Thank you and farewell

Dear friends,

It has been a long and very interesting journey. Context, international cooperation was founded in 1994 by Fons (who previously had worked at the Radboud University Nijmegen and two development organisations) in order to contribute to bridging the gap between theory, policy and practice of international development cooperation. From the start Context was organised as a small social business. Staff members engaged in three major activities: exploration: collaborative action research with regard to subjects such as social impact assessment; capacity development support; Civic Driven Change; social business; application: providing hands-on capacity development support to development organisations and social entrepreneurs; dissemination: sharing learnings and knowledge through blogs, articles, masterclasses and books.

Initially the thematic focus was on strengthening global citizenship within the Dutch society (through the so-called Context MasterClass), facilitating Organisational- and Institutional Development of development organisations and facilitating external evaluations and learning trajectories.

From 2008 onwards the focus of Context changed to Civic Driven Change, social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Pol joined as a business partner in late 2011. Over the years business development support has been provided to numerous social entrepreneurs in Belgium, the Netherlands, South Asia, East and South Africa. These trajectories have continued till date; the last few years facilitating learning trajectories in the domain of lobby and advocacy has become another important working area.

Over the years we have had the privilege to work with many client organisations from the global South and the Northern hemisphere; with a diverse group of colleagues from different parts of the world; and with partner organisations from different countries. Moreover many organisations and individuals provided back-up support to us. During the last decade Context has evolved from an organisation with permanent staff members to a network organisation. Now it is time for both of us to enjoy the next stage of our lives, and to step back and concentrate on other issues. As indicated: it has been an extremely interesting learning experience for which we want to thank all of you wholeheartedly. Thank you and travel well.

Pol De Greve and Fons van der Velden

Utrecht, August 2022