group at London South Bank University and as part of his postdoctoral and action research he helped Croydon Voluntary Action to start Croydon Refugee and New Communities Forum in 2019. In the course of his PhD research Ayar has also helped to establish a small voluntary group called Maheen Project in Croydon-south London. This project is supporting unaccompanied refugee children to settle successfully in London (www.maheenproject.co.uk). Ayar has also served as ExCom member of International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) 2018-August 2020, and still the IASFM's Working Group as a blog commissioning author. Ayar has recently joined COMMEET to promote positive communications on migration, refugee, and social integration issues in London.
BSc in Agriculture, Leeds University, UK; MSc in Agronomy, University of West Indies, Trinidad; PhD in Crop Physiology and Environment, Leeds University, UK. | UK
My experience is in agricultural research and the review of farming systems and rural livelihoods. Also, the facilitation of interdisciplinary and participatory learning systems, organic farming research, institutional monitoring and critical learning in tropical and temperate regions. I am delighted to join such an illustrious group of people. email@example.com
Sumaiyah is a lecturer in the Department of Critical Care Nursing, Kulliyyah of Nursing, International Islamic University Malaysia. She is also a project member of Real World Lab in the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Greater Gombak @ IIUM, Malaysia. | Malaysia
I’m very happy and feel proud to be part of the COMMEET team. My research interests include both nursing education and clinical practice, mainly in cardiovascular diseases, self-care and chronic diseases, and community empowerment and community wellbeing. THANDAR SOE @ SUMAIYAH JAMALUDIN www.researchgate.net/profile/ Thandar_Soe_Sumaiyah_Jamaludin• LinkedIn
Nilar Win @ Fahmida is a lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). She is also a project leader of Real World Lab in the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Greater Gombak @ IIUM, Malaysia. | Malaysia
“COMMEET never fails to surprise me with its tremendous achievement in leading the way towards sustainable development goals (SDG). Concise and comprehensive ten-points plans in toolkits of technical and vocational education training (TVET) toolkit and migrants and displaced persons exemplify excellent team work in building an easy way to accommodate community development.”
Entrepreneurship | Senior lecturer Zuyd University | the Netherlands
With our common efforts we can create a better balance in local labour markets and improve the value and image of many jobs within a new economic order.• LinkedIn
Chair of RCE London | Professor of Sustainability London Southbank University | UK
I share with COMMEET the drive to support migrants and refugees in developing their entrepreneurial skills, to better enable them to contribute to their communities and to improve integration.• LinkedIn
Nurazzura Mohamad Diah
Lecturer Department of Sociology & Anthropology, KIRKHS, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Digital Entrepreneurship Trainer | Malaysia
COMMEET's ideals really caught my eye. I think that innovation and creativity in digital entrepreneurship is another important part of a community's success. Developing digital entrepreneurship creativity is a collaborative effort. It is something that needs to be nurtured, practiced and respected. I would be so excited to be a part of that innovation here.• LinkedIn
Carolina C. López
Founder of Living Lab/Centro de Diálogo y Transformación: RCE Borderlands México-USA | Mexico
COMMEET helps link like-minded individuals globally and locally, thus helping build world class global teams and allowing talented individuals to make connections for the job of their dreams.• URL
Founder and Chairman Oasis for Posterity NGO, Balagram, district of Nilphamari, Bangladesh | Pioneer in the development of innovative Primary Education for cluster village ultra poor children and TVET in the community of Balagram. Establishment of the Oasis for Posterity Institute for Science and Technology (OIST) | Bangladesh
Being a versatile development catalyst, I share COMMEET's understanding for a common vision for togetherness in local development by strengthening hands and heads through technical vocational education and training and beyond.• URL
Jacob Niyoyita Mahina, PhD
Former Dean of Faculty in the Rwanda Tourist University College in Kigali. Chair and founder of the professional training institute M Services Ltd in Rwanda. | Rwanda
I am happy and committed to work with COMMEET to promote Sustainable Development through empowering local communities to improve their entrepreneurial skills. COMMEET will enable me to help develop the skills and knowledge of the communities in developing countries toward empowerment, learning, development of business ideas and connecting them to the market.
