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Tom Kok - keynotes
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Tom Kok


Tom Kok
Director, Cool Capital

Born in 1957 on the Island of Curacao in the Antilles, Tom Kok spend the main part of his youth in this subtropical part of The Netherlands. He has a strong bond with Curacao. The island is the origin of his preference for the unusual.

Kok's family moved to The Netherlands in 1968. His father was a school director, his mother officer in the air force. In 1976 Kok finished Gymnasium and went to study International Law in the city of Leiden. During his studies Kok was treasurer of the International Student and Youth Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN) in Geneva. A boardmembership that gave him new insights in contrast and harmony amongst peoples and organisations. Also Kok earned his lifehood during his studies by working in a bar for six years, which kept him with both feet on the ground. He graduated in 1982 in International Law.

Kok's professional life started with a two years term in the army as an officer in the marine, teaching international law to cadets at the Royal Naval Institute. Specially his colleges on the Conventions of Geneva (human rights and ethics) and sense and nonsense of Peacekeeping forces caused intense discussions amongst the students.

After military service Kok started a career in finances. At Abnamro Bank (then Amro) he got a full scholing as banker. Het became secretary of the Dutch Board of Amro in 1985, director of the creditcompany FinataBank in 1987 and director of Creditcard company LeCard in 1990. In 1992 Kok moved to insurances, when he became ceo of FBTO Insurances (550 employees). Here Kok stayed for six years and built up the company. In 1998 Kok was promoted to director of strategy of the Achmea insurance group, the second biggest insurance group in The Netherlands.

During the time of his career in finances, Kok also became active in politics within the political party D66, a party mostly referred to as The Democrats. This party has strong visions on the renewal of democracy, non discrimination, environment and international coöperation and is mostly considered to be left of the middle in the political spectrum. Since 1966 the democrats have been part of the Cabinet for 16 years, mainly under the leadership of Hans van Mierlo. From 1984 till 1988 Kok was treasurer of the national board. In 1996 he was elected chairman of the party, which position he held till 1999. As a person Kok is highly motivated in the fields of excellent education, disarmament and international solidarity.

In 1999 Kok's term in D66 ended and at the same time he left his job at Achmea Group, to start his own companies Krite in Sneek and CoolCapital in Amsterdam. Krite manages projects in the field of public-private cooperation. CoolCapital specialises in change management with the use of new media. Kok frequently acts as chairman and speaker in conferences. As a speaker he mostly adresses topics on politics and new media. In this last field he was asked in 2002 to inspire and organise an International Conference on Law and ICT.

Tom Kok is married to Jeannette Provoost. She is a medical doctor and a graceful dancer. They live in the city of Sneek in the north of the country and have three children. Kok loves to play American football and was president of the Dutch American Football Association from 1993 till 1996. Every Friday evening the Kok family has their Candlelight evening. They lit 30 little candles, eat fries and celebrate their life.

Some typical statements of Kok:

Never doubt the ability of a small group of dedicated people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever did.

Strategy is reacting with small changes to small changes, all in the same direction.

If you keep both feet on the ground, you can't move forward.

Paradise is now.




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