Robert Govers

Author, advisor, and Speaker in Antwerp, Belgium

Robert Govers

Author, advisor, and Speaker in Antwerp, Belgium

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Robert Govers is the author of IMAGINATIVE COMMUNITIES: Admired cities, regions and countries. Since 2009 Robert has co-edited and authored four books on the topic of community reputation with Palgrave Macmillan publishers. IMAGINATIVE COMMUNITIES is his first book published under his own imprint. He has also co-authored over 50 journal articles, book chapters and conference papers and has delivered numerous public speeches and business publications. In addition, he is co-editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.

Robert Govers is an independent international adviser, scholar, speaker and author on the reputation of cities, regions and countries. He is chairman of the International Place Branding Association and the managing research partner of He has also been an adjunct or visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, Beijing; the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; the University of Leuven, Belgium; Rotterdam School of Management, the Netherlands; Loughborough University London Campus; IULM University Milano, Italy; and several institutes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also teaches place branding on the UNESCO World Heritage at Work Master’s programme in Torino, Italy.

Robert typically advises in areas such as place identity, image, reputation, economic competitiveness, tourism policy and strategy, educational policy, tourism and investment promotion, and major international events. This is approached from a strategic reputation management perspective referred to as competitive identity, which is based on the premise that places build reputation through substance and symbolic actions, as opposed to marketing gimmicks.

Robert has held positions in South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has been involved in many consultancy projects and advisory boards for reputable organisations such as the International Air Transport Association, the European Commission, the Flemish government and various ministries, tourism promotion boards, and regional and city administrations.

Robert has both a doctoral (2005) and master’s degree (1995) from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands.

Upcoming events:

November 7, London, UK

Leading the City Nation Place Global Think Tank together with Simon Anholt

December 5-8, Macao SAR China

Co-organising 3rd Annual Conference of the International Place Branding Association

  • Education
    • PhD
Robert gave a phenomenal presentation at European Cities Marketing conference in Madrid... Robert's straight-shooting and no-marketing-mumbo-jumbo approach ... is both refreshing and very educational. Robert's message was very well received and top-rated by the delegates.
European Cities Marketing
Robert was our keynote speaker at the 2017 Tel Aviv Cities Summit, and delivered a wonderful presentation... Robert is able to communicate his ideas in a way that keeps everyone in the audience engaged.
Tel Aviv Cities Summit
It has been said that countries should measure their gross national imagination, a critical resource for success in the twenty-first century. Robert's important new book 'Imaginative Communities' shows why this is crucial in an age of fractured identity – and how so many places have forged initiatives that put themselves on the map but also inspire the rest of the world.
Dr Parag Khanna, Author of 'Connectography'