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Sylvia van de Bunt is UNESCO chairholder 'Cross-Cultural Sustainability' and co-director of the research centre SERVUS at the Department of Management and Organization of the School of Business and Economics of VU Amsterdam. She is coordinator of VU executive courses in Organizational Behavior&Accountancy and Executive Coaching (3th year), Program Director of Executive Education in Servant-Leadership at VU Business School, and Visiting Professor at University of Suffolk, UK. She is coordinator of a community program ‘Mentoring in cross-cultural communities’ where practitioners (executives, mentors, volunteers, local communities) share knowledge with VU researchers. She was appointed by VU Foundation to lead a VU broad project ‘We Shall Overcome’ 2020-2022 to capture the heritage of Dr Martin Luther King jr. in VU’s identity.  Her background is in International Business and Education. She completed her MSc at Groningen University, her PhD ‘Academic Pilgrims’ at Tilburg University, and postgraduate courses at a.o. INSEAD and EFMD.

During the last four decades she has gained extensive supervisory and governing board experience e.g. she was member of the Supervisory Board of Compu’Train and Kennisnet. She is re-elected President of NGVO, the Dutch Speaking Society for Comparative Education, the Flemish/Dutch Member Society of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies. She was nominee Best Reviewer of EURAM, President of the Advisory Board of Nova Academy, and member of the Advisory Committee of the Access to Medicine Index. She was VU Advisory Board member of Community Service Learning/A Broader Mind, and is member of the VUvereniging (VU Foundation). Quote elected her one of the 600 most influential Dutch business persons.

She has an international career in business and academia, serving as a management consultant for various international firms, business schools and NGO’s. For the European Commission she was coordinator of a large-scale (12 countries) novel European project FILTER, investigating the integrity and cultural filtering of online content. She published extensively on cross-cultural management, executive education and talent diversity e.g. in handbooks of leading academic Publishers such as Springer, Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, Wiley, and Jossey-Bass, and in high ranked journals such as Technology Analysis & Strategic Management Journal.  She edited the book ‘World Wide Work’ (VU University Press, 2006), co-edited the books ‘Handboek Internationaal Talent’ (Weka, 2007) and ‘Competing for Talent’ (Royal Van Gorcum, 2009). She presented/published papers and organized PDWs at a.o. the Academy of Management, EURAM, EAIE, WCCES and EFMD.

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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