The RUW Team

RUW has 3 coordinators, board members, and volunteers. The board consists of six persons: Chair, Treasurer, Commissary Internal Affairs, Commissary External Affairs, and a Secretary. The board works on the vision and policy of RUW, supporting the coordinators, promotion, (financial) administration and networking.

Also, there are three coordinators employed. There is one senior coordinator and there are two junior coordinators. The coordinators organize the awesome events of RUW.

Furthermore, RUW has volunteers that like to facilitate a variety of activities. These activities include organization of single events, putting up posters, designing posters or flyers and assisting during events. Volunteers are also most welcome to help us host the yearly foreign excursion at the beginning of July (Dutch: ‘Buitex’

 Mark van der Poel (Chair)

Hi there! I’m Mark, the chair of RUW Foundation. I am a polyglot who loves to unravel the many layers of the planet’s biosphere and explore the three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy, and society. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in International Land and Water Management and am currently doing a Master’s in Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University. I focus on water systems dynamics and global change issues that have widespread effects on the earth’s natural resources. Together with the team at RUW I aim to facilitate discussion and spark the minds of students, teachers and the broader interested public through organizing workshops, lectures, fascinating debates and other activities related to the themes of RUW Foundation. I hope to see you at our next event!  One love,  Mark.

David de Winter (Senior Coordinator)


Hello People. Meet me: David. And realize that you have just found your hermano for exciting and engaging educational activities.  Since my start at RUW as a junior coordinator I’ve helped host multiple events on multiple themes; tiny houses, presentation and storytelling skills, alternative education, sustainability, climate etc. This has helped me grow a lot as a facilitator of educational activities; an area in which I want to grow in even more, but I’m also starting to get a little too comfortable in. Therefore, I’m actively looking to expand my comfort zone by exploring the possibility of transformative education (and how it relates to sustainability). This ambition is central to both my thesis project, internship and work for RUW, and consequently, I hope to encourage anyone with transformative ideas or transformative ambitions to contact me. Another long-term ambition of mine is to host a series on the ‘state of science’ at the WUR by engaging with the intricate philosophy behind scientific practice, and delicate societal relations of scientific institutions.

Thais Varella (Junior Coordinator)

Hello! I’m Thais, a junior coordinator of RUW. In the past 7 years, my life changed quite a lot! I worked from consultancy projects in Amazon, to working with the Dutch embassy and consulates in Brazil, to even having my own company, Biofilia, working with circular economy and energy transition.  I have degrees in Environmental Engineering and Business Administration, and now I am currently studying a master’s degree in Urban Environmental Management in Wageningen. In my spare time, I enjoy running, traveling (a lot!) and being around nature and sun as much as I can. I love to work on projects where results can be shared through lectures, debates, reports, and platforms, and this will be my biggest contribution are RUW! Hope to see you around!