Member Talk: Michel de Visser about political sensitivity

, 07 june 2022

(Click here to see the video)

Close to home and close to the heart.

Michiel Visser graduated in 1995 and still cares for his university. He even lives close enough to see it from his window.

He owns a consultancy agency focused on the public sector and has written a book on improving how people do politics.

We interviewed Michiel for our Member Talks. This is the tran script:

We’re here in the Polak Building at the Erasmus University. I’m overjoyed to be back, I studied here in 1989. I live nearby, too. When I look out of my bedroom window I can actually see the university. It does feel special to me. And it’s good to be back here in this context, today.


I studied Business Economics here at the Erasmus University in 1989. During that time I went to study abroad twice, to the London School of Economics and to the École Superieure de Commerce Lyon. I graduated in 1995.


I have my own consultancy practice. I give advice to the government and other organisations in the public domain, such as housing associations and healthcare institutions, about business operations and strategy.


I started doing this because I feel very engaged with society and I find what happens in the public domain, so what municipalities and governments do, fascinating. With my study, which is the business economic side and organising of things, I am able to provide additional value there, which is meaningful to me. It is a nice coalescence of my current interests and my study.


I have always been curious about politics, too. I’ve worked in politics professionally for six years, but have always been somehow involved in the background of varying political functions.

And now I have written a book that brings it all together, named ‘Politiek Sensitief aan de Slag’ (‘How to Act With Political Sensitivity’). It’s about how to be more effective in a political environment by keeping in mind the game of politics and everyone involved.

I interviewed some politicians and top civil servants about the ways in which they act with political sensitivity and how they play the game of politics. From there I made the connection to what it really means for everybody. Whether you’re in a meeting, in a job interview, in a supervisory board, or in any environment where politics are involved and you have to organise things together.


I look back on my time as a student with delight, and the university remains special to me.It’s great to keep a connection with it and hear about what’s happening. I also appreciate having the opportunity to join the events. Those things make membership enjoyable to me.