A true nationalist and internationalist, Dr. Akpezi Ogbuigwe is a respected and high-profile expert in environmental law, environmental/climate change education, and transformational change in Africa. She is the Founder of Anpez Centre for Environment and Development - founded in 1992 to respond to the environmental degradation and pollution of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. She is currently working on a new initiative called The Star Advantage Network to mobilize women and young persons to take transformative action in their communities and areas of influence and to celebrate such impacts. Akpezi also currently serves as Adviser for the African Region, UNU-RCEs; Board Member, Earth Charter International; Member, Advisory Board, Network on Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures, School of Education, University of Bristol (www.tesf.network); Associate, KIKO Educational, London; Board Member, Centre for Biblical Transformation, Kenya. Until December 2019 she served with four global experts as Juror for the UNESCO/Japan Prize for ESD. She was a former Head of Environmental Education and Training (2002-2012) and later Coordinator of the Ecosystem Management Sub-Programme at the United Nations Environment Programme (2013-2014). Before that, she was Dean, Faculty of Law, Rivers State University. | Nigeria
I was motivated to join COMMEET because of the critical issues handled by COMMEET – Migrants, social justice, climate change and others. These are issues that are relevant to me as an African and as part of our global family. COMMEET Team members are also very committed, diligent, and accomplished persons from different walks of life and different geographical backgrounds. They are just the best! COMMEET is not looking for experts but for people with the heart, knowledge, courage and time to transform lives and enable people everywhere to take the next step to transform their lives, the lives of others and their environment.
Dr Glenn Strachan combines consultancy work in education for sustainable development with a part time role in higher education at London South Bank University, where he teaches on the Education for Sustainability MSc and is part of the Sustainability Research Group. His research and writings cover a wide range including rural well-being, systems thinking, sustainable entrepreneurship and pedagogical approaches to learning for sustainability. He is currently Chair of the Shared Earth Trust charity, which aims to promote biodiversity in rural land management and provides courses in ecology and sustainable living at the Denmark Farm Conservation Centre in West Wales, UK, near to where Glenn lives. | UK
Through his practical experience in both formal and informal education Glenn hopes to contribute to COMMEET’s work of empowering communities in a way that can drive changes towards a sustainable future.• LinkedIn
| United Kingdom
Saima is committed to social and environmental justice and has campaigned against modern slavery and worked on migrant-based issues in Bosnia, Albania, Indonesia, Turkey, Greece, Calais and Budapest. She currently works with an INGO overseeing projects in Asia supporting vulnerable communities and internally-displaced persons and is a Researcher at the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration (Jember, Indonesia) investigating migration movements. Saima was one of the Editors of the COMMEET Migrant Toolkit and is engaging with refugee networks in the UK to disseminate it as widely as possible.
Maastricht University Graduate International Business Organization: Management, Change and Consultancy | France
I truly support COMMEET's values to work from a bottom-up approach and help deliver positive and empowering development opportunities for communities across the world.
Engr. Elias Kanchon
Trainer on ARM, textile engineer | Bangladesh
I am really happy to be a friend of COMMEET. I really feel proud if I can work with you.• LinkedIn
Technical Vocational Education and Training | Former director of technical vocational education school | Belgium
Promotion and support of vocational education is very important for our society and out future. Involvement and participation of the community are major elements.
Mediation | Former medical doctor specialised in Child Health Care | the Netherlands
As a former child health care professional I know from experience that in a healthy community all share responsibility for their own future and that of their children.• LinkedIn
etudiant | Burkina Faso
COMMEET is an opportunity to be helpful for my community and get experiences from others.• LinkedIn
Education expert, researcher RCE Nizhny Novgorod | Russia
International collaboration projects in the field of regional SD and TVET, especially regarding to aspects of SD of contemporary city agglomeration, social and creative communities of agglomeration are important.• URL
Philippe Giblot Ducray
Junior engineer Emineo Ltd | Mauritius Island
I want to dedicate my time to promoting local community empowerment and sustainable development by providing them with the right tools and motivation. I am an optimist at heart and have faith in our future.• LinkedIn
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) | Lecturer and researcher at University of Vechta | Germany
I am in line with the vision of COMMEET to empower communities by improving vocational trainings, because change is needed and change is only possible by creating good relationships among the involved partners.• LinkedIn
Mediation | Owner Prince&Advies | the Netherlands
I am strongly motivated to heal rifts in society; finding a new balance between self- and common interests, by using commonalities and cherishing meaningful differences.• LinkedIn
Coordinator, RCE Nizhny Novgorod | Russia
It is interesting to engage in projects in the field of sustainable development and TVET, especially at the regional level (Nizhny Novgorod Region, Volga Basin)• LinkedIn
Internal Management | Programme manager Shared Service Center Zuid-Limburg | the Netherlands
I trust in our ability to make our world a better place. All I have to do is to put my energy to good use, and what better cause than that of COMMEET.• LinkedIn
Marcel van Kasteren
Entrepreneurship start-up coach at Starters Centre Limburg, the Netherlands
COMMEET contributes to the worldwide development of entrepreneurship by connecting local needs, education & business into one framework where people can learn from each other and improve their living conditions in a true sustainable way.• LinkedIn
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