Welcome to Simone: Our New 2019 Summer Intern

With a strong interest in conflict resolution and peace-building, Simone Hanrath (BA Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology 2015-2018; MA Cultural Diplomacy 2019-2020) is a driven intern at the Crowd Versus. Having organised various intercultural activities, and participated within the Shelter City project as a personal assistant to displaced Human Rights defenders, Human- and Land Rights have become Simone’s primary focus. Supporting cases of displacement,  suppressed individual liberty and environmental injustice, Simone has been organising dinners, conferences and concerts.

Her outspoken aim is to strengthen intercultural ties in order to invite various groups to leave their comfort zones and meet one another in visions and views that stretch beyond personal points of reference.

At the Crowd Versus Simone is involved with the setting up of gatherings and joint initiatives between individual actors and institutions. She will help to organise the annual meeting of the Board of Advisors fall of 2019, work in connection with the University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, and initiate other connecting activities and activation strategies under Asceline Groot and Jone van Rees.

Simone’s strengths rely on her hands-on mentality in acknowledging potential, her bi-lingual and bi-cultural (Czech-Dutch) background, and her process-oriented approach where the realisation of projects is concerned.  Rather than focusing on being on the other side of the canal, Simone aims at finding ways to learn how to swim or to build bridges. She takes the time to involve all members of an initiative into a process of decision-making and acknowledges the necessity to reach, and continuously re-confirm, consensus in order to be productive. She is greatly in favour of the horizontal set-up of The Crowd Versus:

“I feel like The Crowd Versus is a unique initiative, in the sense that it constitutes a community as much as a philanthropic platform. It amplifies the involvement of people. By being transparent, informative, and open to alternative ways of support, such as blogging, it gets rid of the New Year’s gift giving image, where you give money to pacify your conscience and then lose sight of the cause and gift altogether. The Crowd Versus opens up a space which allows me to get  connected and see that change doesn’t have to be a far-away thing.”

Simone is not afraid to become involved within new initiatives and be part of a movement which stands in for international human rights. She finds the team of The Crowd Versus to be harbouring a  sincere and cordial approach towards reaching its goals.

Meet our team: Jone van Rees, one of the driving forces behind the platform

Posted on January 18, 2019

Who works and volunteers their time behind the scenes at The Crowd Versus? All different kinds of people do. 

We have held jobs in the business and legal industries. We apply that knowledge to help create this online platform to support important cases worldwide achieve justice.

Sometimes that justice has been years due, sometimes more than twenty.

Belief in Justice for All

Jone van Rees enjoys an extensive background as a legal assistant, spanning over 14 years in various areas of jurisprudence. Her degree from Georgia State University in English rhetoric and ability to speak several languages is another one of her strengths. In 2015 she started her own business in copy edit and works as a coach with aspiring authors.

She is a creative individual who likes to play with words and images in languages.

“The judicial system can effect important changes in society, in a peaceful manner, to reflect the values and norms that ensure justice for all.”

According to Jone: “The belief in justice being achieved via the legal system represents part of my personal motivation to work and volunteer in human environmental justice. I love the law and all what it entails, how it touches all aspects of our lives. The best part of being in this position is that I also get to meet and help change the world with amazing people, like Kirsten Youens, Pablo Fajardo Mendoza, Susan Smitten, René Sanchéz Galindo, and other incredible activists and community leaders.

These are all outstanding attorneys and dedicated people who work long hours for little or no pay. And now I help run the backend of The Crowd Versus’s website to make this world a better place for those who come after us, the new generations.”


  • Coordinate campaigns for The Crowd Versus, social media channels in different languages, website back-end
  • Editor and coach for authors, founder of scriptumbene.com
  • Volunteer Greenpeace PNW social media
  • International Board member of scivias-institut.de
  • Guide and administrative work at the Nederlands Tegelmuseum
  • Legal assistant for various law firms in corporate, defense and plaintiff litigation in Atlanta, GA
  • Secretary for business firms, also on a multi-national level

Meet Our Team: Jan van de Venis, President of the Executive Board

Posted on December 11, 2018

Jan van de Venis

Every day, the team of The Crowd Versus works on creating awareness for human environmental rights all over the world. We have different roles, backgrounds, and day jobs. We share a clear mission: to hold irresponsible companies accountable for their actions on the legal playing field.

Today we would like you to meet Jan van de Venis, President of our Executive Board.

Human Rights Lawyer

Jan van de Venis is a human rights lawyer and founder of law firm JustLaw. He specializes in human rights and environmental and sustainable development issues. He focuses on Human Rights Consultancy, Training of legal professionals, Expert contributions to law suits and the Rights of Future Generations.

In all his activities, Jan tries to make law work for a more just, sustainable, inclusive and peaceful world and a healthy planet for present and future generations. A perfect match with The Crowd Versus.

Board member, Public speaker, and networker

Jan works for governments and institutions, politicians, NGOs (for example, Greenpeace and Amnesty International), UN bodies, businesses, academic institutions, and agencies (for example, OHCHR and UNESCO). Next to his work as a solicitor, he has many board memberships. Additionally, Jan is a public speaker, publisher, and joins a wide variety of expert groups, initiatives, networks, and outreach programs.

His personal motto is: “We may not always be able to control things that cross our paths, but we are in control of the way we respond.”

We give you a selection of his accomplishments.

Meet Our Team: Co-Founder and Platform Lead Marco Witschge

Meet Our Team:

Co-Founder and Platform Lead Marco Witschge

Everyday, the team of The Crowd Versus works on improving social justice all over the world.
We have different roles, backgrounds, and day jobs. We share a clear mission: to hold irresponsible companies accountable for their actions on the legal playing field.

Today we would like you to meet Marco Witschge.

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder

Marco Witschge is an entrepreneur, a policy maker and negotiator, a team builder, and a specialist in multi-stakeholder processes.

As the co-founder of The Crowd Versus Foundation, Marco started a crowdfunding platform to defend human and environmental rights in court.

 I strongly believe in win-win collaboration to create a better and more sustainable world, but unfortunately sometimes our fundamental rights need legal defense against irresponsible multinationals or governments.

We started The Crowd Versus to support the many brave ‘David’ activists out there in their legal battle against these powerful ‘Goliaths’.



  • Launched the company Fit Our Future, to accelerate energy efficiency in SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises; representing 99% of the European business sector) and the nonprofit sector.



  • Founded Stichting ‘Nederland Krijgt Nieuwe Energie’, The Netherlands Receives New Energy Foundation;
  • Initiated a 40+ multi-stakeholder process, which led to the Dutch Energy Transition Agreement;
  • Specialized in constructive dialogues between different participants and stakeholders;
  • Developed a crowd-sourcing tool, which makes bottom-up interactions and idea-sharing possible;
  • United committees in sustainability consisting of seven political parties in a Dutch Energy Transition strategy.

The team of The Crowd Versus is proud to work with Marco.