“Doing good together”- When a vision becomes a reality

Brunel Foundation Anniversary

The tenth year of the Brunel Foundation marks a decade of inspiring, impacting and educating people. The founders- Femke and Maritska- take us on a journey through the past and tell us how the idea of the Brunel Foundation was born.

In October 2012, while carpooling and brainstorming in the early morning, the idea of the Brunel Foundation popped into our heads. We fantasized: what if we win the Target Control Staff contest - an internal competition - with this great idea? What if, in the long term, we can make the foundation a Brunel Global initiative? In our minds the sky was the limit. Bursting with energy, we translated our thoughts onto paper and our belief in the foundation continued to grow as we finalized the idea.  

The Target Control Staff Contest is won via a voting mechanism, and to make the voting more exciting the names of all contestants were removed from their ideas. Therefore, not only for us, but also for the majority of the judges, the winners remained a surprise until the official announcement in December 2012. We won and a few months later the Brunel Foundation was an actuality with the two of us as the first volunteers. 

Femke Dijkstra and Maritska Aarts of the Brunel Foundation

We had many years of HR experience at Brunel, but starting a foundation was a different story. Where to start? We had to step out of our comfort zone, take on new challenges, be persistent about the things we believed in and familiarize ourselves with enthusing others. Which is, as we have experienced, an art in itself. It wasn’t always an easy road. It took us a few years of pioneering to develop our own compass. This compass helps our decision making and allows us to be confident about what we stand for and have therefore never lost sight of our values, like integrity and respect for others.

Besides, working that closely together demands respect for each other’s temperament, character and (un)desirabilities. Starting the mornings very early to go to our Amsterdam office by shared car, and still being able to fall in uncontrollable laughter by the end of the day is very special. We are different and yet the same. Our characters and talents complement and reinforce each other. 

Winners of the Brunel contest in 2012

In 2019, we were granted the opportunity to replace our Dutch foundation ‘glasses’ with global ones, with a clear sight on two focal points: people and planet. We grasped this with both hands and our dream continued with this new chapter.  Together with our community members, Brunel and our employees, we are working towards a better future for professionals and a better planet for future professionals.

The success of the Brunel Foundation stands with the positive energy and enthusiasm of our colleagues. With the aim of ‘doing good together’, we will continue to look for opportunities to achieve our goals and beyond. Hopefully many years at Brunel, and being part of the Brunel Foundation, are still to come. 

Black figure in front of yellow square

The Brunel Foundation aims to positively impact People and our Planet by helping create a better future for professionals and a better planet for future professionals.