The team

The Hope Barometer is a collaboration between the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation (EHERO) and the Institute for Leadership and Social Ethics (ILSE). The team behind the project consists of researchers from both organisations.

Patrick_rondPatrick Nullens (Ph.D.) is full professor of Systematic Theology, with a focus on Christian Ethics, at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (ETF), Leuven, Belgium. He is cofounder of the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics, located at ETF, and member of its steering committee, as well as senior researcher. During his career, he has been mostly involved in different leadership roles. Innovation, leadership development and spirituality are core values in his personal journey. He publishes regularly in the field of theology, ethics and leadership.


Martijn Burger is Academic Director at the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation (EHERO) and Assistant Professor of Industrial and Regional Economics in the Department of Applied Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics (cum laude) from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Most of his current research focuses on happiness economics and urban and regional economics, including geography of happiness, location decisions of multinational corporations, and institutional and social conditions for economic development. 

Steven_rond_01Steven C. van den Heuvel (Ph.D.) studied Pastoral Ministry at the Christelijke Hogeschool Ede, the Netherlands. He then went on to study theology at the ETF, receiving first his Th.M., in 2010, and then his Ph.D. in 2015, as part of a joint doctorate with the Theologische Universiteit Kampen (TUK), the Netherlands—his dissertation was entitled Bonhoeffer’s Christocentric Theology and Fundamental Issues in Environmental Ethics. He is currently Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at ETF. In addition, he is Senior Research Fellow at ILSE. His research interests are dialectic theology, environmental ethics and economic ethics.

Emma_rondEmma Pleeging is junior researcher and PhD candidate at EHERO. She obtained her bachelor degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences at Utrecht University and her masters Humanistics (cum laude) at the University of Humanistic Studies Utrecht. Her research is focused on exploring the determinants and effects of hope, and its relation to happiness. Moreover, she conducts research on the predictors and effects of happiness within municipalities and organisations.