Henk Ovink was appointed the first Special Envoy for Water of The Netherlands in 2015.
He was senior advisor for US Secretary Shaun Donovan of HUD in his role as Chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. Ovink was responsible for the long term planning strategy and the widely acclaimed design competition Rebuild by Design.
Before joining the Task Force Ovink was both Director General Spatial Planning and Water affairs and Director National Spatial Planning for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in the Netherlands. As Director General he was responsible for the national policy on, the national legal frameworks for and the long term strategy, investments, programs and projects for water affairs and national spatial planning in the Netherlands.

Henk Ovink is member of the supervisory board of The Berlage Institute, the UK School of Design, Delft University of Technology Faculty of Architecture and the Master City Developer Rotterdam. He initiated the research program Design and Politics, the connecting chair Design and Politics at the TU Delft and a series of publications with 010 Publishers, called ‘Design and Politics’ covering the historical and political perspective with a focus on specific issues (designing the Randstad, Compact Cities and more). Ovink collaborates with and participates in the research program Urban Age within the Cities Program of the LSE. He lectures and publishes on the change of government, governance and planning as well as on the specific relationship between design and politics.

ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] investigates the contemporary urban landscape on every possible scale by means of solicited and unsolicited designs. The output of the office ranges from political research to urban planning and from landscape design to architecture. ZUS works with a belief that everything and every place has the potential to become unique and thrilling. A spatial intervention should therefore always be inspired by the specific qualities of the site or its context.

ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] was founded in Rotterdam by Elma van Boxel (1975) and Kristian Koreman (1978) in 2001. In 2007 they received the prestigious Rotterdam Maaskant Prize for Young Architects and published their first book: Re-Public: towards a new spatial politics. Despite their young age they have already had the honor to be selected as curators for the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam and the first BMW Guggenheim Lab team in New York. In 2012 ZUS was selected as ‘Architect of the Year’ in the category small offices.Their work has been widely exhibited in a.o. the Venice Biennale, the Design Biennale Istanbul, the Architecture Biennale in Sao Paolo and the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam. They hold teaching positions at various design schools including the CAFA school of architecture in Beijing and INSIDE at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.

Van Boxel and Koreman head an international and multi-disciplinary team consisting of architects, urban planners, landscape architects, a graphic designer and a cultural economist. A professional design team is selected for each specific project.The list of ambitious projects ZUS is working on is expanding rapidly. In the field of landscape architecture ZUS has realized designs like Printemps à Grand Bigard in Brussels, the Central Park of the World Expo 2010 and the landscape of the Dutch Pavilion in Shanghai.ZUS designs large scale urban plans, such as Almere Duin –a coastal neighborhood containing 2650 houses, currently under construction– and A2 Maastricht –a city-wide infrastructural redevelopment plan which was designed jointly with the the Royal BAM, largest contractor in the Netherlands. Recently ZUS was asked to draw up the new master plan for the Futian District in Shenzen.
The Schieblock is the successful redevelopment of an abandoned office building in the center of Rotterdam. The project garnered attention for the fact that ZUS wasn’t only involved as architect but also as initiator, developer and real-estate agent. In 2012 the project was shortlisted for AM NAi prize and was awarded the Job Dura encouragement award. Currently ZUS, in partnership with the IABR and others, is occupied with the execution of Test Site Rotterdam: a complex urban renewal project which aims to redefine the current approach to city development. The multi-million dollar project is underway with the Luchtsingel (a crowd-funded pedestrian sky bridge), Europe’s largest rooftop farm (which was awarded the 2012 Green Building Jury Award) and a city park of 5.000 m2.

Maarten Hajer (1962, Groningen) is an internationally renowned Dutch political scientist and urban and regional planner. He was educated at the universities of Amsterdam and Oxford and published widely on issues of city politics, public space, political discourse, environment and democracy. Since 1998, he has been a professor of Public Policy at the University of Amsterdam.

In 2008, the Dutch Cabinet appointed him Director­–General of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. While primarily focused on political decision–making in Holland PBL is also active for international bodies, such as the European Commission, OECD and UNEP.

After obtaining his DPhil from the University of Oxford, working with geographer David Harvey, he worked at the University of Leiden, at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, collaborating with sociologist Ulrich Beck, and as senior researcher at the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), where he was project coordinator of a highly influential report on spatial development politics.

