Institute Director

About Metabolic

At Metabolic, we recognise the need for a new economic model: one that ensures the wellbeing of all people and allows organizations to thrive without transgressing the safe boundaries of the Earth’s natural systems. Metabolic’s mission is to transition the global economy to a fundamentally sustainable state. We envision a world where human societies and Ecosystems flourish, and where our economic activities do not transgress any of the planetary boundaries.

We work with a growing network of partners to equip organizations all over the world with tools and insights to catalyze our mission and make an impact. We conduct leading research, develop future-facing strategies, and build scalable solutions to critical problems.  Read our Impact Report for 2021 here.

Our company culture is our core strength. We strive for excellence, empathy, and collaboration in everything we do. We value your personal and professional goals, and aspire to create an environment where they are achieved through both learning and doing. 

Metabolic Ecosystem

Metabolic is a connected group of organizations designed to address systemic challenges at scale, that we refer to as the Metabolic Ecosystem. The core of the Ecosystem is made up of five entities working together in a symbiotic way. Each exists to address what we believe are the critical leverage points for systems change. They are: Consultancy, Institute, Software, Foundation and Ventures. Each embodies its own unique purpose that contributes to our overarching mission of transitioning the global economy to a fundamentally sustainable state.

At the center of the Ecosystem lies the Metabolic Holding, which houses vital functions such as Marcomms, Design, People and Operations, and Finance. Each of these teams operate across the Ecosystem, providing support for all of our Metabolic entities.

About the Institute

The Metabolic Institute is a non-profit think tank, working at the intersection of academic research and real-world experimentation. The think tank advances open-source knowledge on global sustainability issues, by prototyping how society can thrive while remaining safely within the bounds of the planet.

The Institute works in an applied and experimental way: testing assumptions, advancing academic models through real-world application, and creating new technologies in living labs with the communities they serve. We do this by working with and shaping consortia around critical research questions, working across wider sectors of industry and society to address critical knowledge gaps on global sustainability issues.

Our aim is to push the boundaries of how society understands sustainability. The current ‘zero-waste’ vision of a circular economy will not generate the type of thinking and doing which is needed if we are to address the exponential nature of our time. By providing open datasets and software tools, we hope to support policy, society and technology to work together in a fundamentally restorative way.

About the Position

We’re looking for a dynamic Director to lead Metabolic Institute -the non-profit, research entity of Metabolic. As an impact-driven organization, the role is twofold: on the one hand, strategically shepherding Metabolic’s research program along an impact-driven theory of change, and on the other, fostering strategic partnerships with research partners and funders.

In a diverse and fast-growing organization, you will play pivotal internal and external facing roles. You will be the public face of the Institute and champion its strategy, program, and partnerships through speaking and networking engagements worldwide. You will also be responsible for internally aligning the Institute’s work with the broader Metabolic ecosystem -ensuring alignment on mission and approach and effectively fostering knowledge sharing between the various entities. Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, methodological rigor, and fundraising expertise are essential.

You will be responsible for leading the Institute team. You and your team will work across a range of disciplines, including: circular cities and regions, industrial ecology, sustainable value chains (e.g. built environment, textiles, agrifood, energy, plastics), environmental monitoring and evaluation, circular entrepreneurship, and impact finance. For further insight into the Institute’s portfolio of projects, please refer to CENTRINNO, REFLOW, the Global Metabolism Initiative, DLT4EU, Circular Finance, and FOODE.

Internally, you will form a crucial linking pin between the Institute and other departments such as the consultancy, software, business development, finance, and operations, and steward efforts to build effective alignment on internal management processes, strategic direction, and knowledge transfer across all teams. The Institute team will look to you for mentorship and leadership in the form of vision and strategy setting, methodological approach, and personal development.

You will serve as a public champion for the Institute, networking to form key partnerships that accelerate our impact. You will guide your team and mobilize capacity within the broader Metabolic staff to create large-scale, holistic research programs with high relevance and reach. As the ecosystem’s international footprint grows, you will develop a strategy and staff appropriate to new market contexts.


  • 5-10 years of experience in environmental / sustainability research
  • 5+ years of experience in leading a thriving multidisciplinary team 
  • Masters Degree or PhD in disciplines relating to sustainability 
  • Experience with fundraising
  • Excellent public speaking and writing skills
  • Experience shaping large-scale, consortium based research programs 
  • Exemplary interpersonal skills
  • Entrepreneurial spirit – enthusiasm and willingness to experiment with new ideas in a scale-up environment
  • Natural networking ability and affinity for building meaningful partnerships for impact
  • Passion for sustainability and systems change 
  • For non-EU/EEA applicants: The role is dependent upon obtaining a visa to live and work in the Netherlands. Metabolic is a recognised visa sponsor and may support the successful candidate’s application for a work visa.

This position will be based at our vibrant office in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Our Offer

We are an international and dynamic team of around 100 individuals who share a passion for catalyzing a sustainable future. Be part of a dynamic, ambitious and international team that is passionate about sustainability, technology and impact. Collaborate and work alongside world-class experts in the fields of sustainability and circularity throughout the Metabolic Ecosystem.

This opportunity will place you in an environment that values people with their own ideas and initiatives. We believe in flat hierarchies, shared decision-making and impact over profit. You will be able to participate in an evolving decentralized governance system and be part of a close-knit community of people with shared interests and a strong company culture. We promise:

  • A social, supportive and vibrant work environment and location with connection and purpose
  • Autonomy & freedom for decision-making within your role, ensuring your voice within Metabolic
  • Flexible and balanced approach to our working environment. 
  • Room for career development and personal growth.

We are based in Amsterdam, but operate a hybrid working model, giving you the freedom to work both at home and at our vibrant office.

How to apply:

Please submit your CV and letter of motivation in English (in PDF format) via the Apply button below. Applicants should apply by 23.59 on Sunday, October 9th, 2022. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through [email protected].