Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
Founder and Member of the Board, Missing Chapter Foundation
Princess Laurentien works to promote issues focusing on the development of individuals and their impact on society. In particular, she is active in the fields of sustainability and literacy.
Sustainability and Children’s Participation
Princess Laurentien has been active in the field of sustainability and wildlife preservation for more than a decade. She is President of Fauna & Flora International, Fellow at the European Climate Foundation, Special Advisor of Rewilding Europe, a former Senior Advisor of WWF, and Founder & Member of the Board of the Missing Chapter Foundation (MCF).
MCF has been active since 2010 and originates from the notion that decisions are more durable and gain value if they take into account the sharp insights, logical questions and surprising solutions from children and teenagers. For this reason, it is MCF’s mission to bring together children and decision-makers to engage in dialogue and discuss themes related to sustainability, among others. MCF has two lines of programmes: the Kids Council and WaterSavers.
In 2004 Princess Laurentien founded the Reading & Writing Foundation, which works both in the Netherlands and internationally to prevent illiteracy among children and to reduce it among adults. The foundation raises awareness of the issue, supports initiatives in this field, and actively combats illiteracy through the Language for Life programme.
As part of her international work, the Princess is Special Envoy for UNESCO on Literacy and Development, and in 2011 European Commissioner for Education Androulla Vassiliou appointed her as Chair of the EU High Level Group of experts on Literacy, which presented its findings in 2012. As of 1 January 2014, the Reading & Writing Foundation will also be active at the EU level.
Furthermore, Princess Laurentien is President of the European Cultural Foundation and Honorary President or Patron of a number of other organisations in the field of language, such as the Dutch Association of Public Libraries.
Princess Laurentien is also the creator and writer of the Mr Finney series of children’s books. Mr Finney and the World Turned Upside-down (2009) has been translated into English as well as Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Papiamento, Portuguese, Thai, Vietnamese and Spanish. Two more Mr Finney books have been published in Dutch in 2011 and 2013. These books are parables that encourage children and adults to engage in a conversation on nature and the way we interact.