Leonoor den Ottolander – Meet the Trustee

Leonoor den Ottolander – Meet the Trustee

We couldn’t give away €1.000 to great ideas if we didn’t have trustees. Today you meet one of them: Leonoor den Ottolander

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi! My name is Leonoor den Ottolander and I’m a proud citizen of Rotterdam! I work in sustainability consultancy and I am now  helping the Municipality of Rotterdam to build an energy transition path. In my free time I enjoy quality time with my boyfriend, friends and family, playing tennis, exploring the outdoors, adventure travel, cooking, reading, and the cultural life this city has to offer. 

You’re a trustee, tell us a bit more about that. When did you hear about the Awesome Foundation Rotterdam? Why did you want to become a trustee?

I am driven by making a positive impact on society and I love to connect with people full of ideas. At Awesome I found a bunch of diverse like minded people that enjoy getting things done and having fun!

What’s the impact of corona on your daily life? Did things change?

I’m lucky to have a home office that meets my needs. I do miss the social face to face interaction with my family, friends and colleagues. In the few first weeks life was quite solitary. Many projects that involve real time citizen participation in the Dutch energy transition have been put on hold, hence that worries me a bit. As in times of crisis, external consultants are the first ones out. On the bright side: I celebrated my birthday just before the lockdown and my boyfriend arrived right in time back home from England. 

What’s your connection with Rotterdam?

I love this spirit of this city: Let’s make it happen. I have family roots, as my father and grandfather grew up and lived here. I learned how to walk on the streets of Rotterdam and five years ago I moved from 020 to 010, here to stay!

Imagine you’re the major of Rotterdam. What would you change directly?

Make it greener and invest in cultural and social hot spots in Rotterdam Zuid to create a more inclusive city. I’d also reduce the number of cars that are allowed to enter the city centre, particularly the anti-social show offs.

You’ve seen a lot of pitches so far, what’s your favorite?

Tegen Tegels. Appealing and straightforward idea to raise citizen awareness and hapiness. It makes city street life more green and climate resilient.

Imagine you get €1.000 cash and must give it to an idea in Rotterdam. Who will get the money and why?

I’d give it to Wijk Energie Werkt, an initiative to inspire citizens by showing that reducing your energy consumption also reduces your household monthly bills and climate impact. In addition, they create local employment by educating peer-to-peer energy coaches and solar pv technicians. Awesome win-win!

Which cool ideas and companies do you think are a good response to the corona crisis?

Rotterdam Zet Door platform set up by the municipality to show and connect impact initiatives that boost local economy and social ecosystem. 

Is there anything you would like to share?

Crisis brings out the worst and the best in people. Be positive, never waste a good crisis to come up with best new ideas and business models. Creativity sparks, and one idea can lead to another. What can you start today to make Rotterdam more inclusive and resilient in the future? Awesome Foundation can play a role by providing a (virtual)platform for future face to face collaborations and inspiration to team up for change.

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