Marc Cornelissen | Brightlands Award nominees announced

march 9, 2017

Martine Bouman, Jan Jonker and Jeroen Rondeel have been nominated for the 2017 Marc Cornelissen | Brightlands Award. The winner will be announced on March 16 during the Brightlands Symposium in Maastricht.

This award is a permanent Brightlands tribute to Marc Cornelissen, the polar explorer and sustainability pioneer who perished during a polar expedition in 2015. His legacy has been viewed by Brightlands and many others as a source of inspiration for challenges we face when it comes to sustainability, cooperation and leadership. The cash prize incentive of €25,000 is intended for a driven trendsetter and connector. This is about candidates who, in the spirit of Marc Cornelissen, have set themselves apart through their unifying leadership and cross-border partnerships that aim to create a sustainable world.

Jury chairman Maria van der Hoeven: “Every nominee is on a unique expedition, and has already passed several stations on their way to achieving the intended mission. Extra focus and resources are necessary in order to advance to the next station. The jury is convinced that the unifying and distinctive manner in which they do this makes their likelihood of success high.”


Martine Bouman is a special professor of Entertainment Media and Social Change at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and academic director of the Media & Health Center in Gouda. Her mission is to reduce the major differences in health in this country by making the supply of information on health and a sustainable lifestyle more effective for the functionally illiterate portion of the population in the Netherlands.

Jan Jonker is a professor of sustainable business at Radboud University in Nijmegen. His mission is to translate sustainability to new ways of organizing the economy, society and changes in human behavior.

Jeroen Rondeel is the managing director of Blue Engineering and Pulseform bv and the founder of the Blue Innovation Center in Venlo. The mission he is working on is to stimulate and/or develop new business in the Venlo region that is based on sustainability philosophy.


The award is an initiative of the foundation of the same name, and will be given for the first time this year. The award will be presented by a jury consisting of the following:

  • Maria van der Hoeven, Clingendael International Energy Program and Rocky Mountain Institute Board of Supervisors
  • Ellen Cornelissen, on behalf of the Cornelissen family
  • Bert Kip, CEO of Brightlands Chemelot Campus,
  • Prof. Dr. Mariëlle Heijltjes, Managerial Behavior, Maastricht University,
  • Prof. Dr. Emmo Meijer, Member of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation

Board of Governors

A Board of Governors also presides over the award procedure, and consists of the following:

  • Theo Bovens, Governor of the Province of Limburg,
  • Prof. Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton (IAS)
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Paul, President of Maastricht University,
  • André Kuipers, astronaut, doctor, author.
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