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Recap second Night of the Lobbyist: a diverse group of guests and new insights

On Thursday 10 November, the Night of the Lobbyist was held. During this public event, organised by Leiden University and the Public Affairs Academy, many insights were shared regarding the different aspects of lobbying and the diversity of the world of the lobby.

The evening in the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague got off to a good start with keynote speaker Joris Luyendijk. Luyendijk talked about his book ‘de zeven vinkjes’ in which he emphasises that people born in a certain environment, with certain physical characteristics, and knowledge have more opportunities than Dutch people without these advantages. The theme diversity, among the audience and during the sessions, played an important role during the Night of the Lobbyist. 

After the keynote speech, various sessions, such as the session ‘media and lobbying’ followed. Various scholars and journalists, among them Ellis Aizenberg of Leiden University and Ariejan Korteweg of Dutch newspaper the Volkskrant, discussed a variety of dilemmas and statements. For instance: using the media for lobbying is not the best way to influence policy. ‘I really enjoyed taking part. It is also the focus of my research, and my heart really starts beating faster on this topic. I was also really pleased that there were so many different guests, such as journalists, people from the corporate world, people from academia, and lobbyists, of course,’ says Ellis Aizenberg. 

Something that Marianne Thieme, cofounder of political party Partij voor de Dieren, can confirm. ‘I really liked that it was such a mixed crowd,’ says Marianne Thieme. She hopes to have contributed to a new wave of activist politicians with her session on idealism and lobbying. ‘I believe it is important to tell my story, because politics can also be shaped in a different way, by focusing on their ideals.’ Marianne Thieme predominantly focused her attention on the students that were present during the Night of the Lobbyist.

One of these students was Merel Peereboom, who is studying Management of the Public Sector at Leiden University. ‘I was mostly interested in Marianne Thieme’s story because she always has a strong opinion when it comes to the influence of lobbyists. I thought that the evening was really interesting and entertaining.’ But Merel does hope that more students will be present next time, to create an even more diverse audience. 

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