Hajer has held a number of public appointments. As a member of the VROM-council of the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment he was responsible for the report on climate change as a structural spatial issue (“De Hype voorbij – klimaatverandering als structureel ruimtelijk vraagstuk” - 2007). In addition, he was a member of a party principles manifesto committee of the Dutch Labor Party (2000); a columnist for the Dutch newspapers Het Parool and Staatscourant; and a member of the jury for the Spinoza Prize, the Dutch EO Weijers competition for landscape architecture, and for EUROPAN 9, the European award for young architects; and board member of the Amsterdam Art Council and the Van Eesteren, Fluck van Lohuizen Stichting (EFL). Currently he is a board member of the Rotterdam Maaskant Prize for Architecture and a member of the UNEP Resource Panel (IRP) concerned with strategic issues of resource scarcity, decoupling and resource-efficiency.

Hajer is the author of many articles and books, among them Smart about Cities: Visualizing the Challenge for 21st Century Urbanism, with Ton Dassen (NAI010 Publishers / PBL, 2014); Strong Stories: How the Dutch Are Reinventing Spatial Planning, with Jantine Grijzen and Susan van ‘t Klooster, (010 Publishers, 2010); Authoritative Governance: Policy Making in the Age of Mediatization (Oxford UP, 2009); In Search of the New Public Domain, with Arnold Reijndorp (NAi Publishers, 2002); and the acclaimed study The Politics of Environmental Discourse (Oxford UP, 1995).
He was the editor ofDeliberative Policy Analysis – Understanding Governance in the Network Society, with Henk Wagenaar (Cambridge UP, 2003), and of Living with Nature, with Frank Fischer (Oxford UP, 1999).

Floris Alkemade (1961) is an architect and urban designer. After completing his studies with Rem Koolhaas at Delft University of Technology (NL) he worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) for 18 years, the last eight years as a partner. He contributed to major projects and studies around the world, both at the level of architecture and that of urban planning. Among his most famous accomplishments are Euralille, a major development around Lille, France’s new TGV station; the Ruhr Museum in Essen, Germany and the new city centre of Almere in the Netherlands.
Working on projects in the Netherlands and abroad Floris Alkemade has been heading FAA (Floris Alkemade Architect) since 2008. His work with FAA includes large-scale architectural projects in France, such as the transformation and new construction of the 600-m-long Macdonald bonded warehouse in Paris.
As guest professor Alkemade was associated with Ghent University for nine years and he has been lecturing at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam since 2014.

On 1 September 2015, Floris Alkemade was appointed the Netherlands Government Architect and as such he is chairman of the Board of Government Advisors. The Government Architect advises the Minister of the Interior and the Director-General of the Central Government Real Estate Agency. He monitors and promotes the architectural and urban planning quality of government projects, including the disposal and redevelopment of central government real estate. The Government Architect offers central government solicited and unsolicited advice on issues of architectural quality as well as on major spatial themes. He also plays an important role in the informing of the professional discourse.
On his Netherlands Government Architect’s agenda, Floris Alkemade has included the ambition to search for the social value of every design challenge.

Dirk Sijmons (1949) studied Architecture at Delft University of Technology and is one of the three founders of H+N+S Landscape Architects. Dirk Sijmons was awarded the Rotterdam-Maaskant Prize in 2002. In 2004, Dirk Sijmons was appointed Governmental Advisor on Landscape by the Minister of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries. In 2007, he received the prestigious Edgar Doncker prize in the category of ‘true Dutch culture’. Sijmons was also a Professor of Landscape Architecture at Delft University of Technology.

Joachim Declerck (1979) is an engineer-architect and founding partner of Architecture Workroom Brussels (AWB) – a European think-and-do tank for innovation in the field of architecture and urban and regional development. As a guest professor he has been associated with Ghent University (BE) since 2014. The main theme of his work is the use of design and spatial development as levers for the realization of important social transitions.
Declerck graduated from Ghent University. Later he attended the international postgraduate course at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam. He remained associated with the Berlage from 2005 until 2010, and headed its professional research and development programme. He worked on the 3rd IABR: Power – Producing the Contemporary City (2007), that the Berlage Institute curated, and co-curated the exhibition ‘A Vision for Brussels – Imagining the Capital of Europe’ in 2007.
Since its inception in 2010, Architecture Workroom Brussels has been an initiator, a mediator and a platform to create space and conditions for innovative architecture and for research by design. AWB has a team of ten architect-researchers and is led by three partners: Roeland Dudal, Els Vervloesem and Joachim Declerck. The objectives of AWB’s long-term strategic work lines include visionary housing, productive landscapes, caring neighbourhoods and the productive city. As a platform for research by design and knowledge sharing, AWB contributes to broad public debate, to the professional practice and to knowledge development as well as to innovation in urban development and urban policy.
In 2010 Declerck was the curator of the exhibition ‘Building for Brussels - Architecture and Urban Transformation in Europe’ (2010). He was a member of the curatorial team of the 5th IABR: Making City (2012) and of the Belgian Pavilion at the 13th Architecture Biennale in Venice, entitled The Ambition of the Territory (2012). He was involved in several IABR–Ateliers as Lead Designer.

