Except Integrated Sustainability

People

Except is a collaborative enterprise, consisting of talented and motivated sustainability experts in over 20 disciplines.

We’re immensely proud of our unique team, realizing that without our diversity, experience and dedication, we could never work on such a variety of pioneering projects.

Because of our global reach we have representation in various countries, including the United States, the Netherlands and Mexico. Most of our experts speak multiple languages and are available on an individual basis.

Rotterdam

Tom Bosschaert

Director

Tom is the founder and director of Except, and the visionary force behind its development. Starting Except at the age of 19 in 1999, he had the ambition to find more effective solutions for pressing societal challenges using systems understanding, innovative design, and multi-disciplinary cooperation. To implement true, fundamental, and long term measures to improve our society. Since then Tom has been increasingly recognized as a leader in sustainability thinking, the circular economy and systemic innovation. In 2014 he was elected number 38 of most influential sustainability  professionals in the Netherlands by  Trouw, and ranked  number 21 on the Dutch Sustainable Real Estate awards. 

Tom develops the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) methodology that lies at the core of Except’s operations. With SiD Tom leads transdisciplinary teams  from Except and partners to develop pioneering solutions that breach the frontier of what's possible  for organizations, cities, and industries. These include solutions for the circular economy, natural capital, smart urban redevelopment, bio-based economy, and resilience research and development.

As director and designer, he's driven Except's bio-based architectural and urban designs, such as the Merredin Algae plant, Shanghai vertical agriculture tower systems and the urban redevelopment of Schiebroek-Zuid. He spearheads developments ranging from software for supply chain optimization, to sustainable agriculture systems such as Polydome. In addition, Tom is the driving force behind sustainable communities of practice such as the Rotterdam Collective (RoCo, 2010),  a collective for socially engaged entrepreneurs in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He advises national and regional governments as well as multi national corporations on sustainability strategy.

After his Master in Industrial Design Engineering from Delft, Tom studied Architecture in Australia at the University of Western Australia, and obtained his Masters in Architecture & Urban Planning from Yale University. Tom has worked and lectured in Australia, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy,  and the United States. He teaches as a guest-lecturer in various universities and publishes articles regularly.

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Michiel van der Vight

Senior Associate

Working on sustainability since 2001, Michiel enjoys connecting people and making challenging ambitions happen.

Complex projects need people with different backgrounds and different areas of expertise to work together. Not only in a team of people, but also in a team of companies (like in production chains) cooperation sometimes needs to be explorative and sometimes result-oriented.

From time to time the team needs to be able to dream, solve analytical problems, be critical, be creative, build on each other’s ideas or just be functional and productive.

As a consultant and process manager Michiel challenges and guides project members and stakeholders to step up the plate and play their part in the project. The powerful combination of physics and business administration prove to be valuable assets in steering and facilitating innovative processes.

With his technical background and analytical mind Michiel is quick to understand complex systems and relations. His business background and entrepreneurial mindset push him to come up with creative yet pragmatic solutions.

Michiel has an MBA, a Master of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics. He started his career as a researcher in the R&D center of Océ-Technologies and printed the sharpest lines ever seen within Océ's R&D center. He graduated from his MBA / Msc BA in Vermont, USA, writing the business plan for a Zero-waste Eco-industrial Park of the Intervale Foundation.

In the last nine years Michiel worked at the Dutch government and at Ecofys on energy conservation in product chains, energy visions, feasibility studies for renewable energy solutions, sectoral sustainability roadmaps and integral sustainable urban development. His broad background and working experience shaped him into a versatile project manager.

Michiel joined Except in September of 2009 as a senior associate and became a board member in the beginning of 2011.

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Elke Miedema

Architect & Architectural Researcher

Elke Miedema is an ambitious architect and architectural researcher with a passion for the social aspects of architecture. She spent the last 7 years researching how our built environment relates to society’s well-being. 

At Except she continues bridging research, design and practice in actual relevant problems. Finding solutions for the increase of social interaction in health care and public domain.

As a researcher she investigates different perspectives within context. As an architect she takes a stand and translates this in design solutions. Elke challenges herself to find ways to make architecture facilitate social interaction, reduce stress and pain, and increase value for people, for example in the healing process of patients. From this she expands from the field of architecture into the field of environmental psychology, evidence based design and healing environments. 

