Founder of OceanLove- Ilco van der Linde

Here together with World famous scientist, activist and author Jane Goodall
In 2015, Lemniscaat published Ilco’s first book ‘Be a Nelson’, which tells about the magic behind the social movements he has founded and brings inspiring stories from 25 other change-makers. In 2017, at the request of the Dutch King, the late mayor of Amsterdam (Mr. Eberhard van der Laan) appointed him an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon presented him with an honorable award for his peace work in 2013. The American Rockefeller Foundation added Ilco to its “Top 100 of Next Centuries Innovators” in 2014.
In the heart of Amsterdam, Ilco runs the Mandela House (‘Mandelahuisje’) with his girlfriend Farah van Bommel. Here he supports many NGOs, activists and social entrepreneurs. Furthermore, Ilco is the proud father of three socially engaged daughters: Dunya (18), Chaia (23) and Bloem (24).



As a child, he watched the films of the French Jacques Cousteau every Wednesday afternoon, who traveled the world to dive and to talk about the beauty and fragility of the sea. In his twenties, he first discovered the beauty of the underwater world for himself and slowly he became an experienced and passionate, PADI-certified deep-sea diver. His love for the ocean was only occasionally translated into small first acts, such as donations to Greenpeace and Sea Shephard or short-term volunteer work for some conservation projects for whale sharks and turtles. His passion for protecting the Earth brought him into contact with world-renowned activists such as Al Gore and Jane Goodall. With OceanLove all of Ilco’s passions come together: activism, diving, positive campaigning, writing, inspiring.

Ilco feels connected to every word with which the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda once declared his love for the sea:

The sea, the ocean, the beach are a part of my soul. Some of my happiest memories are tied to the sea. I’ve sat on the sand and pondered life. I walked along the shore and felt peace. I gazed out into the horizon and felt melancholy. I’ve played in the water and experienced utter joy. I’ve marveled at the expanse and power of the ocean and I’ve revealed in the beauty of the sea.” – Pablo Neruda