Encounter of Worldviews Foundation

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"Encounter brings people with different outlooks on life together and provides a platform for the international business world, political organisations, NGOs, social and philosophical movements for true dialogue and encounter at the deepest personal level." [1]


"In 1999 the book "De terugkeer van de mens uit de ban van het cartesiaanse denken" (The return of man, freed from Cartesian thinking) was published by Boekencentrum, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. Initiators and editors were Jan Willem Kirpestein and Bart Gijsbertsen. Sixteen people from various sectors in society describe the increasing superficiality in their field, but also relate their attempts to find new methods to combat loss of depth and increased nihilism. Contributors are e.g. Prof. A. van den Beukel: Wetenschap is niet alles (Science is not everything), Dr M. van Kalmhout: Het verdwijnen van de mens uit de psychologie (The disappearance of man from psychology), Dr C.P. Boele: Het metafysisch vacuüm in de economie (The metaphysical vacuum in economics), Dr A. Klink: Het uithoudingsvermogen van burgerzin (The endurance of the civic spirit) and Prof. A.C. Zijderveld: Universitaire waarden en deugden (Academic values and virtues). A large number of disciplines e.g. philosophy, economics, politics, health care, theology, psychology, law, music, natural science, is apparently being faced with one and the same question: how can we regain the human condition and how can a sense of wonder be recovered. After presenting an anthology from the work of the Jewish philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel, the editors close with an appeal:

"A movement will have to be set in motion, from within or from above, which will make people refuse to get locked up in systems detrimental to human nature. This requires a willingness for reflection and spiritual awakening. Systems, models and methods are in essence merely tools to help us manage our existence. They must not have absolute authority. Human nature is more substantial and elusive. We shall have to remain aware of that fact...

"After the Symposium a number of people came to agree upon the need for an existential dialogue from heart to heart between representatives from the different philosophies of life. Among them were Prof. Ilse Bulhof, philosopher, and Dr Herman Wijffels, chairman of the Socio-Economic Coucil of the Netherlands.

"Jan Willem Kirpestein and Bart Gijsbertsen went to Tübingen, Germany, for a meeting with Hans Küng about his Stiftung Weltethos (Global Ethic Foundation). This meeting boosted the idea for an independent Foundation in The Netherlands to devote itself to the creation of a global network to encourage encounter between people. An encounter between people who, while drawing from the source of their own traditions, are willing to listen to and learn from others. Board and Advisory Committee were set up and on Friday 28 April 2000 the organisation was statutory founded.

"Encounter organised its first main conference titled 'Diving into the Deep: Towards a Mutual Understanding' in November 2002. During this conference it became clear how powerful it could be when 'Captains of Influence' dare to enter into dialogue from a personal, often spiritual, engagement." [2]

Advisory Board

Accessed December 2011: [3]

  • Herman Wijffels - Chairman, co founder of Endounter of Worldviews Foundation; Chairman of the Social Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER)
  • Theo Camps - Secretary - Chairman Berenschot Group bv
  • Grace Amponsah-Ababio - Ambassador of Ghana to the Netherlands
  • Judith Belinfante - Former Secretary of Labour Party (PvdA) Fraction in the Parliament of The Netherlands
  • Antony Burgmans - Chairman Unilever NV
  • Coskun Çörüz - Member of Parliament for the Christian Democratic Party (CDA) in The Netherlands
  • Fons Driessen - Executive coach, Boer & Croon
  • Phil Lane, Jr. - Director Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development (Canada)
  • Ruud Lubbers - UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
  • Patricia Morales - Director Terra Curanda, Globus Institute, University of Tilburg
  • Adriaan Nühn - Executive Vice President and Chairman, Board of Management Sara Lee/DE
  • Onno Ruding - Chairman, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS); Retired Vice Chairman, Citibank; Former Minister of Finance, The Netherlands
  • Thony Ruys - Chairman of the executive board, Heineken N.V.
  • Willem P.M. van der Schoot - Chairman of the executive board, Boer&Croon, Strategy and Management Group
  • Mohan Swami - Executive Chairman Chase Perdana Berhad (Malaysia)
  • Doekle Terpstra - Chairman of the Christian Trade Union Federation (CNV)
  • Mariam T'ai - Coördinator - Secretariat for the Promotion of the Discourse on Science, Religion and Development (India)
  • Johannes Witteveen - Chairman of the International Sufi Movement, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer of the Netherlands


URL: http://www.encounterofworldviews.org

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. About, Encounter of Worldviews Foundation, accessed December 15, 2011.
  2. History, Encounter of Worldviews Foundation, accessed December 15, 2011.
  3. Advisory Board, Encounter of Worldviews Foundation, accessed December 15, 2011.