I am Joost Slooten, and I am responsible for sustainability and external affairs for Arcadis globally. I have been with Arcadis for 22 years in different roles in corporate and financial communications, investor relations and now sustainability. My job is at the heart of our passion to Improve Quality of Life. It revolves around making sure we are as sustainable as possible in our own operations, and integrate sustainability as much as possible in the solutions we provide to our clients. In addition, I contribute to guarding our reputation as a sustainable firm, by contributing to global policies in areas like human rights and labor rights and to our annual reporting cycle on non-financial information.
My role as virtual ambassador is to stimulate my team to be active, collaborative, inquisitive and effective in the way they execute their assignments in the Global Shapers program. Also, I seek to help them find their way to relevant contacts, information, developments within Arcadis to help them during the virtual phase. In return, I learn about their backgrounds and experiences, helping me understand what drives them in their daily activities.
Agreeing to become a virtual ambassador was natural to me as the two topics for this year’s edition of Global Shapers are Digital and Sustainability, with me closely involved with the second topic. However, I have participated in earlier generations of Global Shapers and find that I get a lot of positive energy from working with these teams. I can recommend to any Arcadis leader to get involved if given the opportunity.
So far, the experience is very positive. In phase 2 of the program, we focused more on culture and have started making inroads into digital with the team. Our topic is Artificial Intelligence which in my view provides a lot of future promise for our business, but is an area where we, as yet, have little experience under our belt. Therefore, it provides ample opportunity for discovery and development. Also I learn new things about Arcadis every time we have a session, so there is much left to discover, even if you have been with the company longer.
My key advice to Global Shapers is to not be shy. There is a world of opportunity at Arcadis to discover, and a wealth of information to share about how good we really are at what we do. With this in your pocket you can become an effective conduit to bring more of Arcadis into your region to drive our regional business.