Making societal impact

Radboud University strives for its students to develop into critically-minded scholars capable of taking on responsible positions to make a positive contribution to society. But how do students experience this ambition? Youngworks is mapping this out on behalf of the university with the FutureMakers model.

What characterises the current generation of Radboud University students? What do they consider to be important? What do they want to mean to society, both now and in their professional futures? And how can Radboud University support them in this? 

Het ToekomstMakersmodel: 5 typen toekomstmakers en hun ontwikkelbehoeften

FutureMakers model

The FutureMakers model was formulated on the basis of Youngworks’ findings. The model offers many starting points to fuel and facilitate students' impact motivation. In doing so, the model demonstrates the importance of approaching students not as one homogeneous target group, but from a nuanced perspective. After all, the five types of FutureMakers differ greatly in what motivates them to achieve impact and what barriers they experience in doing so.


From Wilful Proponents to Mindful Observers

The FutureMakers model is a segmentation model, in which five types of students are distinguished:

  1. Wilful Proponents (12%) 
  2. Idealistic Hedonists (13%)
  3. Hesitant Do-Gooders (35%)
  4. Mindful Observers (20%)
  5. Self-oriented Optimists (20%)

Key findings:

  • 1,663 students completed the survey in full.
  • Students are generally motivated to contribute to society as professionals in the future. 86% think this is important. 72% of students wish to contribute to society even now, in their role as students.
  • 26% of respondents attach particular importance to ecological challenges. 
  • Almost half of students (48%) are active in an association and/or student council.
  • 58% acknowledge Radboud University’s ambition to train its students to become professionals who can sustainably contribute to society.
  • 42% of students would like more job shadowing opportunities in companies/organisations that are making a positive societal contribution.

What can we do with this model?

The research report offers suggestions on how professionals can connect to the motivations and needs of the five different types of students. We can use these insights within the various areas of our organisation, including in teaching, research, the Career Centre, business operations and student information provision.

We are happy to share the insights gained not only with our own staff, but also with other education and sustainability professionals. The report and accompanying white paper can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Download the research findings (in Dutch)

Onderzoeksrapport ToekomstMakers-Model

Lees hier het uitgebreide onderzoek van Youngworks naar de impactmotivatie van studenten op de Radboud Universiteit. Overkoepelende inzichten worden gedeeld, vijf segmenten makers worden onderscheiden en je krijgt uitleg hoe concreet aan de slag te gaan met dit model.

Whitepaper ToekomstMakers-Model.pdf

De belangrijkste onderzoeksresultaten van het ToekomstMakers-Model samengevat. Ook wordt de aanpak van het onderzoek en de toepassing van het model kort uitgelegd.


Do you, as a student or employee, want to get actively involved in sustainability on campus? Radboud Green Office is your designated partner. 

Radboud Green Office

Would you like to know more about sustainability at Radboud University?

Read more

Join the conversation on making impact in the webinar

At the end of October, we will organise a webinar together with Youngworks, in which Marije Klomp (Programme Director of Sustainability), among others, will explain more about the FutureMakers model. Interested? Then check this webpage periodically for more information.


If you have any questions or comments about this Youngworks study, please contact Marije Klomp (Programme Director of Sustainability) or Kelly Janssen (Radboud University spokesperson).

Radboud Impact Festival 2024