Night of the Lobbyist: time for a new lobbying culture?


The second Night of the Lobbyist took place on 10 November 2022: the evening where lobbyists, academics, students and policymakers exchanged views on the lobbying profession. The evening was opened by Joris Luyendijk, where he reflected on lobby culture from his book ‘The Man with the Seven Ticks’ (De Zeven Vinkjes). After the opening, two series of partial sessions took place, in which colleague Valérie Mendes de León also spoke.

In the sub-session ‘Time for a new lobbying culture’, Valérie spoke with Professor of Public Affairs Caelestra Braun (Leiden University), NJR president Kimberley Snijders and Joram Schollaardt, Public Affairs at the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds. The session opened with the question ‘What makes you a new lobbyist?’ After considering what old and new lobby would mean, the panel came to the answer that a combination of multiple perspectives characterises the new generation of lobbyists. For colleague Valérie, this means bringing her experiences as a public affairs working group member at the Young Climate Movement (Jonge Klimaatbeweging) into her work at Public Matters – and vice versa. The multiplicity of perspectives and voices provided refreshing insights.

The panel then engaged the audience in a discussion about what this new lobbying culture means then: is there really a new lobbying culture? Haven’t resources just changed? Or do changes in the political landscape mean that lobbyists are now needed more than usual? These questions and more passed in review. In the end, Caelesta proposed the seven ticks of the new lobbying culture: more transparency, collaboration, pro bono lobbying, citizen lobbying, intolerance of lobbying against the public welfare, long-term vision and guts.

With many new ideas and conversation material, the group left the room, on to the next Night of the Lobbyist.

"The multitude of perspectives and voices provided refreshing insights."

Public matters

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