Elke has a Bachelor in Construction and Building Engineering from the Avans Hogeschool in Tilburg (minor at the Academie van Bouwkunst in Rotterdam) and a Master Degree in Architecture from the TU Delft. She loves to brainstorm on complex issues and to get to the bottom of the case. With this technical bachelor and analytical and creative master, she is able to bridge the knowledge of research and practice into design solutions. Fascinated by forensic psychiatric care, she has also performed reasearch how to build for aggressive, unpredictable psychiatric patients. 

On her days off Elke loves inviting friends over for dinner, surf when it’s sunny or snowboard when it’s cold.  

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Laurina Phillip Muglia

Social Entrepreneur

Laurina believes that talent, knowledge and drive have the power to transform anything. She is excited by the new economy; one that is not defined by geography or nationality, but by unconventional businesses, creativity, technology, exceptional productivity, and social and environmental values. This is what she focuses on to develop at Except.

She believes that this kind of thinking, when applied in the developing world, is one of the keys to both local and global sustainability. New ideas and technologies have the capability to leap-frog old systems and ways of thinking within these societies and present significant step-change opportunities.

Laurina is interested in the practical application of sustainability in any situation, paring early adopters to suitable systems and methods in both developed and developing countries. She is particularly interested in tapping and leveraging the intellect and ambitions within the developing economies that are quickly coming online literally and virtually. She feels that developing new ways to include them into the conversations and implementations of sustainable methods will contribute significantly to addressing the world’s grand challenges and drive developing economies.

Laurina began her working life at a massive Caribbean petroleum refinery saturated with benzene and bureaucracy. Her way out was an MBA into London’s Financial district. Her insistence that HR should be strategic rather than administrative led to new ways of thinking about what created an organization’s best strategic advantage. The culmination of this part of her career was building and developing a young, awarding winning team in a previously failing company that created profits ten times higher than best-in-class in less than two years.

Since then she has developed two businesses: AccomplishedMinds where she interviews entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs from around the world, connecting the accomplished and fostering the ambitious. She also created Sound Body Science helping, trainers, physicians and Ministries of Health in the Caribbean deal with the crisis point they've reached with obesity related diseases.

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Chris Muglia

Management Associate

Chris has wide ranging interests, ultimately focusing on business, technology and the challenge of sustainability. As a world-savvy business developer, he believes that profit is neutral and a powerful motivator of individual and societal behaviors. He believes that intelligence, science and technology are our most powerful tools, and that they are the key to individual and collective achievement, success and a sustainable and abundant future.

Chris' first job was working as a deckhand on a salvage ship. This led to a degree and a move to Wall Street. The move to Wall Street proved dissonant, so he left and co-founded a business in Mexico. After selling, if you could have found him, he spent the next ten years pared down to a backpack and The Meditations stuffed into a back pocket, working as an officer or captain on research vessels, hospital ships, offshore supply boats, tugs, and square riggers on many of the world’s oceans.

Coming ashore, he merged his knowledge of the maritime industry with Web 1.0, co-founding a project that connected the international shipping industry with the emerging internet businesses. This led to an intense and successful stint as Director of New Ventures for a large civil construction company. He left to co-found Portland Capital, a boutique firm taking on a range of advisory services and investments in the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Europe.

From there, he went to the Caribbean, attracted by the opportunity to lead a turn around of a large, region-wide marine construction group and a company villa on the beach in Barbados. There, with the acquisition of new young talent, a focus on integrity, execution, the introduction of Lean thinking, and a lot of hard work, the results were rewarding.

 

 

 

 

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Antonia Sore

Architect

Antonia is an architect with many different passions. Her dream is to create interactive architecture that focuses on people and the natural environment, making them involved actors instead of just passive users. Her main goal is to design towards sustainability and not only energy-efficiency. With that in mind she challenges herself to always look from different perspectives in order to design solutions that embody economical, ecological and social sustainability.

Born and raised in 1700 year old Split on a Dalmatian coast, she has developed a sensitivity towards cultural and natural heritage since childhood. At the age of 19 Antonia moved to Italy where she graduated in Bachelor and Master degree in Architecture at the University of Florence. During her studies she has developed an interest in Urban Sociology and ever since is passionate in research about the interaction between the built environment and people’s behaviour.

Antonia joined Except initially as an intern during her 2nd level Post-Graduate Course “Sustainable Design of the built environment” and was part of the 1st Except Academy, a learning platform for interns. As an associate she continues to support the academy team, eager to further strengthen her skills and help others do the same.

