ADS Insight through the years

The early years
2001 to 2004
ADS Insight was founded in 2001. The early years were typical for a start-up: we were driven by our ideas and had a youthful spirit. We found a strong niche in maritime policy and in the transport sector in general, and were prepared and ready for the new environmental standards. We had energy and we loved our job. And this showed. Logistics, administrative processes and personnel management proved to be major challenges, but with patience, agility and versatility, we embraced the steep learning curve and found solutions.
The growth years
2005 to 2010
With a strong foundation laid, the company grew both in breadth and depth. Our core activities were expanded into new policy areas including circular economy and health, and plans to establish branch offices in Germany, Sweden and Poland were put in place. We started looking for what makes us unique. In our growth years, we focused on both the work and the team. In this way, our company became a friendly place to be and work, and we developed a unique company culture based on excellence AND friendliness. Sharing the same values became extremely important when compiling our client portfolio.
The good-to-great years
2011 to 2015
Inspired by the book by Jim Collins entitled “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Jump”, founder Aida Bakri understood that ADS Insight had the ability and potential to be a “Great” company. At 10, this leap was manifesting itself visibly through recognition from policymakers and consistent acknowledgement from clients. The question arose: what could we do with this greatness? With this realisation, a new approach to business began to take shape. We took time to invest in pro-bono work, volunteering and delivering impact to society and the planet.
The empowerment years
2016 to 2019
We confidently accepted assignments to support non-profit organisations, such as the Sea Alarm Foundation, Syriana (a football club for refugees in Belgium), Adopt A Midwife (a training programme for midwives in Ethiopia) and the Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica, to cite just a few. We also supported the establishment of the LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub, supporting women in agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa and Small Island Developing States. Driven by the UN SDGs, ADS insight decided to step up and play a role in achieving the goals by 2030 and giving back to society.
In 2019, founder Aida Bakri gave a TEDx talk on Empowering Women and Youth to Embrace Social Entrepreneurship . The same year, Aida was selected by the women empowerment organisation, the Vital Voices Global Partnership to join the organisation as a mentee under the Global Ambassadors Programme. Today she is also a judge and trainer on SDG Storytelling and Communications for the Vital Voices WE Empower Programme.
The pivot years
2020 to 2022

Although 2020 was to be a bright and prosperous year, many opportunities fell away due to the COVID pandemic. We had just moved into our new offices in the heart of the EU Quarter and yet we were confined and house-bound until the pandemic receded.

Despite our challenges and great fears, our big pivot came in December 2020 when we were invited to host the Secretariat of an independent scientific group, the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza and other acute respiratory viruses. Given we had already built an expertise in EU health policy, we were well-placed. And this new assignment brought with it a range of new services that we could add to our portfolio. So, in addition to our EU public affairs activities, we expanded our services to communicating science and reinforcing the science-policy interface, particularly in the field of pandemic preparedness and response. We added on the ability to organise large-scale scientific conferences, webinars, podcasts and more. Sustainability became the red thread through all our activities.

The impact years
2023 to date

In 2022, ADS Insight reached a new height by officially becoming a B Corporation. Having successfully passed the B Corp certification and becoming a B Corp means that we have committed to putting purpose over profit, and we have committed to using business as force for good. With this certification we are striving to bring impact into everything we do and to document our progress. We aim to inspire other businesses and make improvements year on year in the B Corp model of continuous improvement.

Our main message: if we can do it, you can do it, too!

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