About Jan

From his childhood years, Jan Rotmans has been driven by the idea of a more just world for all. As a boy he was not dreaming of becoming a fireman or a policeman – he hungered for knowledge and wanted to become a professor devoted to making the world a better place. We are all entitled, after all, to live on a planet attuned to fairness and equality.

A champion of change can motivate others
to take the right turn towards a new path.


Jan Rotmans was himself forced to come to a standstill after a serious bicycling accident. During his lengthy recovery, he got to a turning point and became aware of the urgency of moving beyond mere study of the social transition through efforts aimed at accelerating it.

This called for a personal transition in Jan. Instead of antagonizing people as activist, you need to touch their heart – and persuade them to change along with you towards larger goals.


As a thoughtful individual you cannot accept that other people are indifferently letting the world fall apart. We are not here to exterminate each other. I see it as a moral duty to put all the talents I have at the service of society. Rather than ignoring change as an external force, you want to embrace it and channel it into the right direction!

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Prof.dr.ir. Jan Rotmans is a scientivist, a passionate and rebellious scientist engaged in actual practices to speed up transitions and sustainability.

Both nationally and internationally he is an authority on transitions, having written over 200 publications in the fields of climate change, global change modeling, sustainable development, transitions and system innovations.

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Jan Rotmans does not just study society and its turnaround; he also plays an active role in this process. The organizations he set up (ICIS, Urgenda, DRIFT and Nederland Kantelt) and co-founded (Zorgeloos) help him to accelerate the transition towards a new order. Based on his expertise he formulates rules for realizing this transition and he brings together people with fresh or unconventional ideas from all corners of society, in order collectively to move the transition towards its point of no return.

Jan is also a passionate speaker, who both nationally and internationally manages to inspire, motivate and captivate audiences. Based on these unique qualities, he was elected Speaker of the Year twice: in 2012 and 2014.

Jan is pleased to inspire and challenge audiences through lectures covering the following themes or sectors:

  • New economy
  • Education
  • Care
  • Sustainability
  • Energy
  • Society in transition
  • Financial changeover
  • Creative sector
  • Construction
  • Transitions

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