Jan Wouter Vasbinder (1945) studied physics at the Technical University of Delft (1972). He started his professional career as a researcher in a nuclear laboratory. Until 1981 he worked in the nuclear industry in Israel and the Netherlands. In 1981 he was appointed Attaché for Science and Technology in Washington and Ottawa. In 1985 he returned to the Netherlands, to head a small organization responsible for developing large and long-term cooperative industry university research programs. Subsequently he became member of the management team of the Dutch organization responsible for executing government innovation policies.
In 1991 he became partner and then CEO of an interdisciplinary consultancy firm. Since 1994 he is an independent consultant. In 1995 he became a founding partner Prisma & Partners, a small firm dedicated to finding, strengthening, and mobilizing the innovative capacity of companies, consortia (e.g. of corporations and universities), government (related) organizations and regions. He invested a lot of his time in helping organizations to develop their strategies for the future.
In 2003 he initiated Institute Para Limes in Europe, and in July 2011 he moved to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore to become the director of the Complexity Program aimed at developing a Complexity Institute at NTU. That Complexity Institute was formally launched on 1 April 2014. The Complexity Program at NTU is now renamed Para Limes.
The joy in his work comes from finding new, potentially powerful, combinations of knowledge, and from developing programs to explore and exploit these combinations.
His motto is: "the value of knowledge is in its use”.
He is married and has four children.