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Present Professional Work                                                                         < Previous page        Next page >

The current professional work of Niko Roorda as an independent expert can be divided into several kinds of activities, as shown on this page.
For an overview of his present and recent clients, go here.
Roorda developed a series of instruments he applies in his work. For an overview, go here.

1. Strategic consultancy

Boards, presidents, deans and managers are assisted in finding their views on the strategic development of their organization (department). This may involve the (re)development of the organization identity and its mission. It may also involve setting concrete long-term goals, creating plans to reach those goals, raising the involvement and a sense of ownership of the staff or the employees.

For the Dutch & Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO) he assisted the Board with defining the so-called 'special characteristics' of university study programs. Thanks to this, the very first such characteristic was 'sustainable development'.

For Fontys University, he was a member of the Steering Committee for Sustainability for many years. In 2005 he initiated a special event in which the president of the Board challenged the deans of all Fontys Schools to design a school-level sustainability plan there and then, and he assisted more than a dozen schools with the realization of these plans, guiding Fontys to be the leading sustainable university in the Netherlands at some time.

In 2005 he was the initiator of HU2, the Swedish network of universities for sustainable development.

For Avans University, he advised the Board for nearly two decades with their sustainability strategy: writing a series of strategic documents; composing a Sustainability Council for the university; and laying the roots of the present Sustainability Expertise Centers of Avans. In 2012 he directed the Avans Management Conference towards Avans' current SD strategy.

Starting in 2016, he assisted a European Erasmus+ Program called A Rounder Sense of Purpose, endorsed by UNECE, to define competences for educators. In this project, universities cooperate from the United Kingdom, Hungary, Cyprus, Estonia, Italy, and the Netherlands.

A selection of other institutions for which Roorda contributed to their strategic policies:

Universities and Colleges, e.g. Miami Dade College (Florida); University College Leuven-Limburg (UCLL, Belgium); Fontys Hogescholen; Hogeschool Arnhem-Nijmegen (HAN); Wageningen University and Hogeschool Van Hall-Larenstein; Maastricht University; Hogeschool Utrecht; Inholland; Design Academy; Erasmus University Rotterdam; Hanzehogeschool; HAS Hogeschool; Artevelde Hogeschool (Belgium); Mälardalen University (Sweden); NHL Stenden; Universidade de Passo Fundo (Brazil); Mykolo Romerio Universitetas (Lithuania); University of Antwerp (Belgium); Juridische Hogeschool; and many more.

Schools for primary and/or secondary education, e.g. Esprit Scholen; ROC West-Brabant; Petrus Canisius College; ROC Tilburg; Wellantcollege; Koning Willem I College.

Companies and their associations, e.g. VNO-NCWHobéon; Avans+; Het Inventief; SMART Group; Tilburg Mentaal; Rotary; Lion's Club; Noordhoff Publishers; Brabants-Zeeuwse Werkgeversvereniging (BZW); Environmental Technology Valley; CBE Group; Meduprof-S; SenterNovem; Kappé International; Vereniging van Ver(s)kenners.

NGOs, such as HBO Raad / Vereniging Hogescholen; Domein Applied Science; AOC raad; UNICA; CSR Europe; RCE Rhine-Meuse; Ecocampus Vlaanderen; Stichting Our New Economy; EAUC; AASHE; EMSU; UNESCO Working Group on ESD Certification; Stichting Duurzaam Hoger Onderwijs; PUM Netherlands senior experts; Vereniging van Tilburgse Economisten; Ecocampus Vlaanderen; Netwerk Duurzame Pabo.

2. Implementation consultancy

Do you know where the bottleneck is, when organizations want to innovate? In the middle!
On the top there are the executives; they may have a lot of ideas and wishes. On the bottom there is the work floor; the people there, such as the lecturers, the doctors & nurses, or the employees, all have their own desires; and their resistances. In a strongly client-oriented organization, there are also the clients, the students, or the patients. They too usually know what they want, and in many cases these wishes are not the same.

And who is in the middle? The middle manager, or the line manager, or the team leader. It is he or she who has to solve an impossible paradox: how do you keep the everyday tasks running, while at the same time trying to implement the change processes ordered by the senior management and trying to keep the staff and the customers, happy.

Roorda accompanied many of these medium level leaders, who were trying to innovate while keeping everything going. In the last two decades, he did this e.g. in Windesheim; CAH Dronten; Fontys University; Hogeschool Van Hall-Larenstein; Zuyd University; Inholland; Marnix Lyceum; ROC West-Brabant; Open University of the Netherlands; and recently in Avans University and the University College Leuven-Limburg.

3. Coaching

Personal coaching often takes place in combination with strategic or implementation consultancy, and so Roorda coached several of the managers working in the above mentioned institutions. For privacy reasons, names will not be mentioned.

