Getting out of bed early in the morning becomes a bit easier when you’re on a mission to improve the world. That’s what goes through the mind of Charles van Santvoord every day as he gets ready for work at Groningen’s New Energy Coalition.
“Our aim is to speed up the energy transition to make the world a little bit better,” says Charles van Santvoord who is the Marketing Communication Coordinator at the New Energy Coalition (NEC). He describes the coalition as a networking company with three focus points: innovation, education, and human capital. It’s currently working with around 160 partners on 60 projects related to the energy transition, the world’s shift from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources.
The NEC serves as an initiator, coordinator, or implementer for various energy-related projects. It believes in collaboration to achieve its goals. It aims to connect the knowledge, experience, innovation, and willpower of companies, government bodies, NGOs and knowledge institutions. The coalition also tries to enable national and international cooperation with regions and countries around Groningen.
Van Santvoord aims to make the world a little bit better for future generations and today’s global population alike. The NEC is trying to achieve this by speeding up the energy transition.
“So that’s a big aim,” explains van Santvoord who adds that they can’t do it alone.
“We don’t have all the knowledge ourselves, so we need a lot of companies that have that knowledge in our coalition,” said van Santvoord. Together they combine their skills to create projects and push for more knowledge and innovation.
“We enjoy having students because of their bright minds and open vision and we also attract professionals who we try to re-educate about sustainable energy,” he adds.
Multidisciplinary. Multicultural. Multitalented.
There’s a big emphasis on human capital at the NEC, and it’s not only Dutch nationals involved.
“We also have international companies and international people working at the NEC. The energy transition is really big and complex which requires a multidisciplinary approach,” said van Santvoord.
Lawyers, business developers, communicators. All their different skills are needed at the coalition.
“We need a mix of all these skills to take our world where no person has previously gone before. In development and innovation you need all these different skills and people from different cultures and perspectives. We love internationals because they bring a lot of knowledge with them. They bring their own perspectives, which is very nice,” explains van Santvoord.
“The energy transition is really sexy”
Asked about how we would try to convince someone to come to work at the NEC, van Santvoord says that it’s actually quite an easy thing to do.
“We don’t have a hard time getting new employees because of our purpose of making our world a little bit better. Internationals willing to work here should contact us. We regularly have room for traineeships and internships. That’s mainly how we recruited new internationals,” says van Santvoord.
According to van Santvoord, many people think that the energy transition is all about technical aspects, difficult things, and crises such as Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, van Santvoord insists it’s a fun sphere.
“The energy transition is really sexy,” says van Santvoord who recommended that people should keep an eye on the NEC’s website to see what kind of projects they’re working on.
“We have a lot to learn and we’re not there yet. There’s still lots of work to do, but it’s very satisfying work,” concluded van Santvoord.
Video by Julia Dumchenko and Daindra Utami.
This article is part of Make it in the North‘s company spotlight series that highlights Northern companies hiring internationals.