Maarten Desmet

Maarten Desmet

Renewable EnergyInnovation and InfrastructureSustainable Cities and CommunitiesResponsible ConsumptionClimate ActionPartnerships for the goals


Architect and founder of social enterprises For Good and NDVR


"I hope to help and inspire people to live more sustainable, and to be responsible, towards their environment and society as a whole."

Who are you?

I learned the importance of positive narratives and alternatives in the transition towards a better world while working with the University for the Common Good and working in the kingdom Bhutan. I translated this constructive approach in my activities. I hope to help and inspire people to live more sustainable, and to be responsible, towards their environment and society as a whole. A better world needs a systemic and holistic approach. Ideas like Gross National Happiness in Bhutan are very important. That is why I wrote a book (Bruto Nationaal Geluk - Bhutan inspireert de wereld) on this integrative approach of sustainable development. Currently I'm writing a PhD on the possibilities of this development philosophy for sustainable urban and spatial planning.

Why are you part of Generation T?

I want to strengthen our network, gain insights and learn from other social entrepreneurs. Being part of Generation T enables us to gain visibility and inspire people and businesses; to join us, to partner with us, or to become clients. My activities focus on People and Planet, and the necessary Profit to make the latter possible. People: Within our social enterprise NDVR we are using our skills as architects and planners to design inclusive urban processes to increase the social potential of spatial projects. Planet: with our mission-driven enterprise For Good we developed a smartphone application and tailor-made sustainability programs for companies, cities and schools to make sustainability easily accessible for each and every one of us.

A specific example on how your project or activities make a difference and initiate change:

There is a mechanism behind most things that happen around us. We are confronted with the horrible consequences of mechanisms like linear growth, profit and competition that drive our industries, development according to a new, social and sustainable circular economy. The University for the Common Good inspires people, organizations and businesses to contribute to a more sustainable and shared future.