Radboud Centrum Sociale Wetenschappen

Postacademisch Onderwijs voor een Veerkrachtige Samenleving

Dr. Willem Elbers

dr. Willem Elbers | AMID | Ontwikkeld door de Radboud Universiteit

"The bad news is that the world is not doing so great/ The good news is that everyone can do something about it, academics in particular"  

- dr. Willem Elbers, Deputy Director AMID

Dr. Willem Elbers

With a multi-disciplinary background in Development Studies, I want to contribute to a better world by combining academic excellence with practical relevance in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the years, I’ve written on numerous topics including partnerships, advocacy, social movements and inclusive development.

To me, fulfillment comes from making academia and its explicit type of knowledge more relevant to society when it is combined with the tacit knowledge that practice brings.  In my research, I speak academic and practitioner languages to ensure that ideas and experiences flow back and forth between the two domains. As an academic, I cooperate with practitioners and I try to add value through membership in advisory boards and contributing to policy discussions. In 2022, I co-founded Pracademia, an international community of Development Studies and Civil Society scholars seeking to bridge the gap between academia and practice.

Most of my academic teaching goes beyond theoretical models and emphasizes the importance of discussing real-world experiences, cases and solutions. As an educator I hope to inspire and inform professionals working on the SDGs, ultimately enabling them to take better decisions. As program lead for AMID Masterclasses International Development, I engage with professionals working from government agencies, NGOs and foundations. I also lead AMID Community Building, an innovative program aimed at helping companies to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals using the principles of social movements: change from within and below.



  • AMID Masterclasses International Development (RadboudCSW, head & lecturer)
  • AMID Community Buliding (RadboudCSW, head & lecturer)
  • AMID Young Professional (RadboudCSW, lecturer)
  • Young Sustainability Leadership (Radboud Academy, lecturer)
  • Organiseren in Communities (Radboud Management Academy, lecturer)

In the Media (selection)

Topics of interest

I am happy to answer questions from (science) journalists and other interested parties about the following topics:

  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Development Cooperation
  • NGOs
  • Social Movements and communities
  • Engaged scholarship

Please contact dr. Merel van Ommen, communication advisor at the Radboud Center for Social Sciences.