Member of the Supervisory Board, Climate-KIC International Foundation

3- Year Contract
02 Jul 2021
As soon as possible
Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic



Climate-KIC International Foundation is a public benefit organisation that seeks to achieve its mission of catalysing systemic change through action and innovation by targeting the areas of human activity that have a critical impact on greenhouse gas emissions – cities, land use, materials and finance – in order to create climate-resilient communities. The Foundation is recognised as an Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling – ANBI (Public Benefit Organisation) by the Dutch tax authority.

The Foundation is now looking for two new Supervisory Board members to join our board and help us navigate the future challenges.

The Foundation has a two-tier board structure, consisting of a Supervisory Board and an Executive Board. The Supervisory Board of the Foundation provides independent oversight that is required in connection with both assuring alignment to the mission and assuring the necessary compliance steps around the non-profit status of Foundation. It is responsible for the supervision of the Foundation Executive Board, its policy and course of action, and the general conduct of the affairs of the Foundation. The Supervisory Board assists the Executive Board by providing advice and guidance on strategic topics. It further supports the Executive Board in strengthening Climate-KIC’s profile among grant and charitable funders as well as a broad range of international stakeholders.  

The Foundation leads the Climate-KIC Group, headquartered in Amsterdam, and orchestrating a community of more than 400 organisations comprised of large corporations and SMEs, municipal and regional governments, universities and research institutes, as well as non-governmental organisations and uncommon actors as an organisation of circa 160 people. Climate-KIC’s strategy, Transformation, in Time, responds to the need for a 1.5° aligned, systemic approach to reversing global warming and developing climate resilience, commensurate with the complexity, scale and requisite pace of response to the climate challenge.

The Climate-KIC Group operates out of 13 hubs across Europe and conducts activities in 39 countries globally. We have historically managed €80-100 million per year in grants, provided predominantly by our founder and core funder, the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). We are transitioning to a multi-funder model with the objective of maintaining a flow of funds of circa €100 million annually to our community and to challenge owners to deliver impact.

We use a portfolio approach for developing and deploying innovation, entrepreneurship, education and community mobilisation to unlock structural change in systems where emissions are tough to reduce – cities, land-use, industry, and finance. We do so by combining activities and innovation outputs from applied research, learning and reskilling, start-up incubation, movement building and innovation ecosystem building. Over the last ten years we have supported more than 4,500 businesses, in over 50 countries, that have gone on to attract over €1.5 bln of capital and featured regularly in the Forbes 30 under 30 European list. Our education programmes have influenced the lives of over 45,000 people who have launched a movement building alumni community. In 2019, we launched Deep Demonstrations, a demand-led methodology for composing innovation portfolios across technology, policy, finance, social change, citizen engagement, and other relevant levers of change, in order to generate options and test transition pathways for place-based systems and value chains.

Our goals for 2027 are to ensure that 200,000 people across Europe are equipped with enhanced climate-relevant innovation and entrepreneurial skills; 10 million people benefit from improved resilience to the impacts of climate change; 50 cities, countries, regions and large scale businesses across Europe are achieving net-zero as a result of partnership with EIT Climate-KIC; 500 million tons of CO2 eq. emissions have been avoided cumulatively (approx. 1/10 annual EU production) and we have succeeded in leveraging €100 bln to scale-up innovations tackling climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial production system to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial production system to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

The Supervisory Board

  • Strategic direction: The Supervisory Board has responsibility for strategic visioning and direction setting for Climate-KIC in partnership with Association Climate-KIC (minority shareholder) and the Executive Board. This includes review of value proposition, positioning and long-term strategy in response to climate change needs; review of impact objectives, learnings and outcomes; and calibration of strategic priorities. Supervisory Directors are expected to provide a creative and informed contribution to strategy processes with the Climate-KIC Community.
  • Institutional relations and fundraising: Supervisory Board members are asked to help connect Climate-KIC with networks of useful people and organisations and to support Climate-KIC’s fundraising efforts with key institutions and prospective funders.
  • Governance: The Supervisory Board serves in an oversight function for the Executive Board, tasked with supervising the general state of affairs of the Foundation, and the policies developed and implemented by the Executive Board.
  • It also works in an advisory capacity for the Executive Board. In particular, the Supervisory Board provides judgment about the way Climate-KIC develops strategy and how well it performs in executing the strategy, keeping the interests of the various stakeholders in mind and ensuring that the organisation continues to pursue its objectives.
  • Compliance and Risk: The SB is furthermore charged with and operates in accordance with all the duties entrusted to it by law, by the articles of association and relevant internal protocols. The SB follows the actions and results of the EB at an appropriate distance but will also act as a key governance mechanism and escalation point.
  • Appointments: The Supervisory Board selects and appoints its own members, it also appoints those of the Executive Board.
  • Ethics and Reputation: Supervisory Board members uphold the highest standards of integrity and probity, safeguard the good name and reputation of the Climate-KIC group; comply with any policies and procedures; and, where required, participate and provide leadership in specific board committees.

