There are many gaps that need to be bridged if we’re going to reach the 2030 target date for meeting the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Under the influence of a cascade of crises (including climate, poverty, education, democracy, debt) the world is seriously off track in seizing the opportunities as well as managing the risks related to the 2030 agenda. Who carries responsibilities for what? What should be prioritized? What’s the role of finance and the private sector? 

Overcoming the various gaps between intention and realisation requires future-resilient strategies, a new mindset, organisational capabilities, skills, and the willingness to jointly invest in sustainable business practices. In this discussion, we will be joined by stakeholders from business, government, civil society, and knowledge institutes. 

The RSM Mind the Gap event invites everyone – stakeholders from business, government, civil society, and knowledge institutes – to consider and discuss:  

  • What has been achieved since 2015? 
  • What gaps need to be filled? 
  • How can we overcome the gaps? 

About the Conference

Our discussion panel comprises the leaders of key organisations and platforms that have, over the past eight years, engaged in implementing the SDG agenda in the Netherlands. We will ask them about the gaps that remain and what action is needed to bridge them.  

  • UN Global Compact Netherlands 
  • Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition 
  • SDG Netherlands 
  • The Dutch government 
  • Academia 

Recently introduced transition pathways, road maps and intervention points are intended to spur change by including the private sector – and this will be the focus of our discussion during the first plenary session.  

Key challenges include:

  • Taking stock after eight years: what gaps remain? 
  • How to deal with the large variety of pathways, without losing sight of the original ambitions of the SDG agenda 
  • What can we learn from and move forward from the greatest barriers between ambition and realisation? 

When RSM adopted its mission to be a force for positive change in the world in 2017, we acknowledged that the role of a management school should be to seek to develop knowledge and educate for sustainable solutions in which the private sector – alone or together with other societal actors.  

But the SDG targets are slipping away, with significant gaps in action and knowledge. Only 15 per cent of the 169 SDG targets are on track. Half of all targets are moderately or severely off track, and more than 30 per cent are stalled or have regressed below the 2015 baseline.  

The cost-of-living crisis has eclipsed the climate crisis in terms of urgency and budgetary capacity, and could slow down much-needed investments in the energy transition and for mitigating the effects of climate change.  

How can we overcome the intention-realisation gap at speed and at scale? Which gaps, issues and pathways should we prioritise for the greatest leverage? And what now is the role for knowledge institutes and business schools?  


Prof. dr. Jan Peter Balkenende

Erasmus University, Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition, EY

Prof. dr. Jan Peter Balkenende

Jan-Willem Scheijgrond

Chairman, UN Global Compact NL and Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, Philips

Jan-Willem Scheigrond

Sandra Pellegrom

National Coordinator for Sustainable Development Goals, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sandra Pellegrom

Herman Mulder

Chairman Board, SDG Nederland

Herman Mulder

Inge Hutter

Professor of Participatory and Qualitative Research in Population and Development, Erasmus University

Inge Hutter


Wednesday, June 26


Opening Panel


Breakout Sessions


Valedictory Lecture

Navigating Positive Change in Times of Societal Crises – What Role for Business Schools?


12:30-13:00Registration with coffee/tea
13:00-14:00Opening Panel
14:00-15:30Breakout Sessions
15:30-16:00Coffee Break
16:00-17:00Valedictory Lecture


Dr. Jochem Kroezen

Associate Professor, RSM Erasmus University

Jochem Kroezen

Breakout sessions

The Strategy Gap

The Finance and Investment Gap

The Governance Gap

The Leadership Gap

The Data Gap

The Innovation Gap (Session in Dutch)

The Skills Gap

Valedictory lecture prof. dr. Rob van Tulder

16.00-17.00, Aula

Navigating positive change in times of societal crises – what role for business schools?

25 years after the foundation of the department of Business-Society Management and 15 years after initiating the Partnerships Resource Centre, prof. Rob van Tulder – (co)founder of both – will be ‘looking back and looking forward’ in his valedictory lecture on what has been achieved in the area of sustainable business and the ‘grand challenges’ the world is facing. What intellectual and practical gaps have been addressed, and what strategic, organizational and implementation gaps still need to be overcome by the private sector – alone or in strategic partnership with other societal actors? 

The department of Business-Society Management has been recognized as one of the world’s leading capacity groups in understanding and enhancing the role of business in contributing to sustainable development. Yet B-SM, RSM and Erasmus University too face the common challenge that intention (‘talk’) often precedes implementation (‘walk’). What lessons can be learned and what action can be taken? 

The valedictory lecture aims at summarizing some of the discussions of the earlier parts of the day. It will also identify/announce concrete initiatives that will help companies, civil society organizations, governments, and knowledge institute to ‘fast-forward’ in priority areas proven to be relevant and promising the greatest chance for success.  

The valedictory lecture can also be watched via a livestream.

For more information about prof. dr. Rob van Tulder click here.

Register now for Mind The Gap

More information

Registration information

Use the link to create your own schedule for Mind the Gap.

  • Select the Plenary Session
  • Select one of the seven Breakout Sessions.
  • Register for the Valedictory Lecture: Navigating Positive Change in Times of Societal Crises – What Role for Business Schools?
  • Complete your personal schedule and click on Register Now

You will be asked to sign in. Use your existing EUR account, create a new one, or use any of your social accounts.

Fill in your details and go to Checkout to finalise your registration.

Practical information


Theil building, Woudestein campus, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Hummingbird fund

This conference is free of charge, but we appreciate a donation to the Hummingbird fund.

Event organisers

Eva Rood

Director, Positive Change Initiative

Rob van Tulder

Professor of International Business-Society Management

Liva Liepa

Management Trainee, Positive Change Initiative

Mathias Laurencier

Student-assistant, Positive Change Initiative

Emma Westenberg

Student-assistant, Positive Change Initiative

This event is part of:

For more information, please contact us.