A history of fostering understanding

History lives on at Landgoed de Horst in everything we do. Our organisation was established shortly after the Second World War in the Netherlands. Following the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945, the country undertook a huge reconstruction process and rose to the challenge of rebuilding industry and the business community.

This gave rise to a new approach to training leaders based on integrating thoughts, feelings and actions and placing knowledge in a cultural and historical context. This in turn led to a new emphasis on balancing the needs of the company and the person and recognising the importance of self-development.

A new dawn

Landgoed de Horst’s first activities stem from 1947 and were financed by the Marshall Plan. Our organisation was officially established as a foundation in 1959 by the Centraal Sociaal Werkgeversverbond (CSWV – Central Social Employers Confederation). The CSWV’s mission was to promote good social relations in the business community. Mr C.E.J. Maitland served as a secretary on the CSWV’s board. He firmly believed in the importance and added value of a conducive learning environment incorporating elements of art, culture and nature. His vision proved to be timeless and is still at the heart of the philosophy and culture of Landgoed de Horst.

A beacon guiding the way

The CSWV provided courses, lectures series and managerial courses and in doing so laid the groundwork for the present-day Landgoed de Horst. The CSWV flourished in the years that followed and it was decided that it needed its own building to house its activities. This led it to purchase Hotel Astrid in the Dutch coastal town of Noordwijk in 1957. The conference and study centre was named ‘Landgoed de Horst’, which is a colloquial Dutch word for a beacon – an orientation point for seafarers. de Baak Seaside was officially opened on 17 June 1959.

Growing stronger

CSWV merges with the Verbond van Nederlandse Werkgevers (VNW – Dutch Employers Confederation) to form the Confederation of Netherlands Industry (VNO) in 1967. Landgoed de Horst becomes a foundation independent of the VNO in 1971. This gives it much greater freedom to determine its own policy. Landgoed de Horst goes from strength to strength as a foundation. The focus shifts from initially being on professional knowledge to the personal growth of business leaders. By the time it marks its 25th anniversary in 1975, Landgoed de Horst has developed into a mature management study centre offering programmes on social policy, personnel policy, financing, marketing, logistics and leadership.

Landgoed de Horst becomes the Netherlands’ premier meeting place where participants from a diverse range of companies and organisations can meet and exchange ideas. This leads to dialogue between business leaders and members of parliament and between company directors and trade union directors. Landgoed de Horst also spread its wings internationally and attracts participants from throughout Europe.

The history of Landgoed de Horst lives on in the present. Meeting, learning and connecting continue to form the heart of our mission.

Landgoed De Horst

De Baak opened a second location in late April 2001 at Landgoed de Horst in Driebergen, the Netherlands. Located just 40 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Landgoed de Horst nestles in the green heart of the Netherlands surrounded by beautiful woodland. The serene surroundings create a unique oasis for personal growth and development. It’s a place where people can both retreat and interact. It serves as a hotbed for development by providing space for both personal contemplation and an active exchange of ideas resulting in development. This is where managers, professionals and business leaders meet and learn from each other.