Paul Keursten


Having the courage to enter an adventure with an uncertain outcome

Being an entrepreneur is the passion of my life. I want to shape from ideas on how things can be different: nicer, more sustainable, more fun, more human, and more powerful. This already started in 1989 at the start of my own company and strengthened in 1996, when I founded and shaped the new Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company, together with Joseph Kessels and Cora Smit in 1996


New companies

My entrepreneurship keeps on developing. Fascinations of the past and present come together here: architecture, building, learning and developing, social involvement – joint together they lead to surprising initiatives and perspectives.
Late 2007 I started up two companies. The first is Maliebaan45, a new housing concept to learn, work, meet and undertake. The second is SEEtrust, a social-economic enterprise in South Africa, where work, income, education and social facilities are being realized for children and adults, who don’t have any access to these elements of life.
Recently, a new company has come to life: OPEN collaborative city workspaces, a modern co-working space in the inner city of Johannesburg, meant to provide for an inspiring environment to work, learn and innovate.


My fascination can be found in solving issues where the approach of “more of the same” isn’t helpful anymore. Looking for new perspectives and turning onto new roads together with the people who are directly involved, is an exciting, challenging and inspiring process. It asks for creating space where is doesn’t appear to be, developing new perspectives, finding a grip without binding contracts, having the courage to enter an adventure with an uncertain outcome, connecting personal passions into powerful cooperation, learning together and getting to a result.


Consultancy work

The major part of my job is to facilitate organizations, groups (large and small) and individuals in the Netherlands and abroad. Core themes are: learning and innovating, entrepreneurship and managing and knowledge productivity. My focus is to get teams and individuals in their strength, strengthen their connection and cooperation and creating new perspectives. I train colleague- professionals to fulfill this role within their own organization.



Curious to learn more about Kessels & Smit?

Get in touch with Paul Keursten