Meet our judges!

An entrepreneur, an actor and a scientist go sailing. In their boat they find twenty students. Add a punchline and you would have the recipe for a bad joke. But this scenario is actually what the finals of the Changemaker Challenge will look like! All judges and the twenty finalists will set sail on May 12th. Meet the judges of the Changemaker Challenge, the experts who decide whether your research gets a chance to change the world forever. 


Dagan Cohen  

Leader What Design Can Do and Creative Director Social Inc.

Are you looking for a concept which truly engages audiences? Look no further. Dagan Cohen is the expert when it comes to concept development for brands, and cultural and societal organizations. He studied environmental art & design and has a background in visual arts and over 15 years of experience in advertising as (digital) creative director. Is your research the one to make big waves? Dagan knows what will make a splash.


Merijn Everaarts

CEO Dopper

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dopper, a social enterprise to make an impact on reducing plastic waste by providing a sustainable water bottle for (filtered) tap water. Merijn Everaarts started out as an entrepreneur in the event and marketing business. Today, the Dutchman has only one priority: his initiative for a better world, Dopper, a social enterprise to make an impact on reducing plastic waste by providing a sustainable water bottle for (filtered) tap water.

His mission is to:

  • create awareness regarding the impact of single-use plastic waste and inspiring people to initiate a change.
  • offer an innovative line of sustainable bottles
  • increase access to safe drinking water for people around the world.

Reinier Hille Ris Lambers 

Program Leader and Portfolio manager in Biodiversity and Conservation at World Wildlife Fund

That’s a long job title. For us this title means Reinier is one of the most important people working for the World Wildlife Fund. His expertise is achieving impacts. And if you think that’s cool: he also focuses on Marine Conservation, Fisheries and Sustainable Finance! To change the world he uses field program design and management, diplomacy and advocacy as well as monitoring and evaluation. Which means he doesn’t just talk about marine conservation, you will also find him on a boat off the coast of Antarctica, inspecting water conditions. Using this experience he’s the perfect judge to identify, develop and coach conservation programs with impact in the oceans.

Marco de Graaff

Researcher and professor Marine Biology at Wetsus

Wetsuits? No. Wetsus. But close enough. Wetsus does have everything to do with water! It is the European center for sustainable water technology, which forms collaborations between companies and research institutes from all over Europe. The goal? Come up with solutions for the global water problems. Marco de Graaff is researcher and professor Marine Biology. He is also project leader at the Aqua Nirvana Foundation. This foundation invests in sustainable technologies to give people access to safe, clean water. He is also doing a lot of research himself. For example, investigating water conditions in Kenia. Sounds like waterful guy!


Egbert-Jan Weeber

Dutch actor, DJ and role model for a sustainable lifestyle

Maybe you’ve seen this guy in a movie or series. And though his acting jobs are mostly about historical figures, crimes or romance, Egbert-Jan Weeber is quite the ‘save the whales’-type-of-guy. In his spare time he supports initiatives to save the bee population (let it bee, let it beee!), joins a beach cleanup with Stichting de Noordzee or lends his name –  and face – to a sustainable clothing brand (MINT). And when Libelle once asked what he would climb the barricades for, he answered: “Our tap water. It is better than the bottled kind, and still we sell around 500.000 of single-use plastic water bottles a day. These end up in the ditch, the park, our ocean. Eventually the soil, animals and our food will contain plastic residu. I believe that, if you want to change the world, you should start with whatever you can change yourself. If everybody bought less plastics, and wouldn’t throw it out on the streets and just cuddled all day, the world would be a better place.’ Is he the Dutch Leonardo? We like to think so.