Freedom Responsibility
Dialogue and Financing
consumer governance in the 21st century
about us

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About us

Mission Statement

Consumer360Academy is a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences between consumers of the 21st century. A forum for active consumers and innovative initiatives. (Official registration in the Netherlands as Free Consumers Association/Vrije Consumenten Vereniging KvK 08099859 SBI 63.12)

Consumers who feel responsibility for their purchases, for the environment and for their relations with producers. Especially a platform for latest developments and new initiatives for sustainable products and services, fair trade and mutual respect in a globalising world, for ‘consumer governance’ in general!

In the world economy there are producers and consumers, and traders and banks to connect those two. As a consumer we have 12 necessaties of life so we have to do with twelve groups of producers / traders / consumer associations (see below).

And in our choices we decide about 7 aspects: quality (the most important), quantity, price, guarantees, form of payment, form of delivery and way of consuming.

Every day we make decisions to which ‘producer’ our euro yen or dollar starts its new ‘round’. And when we ask the right questions, producers can give the right answers. So we ourselves as consumers have to work from an economy of supply and demand to an economy of question and answer!


The human being has become a real manager! On our way into the 21st century, we see a mature attitude beyond independent thinking and judging now also increasingly willing to help and take part in “the future we want” in a globalizing world. A stronger interest in the world and with social media leading to better choices for better products and services to buy or to help by voluntary assisting or by financing.

From the observations and experiences working in different banks and after the start of the Triodos Bank the idea was born to investigate and to help with the development of new consumer groups but especially to investigate what the consumer needs for his or her own development as a player on the world stage.

Membership is free. Therefore we started counting from the basis of consumers to be a member, unless he/she is not happy with that and wants to be deleted from the list (opt-out). But until today nobody has done so!

PROJECT / Business Case

In 1980 November 11 our first plan was written for a consultancy for consumers and starting consumerorganizations followed by seven years of research. In 1986 the Meander Foundation was established and in 2001 July 14 the Free Consumer Association as a platform for exchanging views and experiences. In 2009 in the context of the global trend of consumer education Consumer360Academy started with seminars and workshops and research for further development of consumer insights in consumer governance.

After the Rio+20 conference global society now seems to get from thinking to acting. Consumer education already prepared by many organizations will be used worldwide in schools in the fixed curriculum.

NB: Consumer360Academy would particularly like to help the next stage of lifelong learning in trial-and-error of innovative initiatives in the world of consumers, consumerorganizations, (world)trade and business, cultural organizations, politics and NGOs.

NB: Because of this trend towards practical developments it now also means for our initiative a new way of working. From an investigative to a networking lobby / catalyst style of working now also much more focused on thinking and helping with new initiatives or developing initiatives.

PRODUCT / Product Innovation

The design of our project in all its manifestations was always focused to the individual consumer demand and only a single question, namely a sound management informationsystem. And as every manager works from the big picture and all the others go in the details, so too the consumer needs the big picture as a basis for all life situations and choices to asses properly.

So in the scheme of financial agenda book or website, but also every seminar workshop or exhibition we are always trying portraying the big picture and the consistency of all parts. So never a multitude of information, but themes and key ideas. So that the best possible insights, judgments and decisions can be developed.

NB: For the website, this means explicitly minimal size but complete. And as soon as possible referring/linking to other sites specialised on the area in detail.

PROMOTION / Social Media

To “catapult” a new initiative in the world we usually use brochures, word-of-mouth advertising and free publicity. An existing organization is much more based on networking, and we did so since 2004 mainly through writing reactions in the press, relaying important information to specialized consumerorganizations or others. In addition we developed a nose for (indirect) lobbying and therefore work much better as a catalyst to support other people and their activities.

Today’s world is already upside down into bottom-up where people can indicate what their needs are. Already six billion mobile phones indicate that everyone is now active in looking around and is able to know what’s available and what is happening in the world. For companies and consumerorganizations as well it means that now that selling is changing into listening, and promotion into helpdesks.

NB: For the website as a working platform it means enough promotion side (search engines, home page, tags, links, reviews, networking, etc), but especially an active (educational text and inspiring video lectures) and interactive (forum and webinar) methods to allow the questioners at the level of a help desk like sitting (as IBM does) next to the customer at his/her worktable. Due to the worldwide audience, our website is the basis for all substantive information and information-exchange in the first encounters.

PRICE / Financial Reporting

The price of the project covers all costs of purchase, maintenance, personnel and promotion. And because of the nature of independence it can only be financed with unconditional grants. This has never been a problem by working with volunteers, using existing infrastructures and subscriptions for all information, and participate in many networks and (international) conferences.

Especially the view that the message is more important than the organization itself made sure we were heard everywhere, but as consumer organization we could maintain the size of a small foundation. So as a little CATALYST we could help generate new ideas and help larger organizations to become bigger and more important.

To add a picture of our organization in financial terms: about 50 euros per month can be calculated for internet costs, ditto for literature and ditto for travel expenses. Occasionally a larger post because of a conference, a new website or a new secondhand laptop. In total something between 2000 to 3000 euros per year in donations.

NB: For 2012 and beyond, the same financial pattern is expected because indirect lobbying and networking remain the core business. The only additional cost this year relates to a technical upgrade of the website and the publication of our basic book and financial manager in an English translation as e-book and/or e-course.

PLACE / ConsumersInternational

Because all people are consumers, the world of seven billion (everybody is a member, free of charge!) is the market for our activities. In practice however we have mainly to do with the consumerorganizations and especially the general national consumerassociations represented jointly by Consumers International.

Because we are not promoting ideas or fighting for consumer-rights according to our statutes, we are particularly active as a moderator and a platform for exchanging views and experiences. And because that information and “best practices” are especially important for the next generation, we focus in particular on consumer education worldwide.

Therefore we focus our attention next to the ongoing lobbying especially thinking together with organizations that specialize in consumer education. As PERL, IFHE and Consumers International.

Ing Peter Daub
Update: 20120816/20220416
(only some small corrections)