George Brugmans has been the executive director of the IABR since 2004, and its president since 2014.
He chaired the Curator Team of the 5th IABR: Making City. He is also the president of iabr/UP, the producer of IABR's international research projects, and a member of the Advisory Board of Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia.

Before coming to the IABR, in 2004, Brugmans built up an extensive expertise as a producer in the arts and the media.
He is the founder and owner of Amago, an Amsterdam based independent film and media production company, that (co)produced films of well-known directors such as Oscar-winner Mike Figgis, Jos de Putter, Klaartje Quirijns and Rob Schröder.
He was editor-in-chief/commissioning editor at the VPRO, a Dutch public national broadcaster, where he produced over 200 documentaries, thirteen of which he also directed.
As chairman of Bergen, a Dutch film production company, he was one of the producers of Antonia’s Line – Academy Award® (Oscar®) for Best Foreign Film (1995). He (co-) wrote scenarios for feature films, including De Wisselwachter/The Pointsman (released in 1986), and De Vliegende Hollander/The Flying Dutchman (1995).
Before moving to film Brugmans had an international career in the performing arts, including being co-founder and the first director of the Springdance Festival in Utrecht (1986-1992), artistic director of the Summerfestival of Salzburg, Austria (1990-1992), and co-founder and artistic director of the Encontros Acarte Festival in Lisbon, Portugal (1987 – 1990).
He wrote the libretto of the opera Fausto (Salzburg, Austria, 1992), and he was guest curator of the Polverigi Festival (Ancona, Italy, 1989), curator of the video-exhibition Alma e Corpo (Porto, Portugal, 1993), curator of the Canada Dance Film Festival (Ottawa, Canada, 1994), guest curator at the Design Academy Eindhoven (2004),

Brugmans (an historian, schooled at the Universities of Utrecht and Florida) published internationally about cultural policy and the role of design. He was the publisher and editor of several publications, such as
Making City (2012), Urban by Nature (2014), The Metabolism of Albania (2015), The Next Economy (2016) and The Missing Link (2018).

Brugmans was a member of the Committee of Cultural Consultants of the European Commission in Brussels (1988), advisor to the Dutch Government on international cultural policy as a member of the National Art Council (2004 - 2007), and the vice-chairman of the Board of Governors of the Amsterdam Art Council (2003 - 2009).

Fernando de Mello Franco is the Secretary of Urban Development of the City of São Paulo, Brazil.

De Mello Franco is one of the founding partners of MMBB Arquitetos in São Paulo and he is the curator of the Instituto Urbem. He was a visiting professor at Harvard. De Mello Franco has strong ties with the IABR. In 2007 he won the Biennale Award with the project Watery Voids. In the 4th IABR, in 2009, he was one of the designers working on the project in the favela Paraisópolis that was set up as a collaboration of the IABR and SEHAB, the Municipality of São Paulo's Social Housing Department.
Fernando de Mello Franco was a member of the international Curator Team of the 5th IABR: Making City and in that capacity he was the Atelier Master of the Atelier São Paulo, an initiative of the IABR and SEHAB in the context of the IABR Test Site São Paulo.

Researcher and assistant professor, Istanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Communications.
Asu Aksoy has conducted research at British and Turkish universities, with special emphasis on urban and cultural transformations in the context of migration, globalization, and policy. She has published internationally on these subjects, documenting the impact of worldwide migration on the cultural capital of cities in Western Europe. In addition she has written extensively on the transformation of Istanbul in the context of the globalization of the city. Aksoy lead a project on the cultural economy of Istanbul, aimed at developing policy recommendations in regard to the agenda for the creative city. She collaborated in the establishment of Santralistanbul, an international art and culture center founded by Istanbul Bilgi University.