Young Professionals Program

A SDG leadership journey that rewires your thinking, transforms your mindset and creates positive impact!

“With less than 4.000 days remaining until the 2030 target, leaders are not content with current progress and calling for their sectors and peers to step-up and turn commitment into action.” 

Lise Kingo

Executive Director and CEO of the United Nations Global Compact

“It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and economic transformation needed to achieve our 2030 goals”

António Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General

Young professionals from these organizations already participated

Global Compact Network Netherlands proudly  presents the renewed and enhanced Young Professionals Program (YPP)*. This advanced leadership program is based on action-learning. It is specifically designed for future leaders that are eager to:

Embark on an exciting SDG-journey and step out of their comfort zone

Be part of a mixed team of young professionals that makes a difference

Transform from an individual contributor to a high-performing team player

Discover how to unlock game-changing potential in themselves and others


During a period of 12 months, you are working and learning in a multidisciplinary team of 8 to 12 young talented professionals coming from different organizations to work on three key learning objectives :

  • Understanding what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are about and together with your team deliver an impactful and innovative SDG project.
  • Building and sustaining an effective multidisciplinary and cross-company team, getting insights in team building, team roles, team performance and team dynamics, understanding your own role within and contribution to the team.
  • Developing leadership skills that will contribute to become an inspiring, sensitive, innovative, effective and responsible business leader.
Nanne van der Leer


Mart Beune


Arian Hohmann

Tiny Giants

Yixiao Qiao


Tijn Willems


Experiences of some of the participants


The YPP is a smart and effective concept that stimulates the development of a unique set of core leadership skills. The top 10 soft skills participants are empowered to work on are:

  1. Strategic, analytical thinking and (social) innovation
  2. Collaboration, team building and team dynamics
  3. Creativity, originality and initiative
  4. Reasoning, problem solving and ideation
  5. Listening skills, judgement and decision making
  6. Effective communication and dealing with feedback
  7. Persuasion and result driven project management 
  8. Adaptability, cognitive flexibility and self reflection
  9. Emotional intelligence
  10. Leadership and social influence


The YPP is primarily designed to target high-performing young talent at organizations participating in the UN Global Compact. The program is in 2020 also open for top talent from non-member public and private organizations. However, there are only limited spaces for organizations that are not a member of UN Global Compact.

For the teams that are kicking-off in mid-April 2020 we have 40 spaces available. So, if you are eager to join, don’t hesitate and apply now. We are seeking for young professionals who are:

  • Aged between 25-35
  • Based in the Netherlands
  • Have at least 3 years of professional working experience
  • Have the commitment and permission to invest 1 working day each month (for the total program 12 working days)
  • Are highly motivated and have a genuine Interest in sustainability, the SDGs, innovation and teamwork

Executive Team Coach and Program Director

Jan van den Herik

My purpose is to inspire business leaders to make a difference!

In my role as Executive Team Coach I am empowering and stretching future leaders to go beyond the ordinary.

Click here for more information.

+31 (0)6 51222450

Program Manager

Marco Swan

My purpose is to create a sustainable transformation together!

In my role as Program Manager I am the primary contact and I am responsible for a smooth operation of the YPP.

+31 (0)6 51146829

Executive Director

Linda van Beek

My wish is to engage as many entrepreneurs as possible with the Sustainable Development Goals.

In my role as Executive Director, I am responsible for the integration of the Young Professionals Program in Global Compact Network Netherlands.


Team 1 – Project:

Raising awareness around food waste

Team 2 – Project:

Creating the SDG Game

Team 3 – Project:

Initiating a SDG Young Leaders Movement

Team 4 – Project (still in progress):

Speeding up SDG ambition within SMEs


The YPP is designed to engage your organization’s brightest and best talent. In this advanced leadership journey young professionals are challenged on sustainability, teamwork and responsible leadership. Continuous guidance will be offered by a professional team coach.

Good for you Good for your organization


  • Learn about UN Global Compact, the Ten Principles and the SDGs.
  • Get involved in Global Compact Network Netherlands. Have access to a large network of experts, businesses, NGOs, governments and other local networks of UN Global Compact on a global scale.
  • Dare to challenge yourself to work in a multidisciplinary and cross-company team and gain insights in your own contribution and that of other team members to the team’s success.
  • Get guidance from a senior Executive Team Coach with extensive business experience (e.g. Corporate Governance, Sustainability and Strategy & Innovation) that will also help the team to reflect on team dynamics and team performance.
  • Add value to society by accelerating the realization of the SDGs by delivering an impactful project.
  • Become member of the ‘SDG Young Leaders Network’ Global Compact Network Netherlands
  • Development of essential teamwork and leadership skills will strengthen and empower responsible leadership within your organization.
  • Participants become agents of change. They will support the acceleration and integration of the SDGs and the commitment to sustainability in your business.
  • Strengthen your branding as an employer of choice for top talent.
  • Participants will receive after completion of the program an official certificate.


    Application Deadline: 13 November 2020

    Program starts: End November 2020

    Financial investment

    €3.950 ex. vat is the fee for participants from members of UN Global Compact

    €4.950 ex. vat is the fee for participants from non-members of UN Global Compact

    * If a team consists of only Dutch speaking participants the main language of the program will be Dutch.

    ** In 2016 Global Compact Network Netherlands started the Young Professionals Program. In the pilot phase (2017-2019) 4 teams of in total 36 participants joined the program. Due to the success of the pilots we recently decided to renew and further enhance the Young Professionals Program, and scale it up to offer more young leaders the opportunity to benefit from it.