Jan Willem Kirpestein

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Biographical Information

"Jan Willem Kirpestein, PhD (1959) studied theology and arts. Also, he familiarised himself with law, pyschology and leadership development. For approximately 1,5 years he studied at the conservatory of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Music has always remained is passion. In 1993 he obtained his PhD at the VU University in Amsterdam. His thesis was on Mr. G. Groen van Prinsterer as an advocate of a culture that knows the difference between the spirit and the letter. By studying this political leader’s life, he analysed the influence of spiritual insight on the decision making of leaders and organisations. Over the years, Jan Willem established a coaching practice, was a consultant to executives, guided processes of tranformation, wrote articles and held lectures. He’s especially experienced in facilitating the cooperation between people with differing world-views who want to reach a common goal.

"In 1985, Jan Willem was ordained as a minister with the Netherlands Reformed Church, which is now the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PCN).

"in 2000, he founded the Encounter of Worldviews Foundation towards a global ethos. This initiative is supported by various leaders of large companies and organisations.

"In 2002, Jan Willem inspired and co-organised an international convention (based on the principles of the method of dialogue) on “mutual trust building” in Putten, the Netherlands. About 90 leaders from all over the world attented this convention.

"In 2004, he organised a conference on “The challenges and dilemma’s of business leaders in relation to their responsibilities’, which was attended by 90 CEO’s and other executives.

"He helped organise an international dialogue convention on “natural leadership” in The State Guesthouse in Beijing, in 2005.

"He was a co-founder of “The Natural Leadership Foundation” which was founded in 2005. This foundation helps to develop the leadership of the 21st century through wilderness trails.

"In 2005, he co-founded (together with Maaikel Klein Klouwenberg, director and founder of Turner) the Meaningful Excellence Foundation. The main goal of the Meaningful Excellence Foundation is to reinstil a sense of meaning and purpose in people and organisations.

"Also in 2005, he wrote a book in cooperation with Johan Bontje and Willem Vreeswijk, titled: “Authentic Leadership: a matter of will and courage”, which now has been reprinted two times. The initiative to writing this book was born during the CEO conference in Ede, in 2004.

"In 2006, he was the inspirator and co-organisator of a seminar on authentic leadership, which was attended by about a hundred leaders, and which took place in the SER-building in The Hague. " [1]


"Hans van der Klis (managementboek) with Jan Willem Kirpestein about the book ( published April 9th 2009): In naam van de natuur. Over duurzame ontwikkeling leiderschap en persoonlijke verandering. met Herman Wijffels, Herma van der Weide, Cees Veerman Peter Blom, Hans Boot, Mary Evelyn Tucker." [2]


"Wilderness Leadership retreat South Africa with Alan McSmith, wilderness guide. Connected leadership for a sustainable future June, 2012". [3] (see interview with Ian Player)

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. History, Jan Willem Kirpestein, accessed December 15, 2011.
  2. Book, Jan Willem Kirpestein, accessed December 15, 2011.
  3. Nieuws, Jan Willem Kirpestein, accessed December 15, 2011.