Chair of Foundation Supervisory Board

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EIT Climate-KIC

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3 days ago


Climate-KIC International Foundation is a public benefit organisation that seeks to achieve its mission of catalysing systemic change through action and innovation by targeting the areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions – cities, land use, materials and finance – in order to create climate-resilient communities. The Foundation is recognised as an Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling (Public Benefit Organisation) by the Dutch tax authority.

The Foundation is looking for a Chair to lead the supervisory board and to raise the profile and credibility of the organisation, in order to help it fulfil its mission and navigate future challenges.

The Foundation has a two-tier board structure, consisting of a Supervisory Board and an Executive Director. The Supervisory Board of the Foundation provides independent oversight that is required both to ensure alignment to the mission and practice effective governance, particularly around the non-profit status of Foundation. It is responsible for the supervision of the Executive Director, their policy and course of action, and the general conduct of the affairs of the Foundation. The Supervisory Board assists the Executive Director by providing advice and guidance on strategic topics. It further supports the wider Climate-KIC group in strengthening the organisation's profile among grant and charitable funders as well as a broad range of international stakeholders. Additionally, as majority shareholder of Climate-KIC Holding B.V. (the operational company at the heart of the Climate-KIC Group), it exercises a supervisory and advisory role over that company and its executive board.

The Foundation leads the Climate-KIC Group, headquartered in Amsterdam and orchestrating a community of more than 400 organisations comprised of large corporations and SMEs, municipal and regional governments, universities and research institutes, as well as non-governmental organisations and uncommon actors as an organisation of circa 160 people. Climate-KIC’s strategy, Transformation, in Time, responds to the need for a 1.5° aligned, systemic approach to reversing global warming and developing climate resilience, commensurate with the complexity, scale and requisite pace of response to the climate challenge.

The Climate-KIC Group operates out of 13 hubs across Europe and conducts activities in 39 countries globally. We have historically managed €80-100 million per year in grants, provided predominantly by our founder and core funder, the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). We are transitioning to a multi-funder model with the objective of maintaining a flow of funds of circa €100 million annually to our community and to challenge owners to deliver impact.

We use a portfolio approach for developing and deploying innovation, entrepreneurship, education and community mobilisation to unlock structural change in systems where emissions are tough to reduce – cities, land-use, industry, and finance. We do so by combining activities and innovation outputs from applied research, learning and reskilling, start-up incubation, movement building and innovation ecosystem building. Over the last ten years we have supported more than 4,500 businesses, in over 50 countries, that have gone on to attract over €1.5 bln of capital and featured regularly in the Forbes 30 under 30 European list. Our education programmes have influenced the lives of over 45,000 people who have launched a movement building alumni community. In 2019, we launched Deep Demonstrations, a demand-led methodology for composing innovation portfolios across technology, policy, finance, social change, citizen engagement, and other relevant levers of change, in order to generate options and test transition pathways for place-based systems and value chains.

Our goals for 2027 are to ensure that 200,000 people across Europe are equipped with enhanced climate-relevant innovation and entrepreneurial skills; 10 million people benefit from improved resilience to the impacts of climate change; 50 cities, countries, regions and large scale businesses across Europe are achieving net-zero as a result of partnership with EIT Climate-KIC; 500 million tons of CO2 eq. emissions have been avoided cumulatively (approx. 1/10 annual EU production) and we have succeeded in leveraging €100 bln to scale-up innovations tackling climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial production system to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial production system to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

The Supervisory Board

  • Strategic direction: The Supervisory Board has responsibility for setting the strategic vision and direction for Climate-KIC, in partnership with Association Climate-KIC (minority shareholder) and the Executive Board. This includes review of the organisation's value proposition, positioning and long-term strategy in response to climate change needs; review of impact objectives, learnings and outcomes; and calibration of strategic priorities. All members of the Supervisory Board are expected to provide a creative and informed contribution to strategy processes with the Climate-KIC Community.
  • Institutional relations and fundraising: All Supervisory Board members are asked to help connect Climate-KIC with networks of useful people and organisations and to support Climate-KIC’s fundraising efforts with key institutions and prospective funders.
  • Governance: The Supervisory Board serves in an oversight function for the Executive Director, tasked with supervising the general state of affairs of the Foundation, and the policies developed and implemented by the Executive Director.
  • It also works in an advisory capacity for the Executive Director and the directors of Climate-KIC Holding B.V.. In particular, the Supervisory Board provides judgment about the way Climate-KIC develops strategy and how well it performs in executing the strategy, keeping the interests of the various stakeholders in mind and ensuring that the organisation continues to pursue its objectives.
  • Compliance and Risk: The Supervisory Board is furthermore charged with and operates in accordance with all the duties entrusted to it by law, by the articles of association and relevant internal protocols. The Supervisory Board follows the actions and results of the Executive Direcotr at an appropriate distance but will also act as a key governance mechanism and escalation point.
  • Appointments: The Supervisory Board selects and appoints its own members; it also appoints the Executive Director and, as majority shareholder, the directors of Climate-KIC Holding B.V.
  • Ethics and Reputation: Supervisory Board members uphold the highest standards of integrity and probity, safeguard the good name and reputation of the Climate-KIC group; comply with any policies and procedures; and, where required, participate and provide leadership in specific board committees.

