About Sander

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Sander Tideman is a researcher/practitioner of international management, with a focus of building sustainable and flourishing organizations equipped to address the unprecedented challenges of today. His work seeks to integrate insights from Eastern philosophy and psychology with Western practices of management, business and economics. He has worked for and consulted with leading organizations, both in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

He is currently co-director of Mind & Life Europe, co-founding partner at Flow Foundation & Flow Impact Fund, and an associate of Mobius Executive Leadership. He is also a faculty member at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, where he researches and lectures on leadership for sustainable business and is a member of the Erasmus China Business Center.

Sander’s academic training reflects his interest in East-West integration: he studied International Law at University of Utrecht, International Economic Law at London School of Economics, while also completing a degree in Asian Affairs at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. He deepened his understanding of the East by studying Chinese philosophy, language and culture in Taiwan, and Buddhist philosophy in Nepal and India. During his career he trained in international finance, organizational dynamics and leadership.

Sander (co-) authored many articles and books, including Doing Business in China (1997)Sustainable Development in Central Asia (1998); Buddhist Economics (2001); Gross National Happiness (2004); Mind over Matter – Towards a New Paradigm in Leadership of Business and Economics (2005), Sustainable Leadership (2013) and most recently: Business as Instrument for Societal Change (Greenleaf Publishing 2016), which records a number of dialogues Sander has held with the Dalai Lama and other leaders over a period of two decades. Sander’s articles have appeared in respected journals such as The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, NRC Handelsblad, The Economist and Journal for Corporate Citizenship. 

Sander started his career in 1986 by practicing law at Baker & McKenzie (Amsterdam and Taipei office). In 1989 he turned to international finance by becoming Country Director for ABN AMRO Bank in China (responsible for offices in Beijing and Shanghai), Vice President Structured Finance at ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam and Regional Manager Eastern Europe and Asia for Triodos Bank (The Financial Times’ Most Sustainable Bank of the Year in 2009). He went on to complement his legal/financial expertise with leadership, strategy and organizational change, as he believed that these are indispensable knowledge domains for tackling the world’s increasing social and ecological challenges. He then co-founded and managed Spirit in Business (Massachusetts/the Netherlands), worked for Teleos Leadership Institute (Philadelphia), co-founded and managed the Global Leaders Academy (London/Amsterdam), and served on the executive board of the Netherlands Council for Sustainable Development (Amsterdam).

His mission is to help organizations to develop the capacity to effectively respond to the new challenges through shared value leadership and strategy. Sander’s aim is to help business transform into a force for positive sustainable change, working with (rather than against) the principles of nature and human creativity. Based on his study and practice of leadership in three continents and many different sectors, he has developed methodologies and practices for leadership to realise this transformation.

He lives in the Netherlands. He loves outdoor trekking, skiing, skating, yoga and soccer.

Nelson Mandela said “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”Sander-LaHulpe-3Sander at CFO daypodium3-DL-Lubbers-ST


Design Arnoud Smits Communicatiedesign • header image: "Song of Shambala" (detail) by Nicholas Roerich