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About the Book

At the heart of our human consciousness lies the ability to act in the interest of others.

Currently, our behavior is far from effective when it comes to connecting with ourselves and collaborating with others.
If we continue this approach, the great challenges of our time will not be solved. But there is hope!
Many of the solutions are right in front of us, in what nature offers us.

Change, innovation, finding new perspectives starts with our own attitude & skills


Ability to Act wants to challenge us in our thinking and share perspectives on renewal and change. This call for action in response to individualism, neoliberalism and marketisation, resonates with my work on international higher education. In this time of ecological and health crises, geopolitical tensions and prevalence of nationalism above global cooperation and action, Ability to Act provides valuable insights and recommendations.

Hans de Wit, Professor Emeritus at Boston College

If you share the opinion that (future) professionals have a responsibility to positively contribute to society, I would recommend this book. From an almost philosophical stance the authors shine a light on various dimensions of development of ‘the ability to act’. This is – at least to me it was- a new, multifaceted competency. Although not the focus of the authors, I see many parallels with the education of healthcare professionals: knowledge, skills and attitude come together in competence. This book gives inspiration how to make competence flourish in the light of changing demands in a changing world.

Prof. dr. Nynke Scherpbier – de Haan, Radboud University Medical Center

Starting a book with a poem is a sign of something disruptive, innovative, and human. That’s certainly what our century needs. This book addresses contemporary issues (education, innovation, an attitude of life, etc.) with new perspectives and approaches (mountains, authenticity, play, …) that could inspire every single reader. ‘Ability to Act’ is an ode to do, is an invitation for each of us to imagine, meditate, think and more importantly Act for a better future.

Xavier Pavie, philosopher, Professor at ESSEC Business School, Director of iMagination Center.

We know that we need to change. To some extent we anticipate the direction. But many questions are open and we can enter a dialogue around them. Dialogues live from differences – and from a common ground to create the synthesis. This book offers starting points for such a dialogues.

Prof. Dr. Orestis Terzidis, Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology-Management of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology management and Innovation (EnTechnon) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Ability to act is a must read for everyone interested in action theory as a means for the understanding of the fundamental aspects of our society and human development in particular. It offers strong claims on the understanding of many aspects of human cultural life, such as the human abilities to change, or deal with the fierce strains among neo-liberalism, education, and nature. Even if you strongly disagree with the claims and their underlying  assumptions, the book is a challenging sparring partner showing where to broaden your own scope and strengthen your own arguments.

Bert van Oers Professor emeritus,  Cultuurhistorische Onderwijspedagogiek/Cultural-historical theory of education |
Doctor Honoris Causa University Jyväskylä Finland
VU University Amsterdam Faculty of Behavioural and Movement sciences, Section Research and Theory in Education.

Best answers to tomorrow’s questions are no single answers but collaborative processes and approaches, embracing tomorrow’s uncertainties, the interdependencies and complexities as inspiring opportunities to reach out to all. Starting with curiosity, commitment and the will to connect. Working together across backgrounds, interests, institutions, crossing borders building partnerships that last, individual, institutional and informal. That is how we deal with tomorrow’s challenges today, together.

Henk WJ Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of The Netherlands
Sherpa to the UN/WB High Level Panel on Water

News & Blog

Launch of Ability To Act – Press Release

The book ‘Ability to Act’ is an ode to the seekers Increase awareness about yourself and your environment The seeking (young) professional has the right and the moral obligation to work for a sustainable society. However, this does not always work, because of the lack of perspective and leadership. The book Ability to Act gives […]

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