Board Member M.O. Lai about the Quarterly Meeting in Shanghai

The Lovinklaan Foundation – the largest shareholder in Arcadis – is led by employees of Arcadis. The board currently consists of seven Arcadians from different divisions and countries around the globe. They balance their day-to-day workload with their responsibilities for the Foundation; contributing to the continuity of the enterprise and helping Arcadians grow and reach their full potential. In addition to work on Foundation programs and communications by e-mail and multiple Skype calls, the board meets face-to-face each quarter to discuss developments, make strategic decisions and meet local participants.


M.O. Lai shares his experiences and updates from the last board meeting of the year that took place in Shanghai (China), from 12 to 15 November 2018. M.O. Lai is a board member of the Lovinklaan Foundation, as well as a leader of the Cost and Commercial Management business in Asia.

We were very pleased to be able to not only meet with the senior management, but also with the new ELT member over Asia-Pac, Greg Steele, and the new CEO of Asia, Glenn Lutz. In addition, the board met with 50 staff members and 20 program participants. It was great to hear all of their stories and see how driven, enthusiastic and involved they are. We would like to thank the Shanghai office very much for their hospitality.


Evaluating our programs
During our meeting, we always take the opportunity to carefully discuss and evaluate all of our programs in line with our mission and ambitions. As we feel Quest is proving itself to be a very successful program, we have decided that in 2019, ten extra Quests will be approved. This provides an opportunity to ten additional Arcadians to benefit from exchanging knowledge with another Arcadis office in the world. This means a total of 150 Quests can take place next year, four every week. Moreover, the Global Shapers program will receive guaranteed funding for another three years, until 2021, to mark its ten-year anniversary. In this way, we would like to give even more Arcadians the opportunity to get involved, share knowledge and build on both professional and personal skills.

Extending our pilots
Both of our pilot programs, Expedition DNA and Roots of Arcadis, have proven to be very successful. Since the launch, 26% of the workforce participated in the Expedition DNA Basecamp, and 125 people went on an Expedition, learning, exploring and opening their minds to digital solutions to meet the needs of our clients today, and tomorrow. This exceeded our expectations, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve decided to provide the program additional investment in 2019, to assist with the next stage of the program. With additional funding for the Expedition DNA program, we work towards our ambition to double the number of people who participate Basecamp, aiming to reach over 10.000 employees.

Roots of Arcadis, our other pilot program, has engaged over 850 people in two years. We are proud to support an initiative that enhances the quality of the working life of so many Arcadians.

Board updates
To conclude, I would like to update you on the Board’s composition. We are happy to announce that both Todd Bechtel and Holly Herner were appointed for another 2-years in the roles of Chair and Secretary, respectively. They are a useful addition to our board, and will continue to steer Lovinklaan in the right direction. Unfortunately, after six years of board membership, Cintia Salles and myself will be completing our last board term in June 2019. We will begin the nominations process in early 2019 and will be coordinating with the CEOs of Asia and Latin America.

As I am entering my last half year as a board member, I would like to say that I’ve had a wonderful and fruitful time on the board of Lovinklaan. Representing the largest shareholder in Arcadis has provided me with many insights into this global business, and I am proud of the contributions and opportunities that we have been able to provide the business in return. Lovinklaan is an exceptional foundation that is unique to our company, which we should cherish. I encourage each Arcadian to participate in one of the programs, as they really provide the chance to grow both professionally and personally. Thank you all for making my time as a board member unforgettable.

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