Progressio Foundation

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About Progressio
News & Information

Key People

Marcello Palazzi, BSc MSc MBA
Palazzi is a public-minded entrepreneur operating as a developer of ventures, projects and initiatives that coalesce private and public interests for the benefit of the common good.

In pursuit of this goal, Palazzi works in and across business, finance, civil society, philanthropy and government.  

Palazzi studied economics at the University of Buckingham, public and foreign policy and business administration at London School of Economics (LSE), London Business School (LBS), MIT and the Rotterdam School of Management. At LSE, in 1984, he graduated with a far-sighted thesis on "The Role of Small & Medium Enterprises in the European Community". At LBS, in 1987, he won "The Economist" Prize for best project on "Entrepreneurship and Management in the Non-profit Sector", overviewed and inspired by Professor Charles Handy. Schooling in northern Italy, Switzerland and the UK. Married to a Dutch citizen, father to 3 children.  Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK, member of The Clinton Global Initiative (2009-2010) in New York City, The HUB in Amsterdam.  Palazzi has also taught economics (History of Economic Thought) at the University of Buckingham in the early 80s and been a guest lecturer in CSR and Sustaiable Corporate Strategies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management in the 90s.  At the University of Buckingham, he was elected President of the Student Government.

At age 23, at thes start of his career in 1981, he co-founded his first business in the UK and Italy with his father, manufacturing and marketing diagnostic laboratories and kits for environmental monitoring. Having achieved sales in 30 countries and considerable market recognition, he and his family sold the business in 1992. Since 1993 he has focused on Progressio Foundation from the Netherlands, which he had co-founded with Paul Kloppenborg in 1989.

He is also active on several advisory boards: Avalon Foundation (, Encounter of World Views Foundation (, TBLI (, Business in Development Challenge Foundation (, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (, The Value Agency (, SNS Reaal CSR Brainstorm Group, the Netherlands; FSG Social Impact (, Switzerland; Tällberg Foundation (, REWORK (, Sweden; Dalberg (, Denmark; Ethical Markets (, Business as an Agent for World Benefit Global Forum (, NetImpact (, the USA; The Lisbon Council (, Brussels; the World Future Council ( and Shift 2050 ( Germany. His past roles also include co-founder and Director of Social Venture Network Europe (, Head of Development for The New Academy of Business, founded by Anita Roddick, director/board member/advisor of a number of SMEs, investment funds and non-profit organisations, such as the Andromeda Fund BV, the Robeco-Rabobank Sustainable Fund of Funds and ResponsAbility. In his spare time, Palazzi is an amateur architect and gardener and has dabbled in residential property development, a bug inherited from his father and maternal grandfather, both civil engineers. 

Paul Kloppenborg, BBA MSc PhD
Paul has been an intrapreneur working for the boards of major corporations and public organizations with responsibilities for business development, innovation and entrepreneurship. In the late 80's and early 90's he created several companies in telecommunications, interactive media, propery development and management consulting. After studying business administration at the Netherlands Business School Nijenrode and the HEC-in Paris, philosophy and architecture at the Universities of Delft and Leyden, he began acting as consultant and interim-manager in public-private partnerships. In the early 80s he has worked on major urban development projects in Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport, the Arnhem Rhine Waterfront and the Tilburg Leisure Centre. Abroad, he has advised the Minister of Commerce & Industry of Botswana and consequently led a major project to develop the Gaborone Fairgrounds.

From 1995 to 1999 he has been an advsior to the board of Koop Holding, a company in infrastructure, housing and pipeline construction. From 2000 to 2002 he was responsible for business development at Carrier 1, a leading telecommunications company, in Zürich and Amsterdam. From 2002 to 2006 he has been CEO of the Entrepreneurs Fund. In 2006, he founded Global Cleantech Capital in Amsterdam to focus on clean technologies.  Paul is married and is father to 4 children. 

Board Members
Together with Marcello Palazzi and Paul Kloppenborg, the following individuals currently constitute Progressio Foundation's Advisory Board:

Thomas Cummings, BA MA
Over the past 25 years, Tom Cummings has designed and implemented strategy, change and co-operation assignments for a broad range of international companies and institutions. Prior to founding Executive Learning Partnership (
), Tom has held roles both in-company and as an external consultant thereby providing him with unique insight into the leadership and strategy issues facing large organisations. As such, he was the Head of Learning and Organisation at the Global Centre for Expertise at Unilever and Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of the Leadership Development Programme at ABN AMRO Bank.

He has been an academic at IMD International, Switzerland and adjunct faculty member at INSEAD, Theseus Institute, and Nijenrode Business Schools. He has designed Management Learning Programmes for many companies, consortia and public institutions over the last ten years, as for example, Citibank, GE, Nedlloyd, Unisource. He received his BA from the University of Puget Sound, Seattle Washington and MA from the University of London, Imperial College. Tom is married to a Dutch citizen, is father to 4 children and resides with his family in Wassenaar. He is from Seattle, WA, USA.

Prof. Pjotr Hesseling
Former Professor of Economics at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.