Saskia Verraes

Programme Lead – Leading Change for Good

Saskia is a devoted fighter for a better world. One that is socially just, economically inclusive and environmentally restorative.  

In her role at The Mind Lab as Programme Lead for the Postgraduate Certificate in Leading Change for Good, she’s able to leverage her 25+ years experience in various international senior and executive roles including as Chief Responsible Management Officer for Tourism Holdings Limited in Auckland. 

Saskia’s innate drive and dedication to initiatives that improve the world through systemic change, social commitment and radical collaboration wholly qualifies her to lead this critically important learning journey for people wanting to make positive change. 

Saskia is not one to shy away from the intensely complex challenges the world faces today - in fact she stares them boldly in the face and asks, who can I work with, what needs to be done, how can we create. A systems thinker who employs empathy, curiosity, creativity and passion to spark action, Saskia lends all her energy to inspire and build capability in people and develop initiatives that will improve the world.
She’s a big believer in ‘radical collaboration’, focusing on how we can work together to form solutions, even across boundaries that would traditionally be seen as competing.  If we’re able to find complementary skills in each other, we can apply them to the great puzzles of the world to build a better future for all.

When she’s not advising and supporting students at The Mind Lab, Saskia is influencing and seeding ideas for change through several forums. She participates on the board for the Young Sustainability Leaders AUNZ as well as acting as a mentor to Young Sustainability Leaders (YSL) at the University of Auckland; leads the virtual global non-profit Match4Action she co-founded; and co-hosts CrowdDoing, a volunteer-based organisation that leverages micro-leadership, service learning and virtual multi-disciplinary collaboration to achieve systemic change. Just a few side projects!

Where Saskia gets all her energy and drive from may be in her blood - her maternal grandfather was a leader in the local resistance during the German occupation of the family hometown Roosendaal in the Netherlands during World World II. A social justice fighter who hid people and food in his house during the occupation while continuing his day job as the council’s very visible spokesperson paints the picture of a strong family character intent on doing the right thing, no matter the consequences. If only Saskia could meet him, she’d be sure to learn so much from his experiences and the wisdom he gained.

She also loves to travel, learn, blog, cook, run, swim and spend time with her husband, and 2 dogs on their almost-off-the-grid lifestyle block in the beautiful Kaipara district.

Academic achievements
  • MSc Public and Business Administration 
  • Stanford GSB LEAD certificate 

Publications

Internationale solidariteit en migrantenorganisaties…; (g)een probleem?


Connect with Saskia on LinkedIn