Welcome address by publisher Niels Janssens 11/12/2019

On the occasion of The Book of Noble Purpose launch, publisher Niels Janssens from LannooCampus, gave the following speech:


Good evening ladies & gentlemen

It is my pleasure to welcome you all at the Royal Opera House La Monnaie/De Munt, probably one of the finest and noblest of venues on the European continent.

Ladies & gentlemen, we have gathered here to celebrate the release of what Olivier Onghena – ‘t Hooft calls his first book, The Book of Noble Purpose.


As his publisher, I, Niels Janssens, publisher of business and innovation books at LannooCampus, am both proud and absolutely delighted to hand over the first copy of the book to Olivier. In the mind of the reader, this book will present itself as a destination. To Olivier and myself however, the book also entails a roadmap, a map that links various steps and milestones in a writing journey that took more than three years.

But before I reward the main traveller with his book, I would like to take a couple of minutes of your time to explain what tonight is all about and to discuss some primary features of the book.


As you might know, Olivier carefully selected an international expert panel that will shed its light on the principle of Noble Purpose. Welcome Marianne Sébastien, Guy Wollaert, Karsten Ottenberg & Peter De Caluwé, who will be interviewed by journalist Sjoukje Smets. Before the panel will take stage, Olivier will deliver a 15-minute crash course on Noble Purpose. Given the fact that – and this is highly self-evident – Olivier is thé top-notch expert on the content of his own book, he has inquired me to restrict myself to my own publishing expertise and to limit my speech to some primary features of the publication (in other words: the cover of the book).DSC_9401

Ladies and gentlemen, for numerous times Olivier asked me what the cover depicted and why we, as a publishing house, held such strong confidence in this particular design. Tonight, Olivier, I will unravel the noble secret of your book cover, the mystery of the three language versions (English, French and Dutch) of the same book. Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once…

First – The colours. As you may have noticed, ladies and gentlemen, the three language versions of the book all have Scandinavian colours. Why? Because Scandinavian blue, green and brown belong to the colour scheme of the present-day dandy, a dynamic & inspiring professional who travels from boardroom to a Buddhist temple and even to a cabin in the woods. Here, we wanted to reflect Olivier’s personality.englishbook

Second – The wooden globe above the author’s name. The globe suggests the societal impact of Noble Purpose. Noble Purpose is more than a mere business topic, it afflicts the world at large. Also, the globe is antique, dated, from another century. It illustrated the possibility of change – the idea that over time our conceptions can alter. Are we living in capitalist our post-capitalist era? Is purpose just a buzz words or is it meant to stay?

Third – The omnipresent lily. In the ancient cultures the lily serves as a symbol for light, for peace, for resurrection and also for (often royal) grace and dignity. The noblest of all flowers for the noblest of all authors, perhaps?DSC_9467

Overall, we wanted a design that was ‘something completely different’ from your overage management book. The Book of Noble Purpose celebrates Life with a capital L, it advocates the Joy it will bring, it shows the reader how one can create her of his own House of Noble Purpose and how they can transform the world. This book is, very much like its author, a source of inspiration to all. Read it, ladies & gentlemen, you simply have to read it!

Dear Olivier, it is with great gratitude that I wish to welcome you to stage to receive this very first copy and to share your keynote with us. Congratulations on the release of your English and Dutch book twin. The French version will be available early next year. Ladies and gentlemen, may I ask for a spectacular round of applause for the author of The Book of Noble Purpose: Olivier Onghena -‘t Hooft.

Niels Janssens – Editor Lannoo Campus


Photos: Leen Wouters