As an architect she believes that design is not only about the form and aesthetics but rather about the added value it generates for the environment and the society. She wants to contribute to re-building cities where people are engaged and active part of the change. In everything she does she always asks herself: why are we doing what we do and how are we contributing to the environment we live in.

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Luca Gennari

Sustainable Buildings Engineer

Luca is an expert in  Environmental Building Engineering, who, after years of study and research brings his expertise and knowledge to Except.

 As a child it was Lego that inspired Luca to build. After some years of studying, research and work, it was nature that became his biggest source of inspiration. Luca strives to  achieve energy optimization and reduction of environmental impact, while maximizing human living comfort. With that ambition in mind, he directed his education and the first years of his professional career towards green buildings. After a Bachelor in Environmental Engineering in Italy, he worked for a consultancy company that supplied building energy modeling software. Passionate about the achievements of the Danish government, he decided to leave his country to study a Master in Building Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark, where he undertook the Energy Saving study line. This allowed him to work for the Solar Decathlon 2014 and for the International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy.

 After one year of working as a researcher in Denmark, Luca felt the need to move forwards, he wanted to work on more tangible projects, together with others, on making the construction system more sustainable. The combination of smart building components and efficient services offers a promising way forwards. At Except, he has the possibility to understand the connections between  those factors, as well as the opportunity to  analyze buildings as a living organism, and the urban fabric as its ecosystem.  He is now part of the 2nd Except Academy and works as a freelance consultant.

Born and raised in Italy, he has developed a sensitivity towards cultural and natural heritage which he combines with engineering knowledge. He believes that innovation is just the state of the art of tradition; one does not preclude the other, they are rather complementary. 

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Brian Baldassarre

Designer and Researcher

Brian is a designer and researcher. His area of expertise within Except is to analyze and synthesize information connecting business, technology and humans in order to develop new sustainable products, services, experiences and value propositions. His background combines technical design skills with creative thinking and a business mindset. He holds a BSc in Product Design at Politecnico di Milano University and an MSc in Design Strategy at Delft University of Technology with a specialization in Technology for Sustainable Development.

When he was three years old, Brian went to the mountains for the first time and discovered nature. He decided to become a paleontologist, explore the world and look for fossil dinosaurs trapped inside rocks. At the age of sixteen, he left his home in Rome, living, studying and working across eight different countries including Italy, The United States, Spain, Honduras, The Netherlands, India, Colombia and South Africa. He likes doodling with a black pen, writing down his thoughts, reading about the lives of real people who did something noteworthy, playing the acoustic guitar, rock climbing and, above all, exploring, seeing faraway places and talking to diverse people in order to get to know the world.

Brian believes that the designer should be an active agent of change in the transition towards sustainable development. He has worked on various international development projects for small social businesses and large NGOs in Latin America and in Asia. He also worked as a strategic consultant within sustainable service and business innovation projects for company clients. As a researcher at the Product Innovation Management Department of Delft University of Technology he has investigated which factors underlie successful implementation of design projects in emerging markets. He explored how sustainability objectives can be used as a catalyst for business model innovation, combining principles from Design Thinking and Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

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Mirjam Snitjer

Project Assistant

Mirjam is an anthropologist in sustainability. She is driven by the passion to make the world a better place, by becoming specialized in the area of sustainability. Mirjam feels challenged by the complexity and the constant, and often imbalanced, relationship between the frugal planet and its inhabitants. By using a critical and holistic view, she aims at capturing all aspects of sustainability, especially the relation between bottom-up and top-down.

Working in different environments and with different people, Mirjam strives to expand her vision of sustainability at all times, in order to constantly shift the boundaries of sustainability and create new solutions for each unique situation. 

Mirjam's passion for sustainability started while growing up at the countryside of the Northern part of the Netherlands. As a child already, she realized that nature is an intrinsic part of human life, and she learned about the balanced ways in which society can, or should, interact with it. Mirjam expanded her interest for societal developments during her bachelor Sociology.

After her Bachelor, she started with the master degree Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship, at the University of Utrecht. During this year, Mirjam further developed her holistic and critical view. She learned to thoroughly understand, and efficiently analyze, complex matters and group dynamics, by using a helicopter view and by thinking outside the box. During the establishment of several volunteer projects, Mirjam discovered that her qualities can best be described as enthusiastic, determined and a good listener.

In order to write her master thesis, Mirjam performed qualitative research in Aruba concerning perceptions of sustainability. Through this experience, she recognized the importance of an integrated approach towards sustainability on a national level. 

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New Haven

Basel