Rewilding Europe Circle

Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands
Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands
The Netherlands

Rewilding Europe shows how it is possible in practice to turn a problem into opportunities, by putting abandoned land to good use. This requires not only a vision, but cooperation with local partners and a long-term dedication to get it right for everyone involved. By revealing Europe’s shared natural heritage, the initiative serves the interest of all of us across Europe, both economically and aesthetically. So everyone can be a winner.


Princess Laurentien has been a Fellow of the European Climate Foundation since June 2008. She is the author of the Mr Finney children’s books series inspired by sustainability and climate change. The first book in the series was published in October 2009 (Mr Finney en de wereld op zijn kop; English translation: Mr Finney and the world turned upside down) and has been translated into English, Catalan, Spanish, Bulgarian, Chinese, Portuguese, Papiamento and Thai. The second book was published in February 2011 (Mr Finney en de andere kant van het water). She is founder and Managing Director of the Missing Chapter Foundation since 2010, an NGO that facilitates inter-generational dialogue to change mindsets among decision-makers for a more sustainable future. The Princess is Vice-President of Fauna & Flora International. Previously, she has been working with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and African Parks.

The Princess is also active in the field of literacy. She worked as a volunteer in Brussels, teaching adults to read. In the Netherlands, Princess Laurentien founded the Reading and Writing Foundation (Stichting Lezen & Schrijven) in 2004. Its mission is to help prevent and reduce illiteracy in the Netherlands and in Europe. She was appointed Chair of the High Level Group on Literacy of the European Commission in 2011.

In March 2009, Princess Laurentien was designated UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development. In this capacity, she acts as an advocate for literacy globally. She is patron of the Dutch Listening and Braille Library (NLBB) and the Dutch language society Genootschap Onze Taal and honorary chair of the Association of Public Libraries. She is also president of the European Cultural Foundation.

She started her career as a video journalist for CNN Headline News in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), where she worked from 1991 to 1992. From 1992 to 1995, she was executive director of the Belmont European Policy Centre in Brussels, a think tank on European affairs. From 1995 to 1997 she worked for Philip Morris in Brussels, where she was manager of government relations. In 1997 she was appointed deputy director of Edelman Worldwide, an international public relations agency, and in February 2000 joined the board of directors of the Brussels branch of Adamson BSMG Worldwide, an international consultancy specialising in strategic communications and public affairs. After their marriage in May 2001, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien went to live in London, where the Princess worked for BSMG Worldwide, the consultancy she had worked for in Brussels. In London, she was head of Corporate Communications Practice, first for the UK, then for the European market. BSMG Worldwide merged with Weber Shandwick in January 2002. From 2003 until setting up the Missing Chapter Foundation, she has been a freelance strategic communications advisor.

Laurentien van Oranje-Nassau has a broad view on conservation issues, given her experience in EU policy-making on climate change, conservation in Africa and strategic communications. She has already been key to Rewilding Europe by facilitating the launch of our initiative on 18 November 2010 in Brussels.