The Composition of the Supervisory Board

  • The Supervisory Board strives for a mixed composition, marked by diversity in a wide range of ways relevant to the Foundation’s mission and objective. Diversity of thought, gender, age, nationality, cultural background, experience and background are essential for its composition.
  • Diversity is also applied in appointment of Supervisory Board directors who are willing and able to play a range of roles in respect of strategic direction and guidance, stakeholder relations and fund raising, and financial and operational governance, compliance and risk oversight. Board appointments reflect different specialisms, experience and capability to ensure the Board as a whole is equipped to fulfil its responsibilities.
  • The Supervisory Board’s supervision of the long- and short-term strategy, the policies developed by the EB, and the general developments of Climate-KIC, require the Board to maintain a collectively independent, knowledgeable yet positive critical mindset.
  • In a manner similar to what is expected among Climate-KIC personnel, Supervisory Board members should be inquisitive and curious about others’ perspectives and appropriately challenging of them.

Skills and Experience

All members of the Supervisory Board

  • Have an affinity with and endorse the mission and objective of the Foundation;
  • Offer thought leadership, systems thinking and strategic vision with respect to climate action and climate impact;
  • Are able to assess and test the overall policy of the Foundation and the functioning of the Executive Board;
  • Are able to carry out the legal and statutory required responsibilities of the Supervisory Board;
  • Have capability to supervise, advise and assist the Executive Board in the execution of its duties in a team context;
  • Recognise the environmental and social responsibilities of the Foundation and its operations.

Necessary skills and experience

  • Supervisory or other non-executive board level experience in similarly complex organisations is necessary, managerial experience at board level is considered useful in the performance of the twofold supervisory and advisory role;
  • Extensive experience in contributing to and a passion for innovation in climate change mitigation and adaptation, gained in a position at a multinational company, NGO, academic institution, government, research, charity, not-for-profit or similar organisation;
  • Excellent understanding of the supervision of operational and financial risks of an organisation, ideally spanning across the for- and not-for-profit sectors; 
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of an international team and in a multi-disciplinary context;
  • A willingness to speak up, remaining independent of any influence from other organisations or individuals;
  • Academic mindset and level of work, with strong analytical skills;
  • Excellent communication skills, both spoken and written; and the ability to cooperate with people from different cultures and backgrounds;
  • Articulate and dynamic with highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively, inspire and motivate people;
  • A strategic and forward-looking mind and attitude;
  • Fluency in English language combined with excellent written and verbal communication skills; knowledge of other languages highly desirable;
  • Adaptable, flexible and resilient: able to work effectively in ambiguity and complexity and to respond dynamically to change.

Individual profiles of the vacancies

At least one of the candidates will have one of the following:

  • Expertise in climate transformation at institutional level, ideally in a European and/or global context;
  • Relevant understanding of fundraising;
  • Influential and well-connected profile;
  • Specialist knowledge and background in relevant strategic topics, in particular:
    • transformation of the built environment, agriculture and land-use practices, water and marine systems, financial systems and industrial value chains;
    • complex systems dynamics;
    • social and behavioural change (including through culture, media and arts);
    • role of exponential digital technologies including artificial intelligence in achieving decarbonisation, adaptation and sustainable societal transformation.
  • Considerable expertise in finance and / or operations, such as previous experience at VP Finance/Operations, Director Finance / Ops, CFO/ COO or comparable level at an international and similarly complex organisation, with public and / or charitable funding background preferred.

Contractual terms and other specifications

  • Contract terms: Appointments to the SB are made for 3 years, with the option to re-appoint. Maximum time to serve on the board is 6 years.
  • Remuneration: The SB positions are not remunerated. Reasonable expenses for board meeting attendance are permitted.
  • Location/s: remote – Europe
  • Commitment: Climate-KIC seeks to appoint SB members with sufficient time and willingness to contribute to board proceedings. Board meetings are usually held two times a year. In addition there are two annual away-days and also board sub-committees which meet four to five times per year remotely and where SB members will be expected to participate actively. Meetings take place remotely due to current travel restrictions but may also take place in person in the future. Outside of board and committee meetings, staff and particularly the members of the Executive Board may seek to consult with SB members on particular subjects.
  • Other conditions: applicants must be independent of, and retain no material interests in, Climate-KIC International Foundation; Climate-KIC Holding B.V., Association Climate-KIC and any related entities, as well as partner organisations and any beneficiaries of Climate-KIC funding.

Our application and recruitment process

Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Your application should be written in English and consist of:

  • a full curriculum vitae
  • a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.
  • your current salary
  • where you saw this role advertised.

Please send your full application using the “apply now” button above. You should state your full name, followed by the role for which you are applying for in the subject line of the email. The deadline for receipt of applications is 23.59 GMT on the date published on the job advert.

Receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email.

Your application will be reviewed on or around the closing date for the vacancy for which you have applied. If your application is shortlisted for interview, you will be contacted directly by Climate-KIC.

Candidates invited to a first interview, will be notified of the outcome and informed about next stages if they are successful.

NB/ This advertisement will be taken down from the website after the closing date so it is a good idea to copy and keep the text for reference to use should you be invited to interview.

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