Class XI (2013-2014)

6. Marius Koestler

Sponsor Club: Eiksmarka Rotary Club, Norway. District 2310

Host Club: Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club, District 9600

Marius has several years of experience in the development aid sector and is one of the founders of the Norwegian NGO Fontes Foundation. He has field experience from places such as Rwanda and Uganda where he has worked as a Programme Coordinator, implementing drinking water projects and education programmes. His undergraduate business degree from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland, has in collaboration with NGO practitioners led to several publications about rethinking how aid is allocated. In particular, this is the case for the concept of “Water-Person- Years” which aims to re-think how the impact of drinking water projects should be measured. During his studies at the University of St. Gallen, he co-founded the “Challenge the Best” conference that brought together young talent from all over Europe to discuss global social challenges with international leaders and Nobel laureates.

As of late, Marius has been an advisor to the Norwegian African Business Association where he contributes on policy on the intersection between trade and aid, as well as guides Norwegian enterprises that wish to establish themselves in East-Africa. Currently he has been overseeing the investment and establishment of the Norwegian IT-consultancy Laboremus’ subsidiary in Kampala, Uganda.

When returning to Oslo, Marius will return to Laboremus’ offices in Norway in a management position. At the same time as pursuing his professional career, he will continue to proactively promote Fontes Foundation’s work, - and once in a while return to the field to work with the communities he has become closely attached to.

Marius has a strong interest in the relationship between the private and public sector when it comes to development. Given the current global economic regime, he believe great opportunities are lost on both sides as the discussion too often is about trade or aid, rather than how to make the most out of the combination of business, trade or aid. According to him, there is a lot of talk on this issue, but little well thought through action.

Marius is a strong believer of the potential that resides in all people and his personal quest, both within aid and business, is to facilitate for this potential to be unleashed.