The Future of Diplomacy & Activism: Dealing with Collective Action Problems

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
Advanced Bachelor
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As a professional and an individual you will encounter problems you can't solve on your own but only solve through collective action. Think of problems such as worldproblems like climatechange, poverty and challenges in democracy but also problems in your work-environment such as non-functioning teams, distrust and conflicts. But what difference can one person make? Based on case-studies from the field of international relations and many exercises, a seasoned diplomat and expert trainer will help you develop your own answers to this question.

Do you care about problems you cannot solve on your own? On a global level we need new ways of working to address climate change, hunger and resource depletion. But also as a professional or individual you will encounter problems you can only solve through collective action. But what difference can one person make?

People aiming to contribute need to know themselves deeply and master some difficult skills. You will learn how to maintain your moral compass, use compassionate communication skills and develop personal leadership. Based on case-studies from the field of international relations and many exercises, a seasoned diplomat and expert trainer will help you to start this process.

This course is meant for anyone who is interested in learning about personal leadership in complex situations and who would like to engage in case-studies about collective action problems. It is not necessary to be active in the field of international relations and we actively seek to make the lessons practical and relevant for your personal and professional development.


Day 1: the problem – understanding collective action problems and why quick fix solutions are not available
Day 2: experiencing collective action problems - a simulation
Day 3: harnessing the power of group dynamics, empathy and negotiation skills
Day 4: your moral compass – character strengths and values
Day 5: challenge – being a compassionate and effective professional

Course director

Prof. dr. Georg Frerks, Jan Reinder Rosing & Imre Végh


Jan Reinder Rosing

Jan Reinder studied (International) Law at the University of Utrecht. In 2004 he became European Champion debating and founded Debat.NL, a company in debating and communication.  In 2006 he published 'De Debatwijzer', a handbook for debaters. In 2008 he left his company and became a diplomat for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for which he served in The Hague and the Dutch Embassy in Ankara. In 2011 and 2012 he studied philosophy part-time. Between 2013 and 2016 he was member of the Dutch team that campaigned for a seat on the UN Security Council. In 2016 he joined the EU Diplomatic Service for three years to work on the prevention of violent conflict outside of the EU. He holds a coaching certificate and followed many trainings in amongst other meditation, empathic communication, inclusive decision making and systemic approaches. 

Imre Végh

Imre is an international trainer, discussion leader and (team)coach in higher education, politics and development aid agencies. He worked with many politicians and members of parliament, development organisations in Uganda, Laos and Vietnam amongst others, for commercial companies and many universities such as the International Space University in Strasbourg, the Honours Programme at the University of Groningen, Nyenrode Business University and students of the University of Beijing.   

His passion is personal leadership, meaning, ethics, critical thinking and effective communication. He brings out the best of people in a disarming and an inspiring way. He likes to ask probing questions, challenge assumptions and analyse arguments, all aimed at growth and learning. An idealist in heart and soul, he likes to use his critical mind to better the world. Critical when needed, clever when possible.  He likes to connect heart and mind.

Imre is married and lives in Utrecht. He is passionate about space travel, chess and botanic gardens and cannot wait to tell his toddler son all about it.

Target audience

This course is meant for advanced bachelor and master students and (young) professionals.


Course fee:
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
€ 200.00

In case of an excursion the travel costs will be extra.

Housing through: Utrecht Summer School.

In this course a limited group of participants (22 - 25) is admitted. We accept participants on a first come, first served base,


After the application you will receive a motivation form from the lecturers in order to make sure that there will be a good match between the aims and wishes of participants and the purpose of the course.

For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • C.V.

More information

Utrecht Summer School | E: | T: +31 30 253 4400

Recommended combinations
Contemporary and International Conflict Management


Application deadline: 28 June 2020