Coaching was also given to many staff members in a variety of organizations who had an innovative, coordinating role towards SD implementation or who were involved in education development. Also to persons in an outplacement trajectory; and to students in graduation projects on a PhD, MSc or BSc level.

4. Training

Short courses. Workshops. Assignments with feedback. These are kinds of training that Roorda offered to groups of professionals in many institutions in the Netherlands, and besides in e.g. Belgium, Germany, Austria, Sweden, France, Spain, Italy, the UK, Ireland, Malta, Hungary, Lithuania, the USA, Argentina, and South Africa.

For many of these training programs, Roorda made use of methods he developed such as the FFEA Extensions, and exercises he designed for his book Fundamentals of Sustainable Development.

5. Education Development

Roorda's first task in the area of sustainable development was the design and implementation of a new BSc study program for a university in the south of the Netherlands. The program was dedicated to Sustainable Technology. It was based on the Brundtland principles. But not yet on the results of 'Rio', i.e. the Earth Summit of 1992, for a very good reason: the first students registered already in 1991.

Later, in 2007, Roorda developed a course called Sustainable Business: it was a written post-academic program for distance learning, published by Euroforum. for which you can find more information (in Dutch) here. Three of the 10 lessons of this course were written by Roorda, the rest was written by experts in various fields and edited by Roorda.

Another intensive course, also on Sustainable Business, was developed by Roorda in 2011, on the request of an institution for post-academic education, Avans+.

Besides, Roorda assisted teams of educators in various universities with the development of education for sustainable development (ESD).  Involved were study programs like for instance (in alphabetical order):

Applied Physics;   Architecture;
Automotive;   Chemistry;   Chemical Technology;
Civil Engineering;   Electrical Engineering;
Environmental Science;
Financial Management;   Food Technology;
Industrial Engineering & Management;
Information Technology;   International Business;
Management;   Medical Research and Biotechnology; Mechanical Engineering;
Small Business & Retail Management;
Social Sciences;
Teacher Education;

6. Guest Lectures

As a guest lecturer, Roorda gave lectures on SD and CSR to students, e.g. in Utrecht University; Hogeschool Utrecht; Artevelde University; Hanzehogeschool; Fontys University; HAS Den Bosch; HAS Venlo; Hogeschool Van Hall-Larenstein; Avans University; Inholland; Maastricht University; University of Antwerp; Miami Dade College.

7. Presentations

For an overview of presentations, go here.

8. Authoring

Roorda wrote books, book chapters and journal articles for a range of publishers. Among them are:

In Dutch:
Noordhoff (formerly Wolters-Noordhoff), Tirion, Euroforum, Garant (Belgium).

In English:
Routledge (UK), Wageningen Academic Publishers (Netherlands), Verlag für Akademische Schriften (Germany), Springer (Germany), Peter Lang (Germany), River Publishers (Denmark), Kluwer Academic Publishers (Netherlands), Emerald Insight (UK), UNESCO.

In German:
Springer Nature.

In French:
African Union.

In Swedish:
Mälardalen University.

9. Research & Investigation

 Do you have a doctor's degree, a PhD? You will no doubt agree that the research program leading to it is the most extensive investigation you ever did. Read about Roorda's dissertation, based on 20 years of SD research, here.

Other research by Roorda in the last three decades is dedicated to the inflow of students to university programs (1993); to the validity of several management tools; and to the state of affairs concerning SD in several universities and schools.

The most recent research was done on the request of the International Erasmus+ Program A Rounder Sense of Purpose, for which he investigated the UNECE model for SD competences of educators: its structure, its strong and weak aspects, and a comparison with Roorda's own SD competence model, RESFIA+D.

10. Method Development

 For an overview of methods developed by Roorda, go to the Management Methods page.

11. Assessment & Certification

Nearly all Dutch universities for applied sciences, and several Belgian ones, have been assessed by Roorda with his AISHE. Many of those assessments resulted in an AISHE Certificate with one or more stars, as on the photo to the right: two stars for the Department of Built Environment of the Hogeschool Arnhem-Nijmegen (2010).

Even more AISHE assessments were done by others, who were trained to do so by, and received their AISHE Assessor Certificate from Roorda.

An example of how the level of integration of SD into education increased over the years is shown in the graph below, based on AISHE assessments in the Fontys School of Applied Sciences in 2002, 2005 and 2008. The x-axis depicts the 20 AISHE criteria; the y-axis shows the scores.

Other assessments in universities and companies were done by Roorda with the aid of other tools he developed: RESFIA+D and FFEA.

The SD Curriculum Scan was performed by staff members or by graduating students under the supervision of Roorda, e.g. in Avans University; Fontys University; University College Leuven-Limburg (the former Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven).

12. Jury member

Several times Roorda appeared as a member of a jury. One of them was the membership is of the British Green Gown Awards, organized by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), for which he was a jury member for several years in two categories.
The GGA is awarded to universities who perform exceptionally well, considering a number of different SD categories.

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