The Composition of the Supervisory Board

  • The Supervisory Board strives for a mixed composition, marked by diversity in a wide range of ways relevant to the Foundation’s mission and objective. Diversity of thought, gender, age, nationality, cultural background, experience and background are essential for its composition.
  • Diversity is also applied in appointment of Supervisory Board directors who are willing and able to play a range of roles in respect of strategic direction and guidance, stakeholder relations and fund raising, and financial and operational governance, compliance and risk oversight. Board appointments reflect different specialisms, experience and capability to ensure the Board as a whole is equipped to fulfil its responsibilities.
  • The Supervisory Board’s supervision of the long- and short-term strategy, the policies developed by the EB, and the general developments of Climate-KIC, require the Board to maintain a collectively independent, knowledgeable yet positive critical mindset.
  • In a manner similar to what is expected among Climate-KIC personnel, Supervisory Board members should be inquisitive and curious about others’ perspectives and appropriately challenging of them.

Necessary Skills and Experience of the Chair

The Chair is expected to have the following key attributes:

  • An influential, non-partisan profile, ideally with good connections at the European Union political level
  • A good understanding of the systemic and complex nature of the climate change challenge
  • Experience and ability in running effective board meetings
  • Ability to commit sufficient time to perform the role

In common with the other Supervisory Board, the following are expected:

  • An affinity with the mission and objective of the Foundation
  • Capability to offer thought leadership, systems thinking and strategic vision with respect to climate action and climate impact
  • An ability to assess and test the overall policy of the Foundation and the functioning of the Executive Director
  • An ability to carry out the legal and statutory required responsibilities of the Supervisory Board
  • A recognition of the environmental and social responsibilities of the Foundation and its operations.

The following are highly desirable:

  • A relevant understanding of fundraising;
  • Specialist knowledge and background in relevant strategic topics, in particular:
  • Transformation of the built environment, agriculture and land-use practices, water and marine systems, financial systems and industrial value chains;
  • Complex systems dynamics;
  • Social and behavioural change (including through culture, media and arts);
  • role of exponential digital technologies including artificial intelligence in achieving decarbonisation, adaptation and sustainable societal transformation.
  • Supervisory or other non-executive board level experience in similarly complex organisations is necessary, managerial experience at board level
  • Extensive experience in contributing to and a passion for innovation in climate change mitigation and adaptation, gained in a position at a multinational company, NGO, academic institution, government, research, charity, not-for-profit or similar organisation
  • Excellent understanding of the supervision of operational and financial risks of an organisation, ideally spanning across the for- and not-for-profit sectors
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of an international team and in a multi-disciplinary context
  • A willingness to speak up, remaining independent of any influence from other organisations or individuals
  • Academic mindset and level of work, with strong analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both spoken and written; and the ability to cooperate with people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Articulate and dynamic with highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively, inspire and motivate people
  • A strategic and forward-looking mind and attitude
  • Fluency in English language combined with excellent written and verbal communication skills; knowledge of other languages highly desirable

Selection procedure

Candidates are invited to express their interest by sending a short motivation and a current CV to [tbc], by email at [address] before [date].

The current Supervisory Board members will determine which candidates will be invited for interview and will form the interview panel and selection committee.

Additional information about the vacancies can be obtained from [name] via email.

Contractual terms and other specifications

  • Contract terms: Appointments to the Supervisory Board are made for 3 years, with the option to re-appoint for a further 3-year term.
  • Remuneration: Supervisory Board positions are not remunerated. Reasonable expenses for board meeting attendance are permitted.
  • Location/s: Remote
  • Commitment: Climate-KIC seeks to appoint Supervisory Board members with sufficient time and willingness to contribute actively to board proceedings. Board meetings are usually held six times a year. Meetings take place largely remotely but may also take place in person.
  • Other conditions: applicants must be independent of, and retain no material interests in, Climate-KIC International Foundation; Climate-KIC Holding B.V., Association Climate-KIC and any related entities, as well as partner organisations and any beneficiaries of Climate-KIC funding.