Nick Ottens


Nick Ottens is a journalist, former political risk consultant and former research manager for XPRIZE, where he designed prize competitions to incentivize breakthrough innovation in agriculture, food and health care. He has reported from Amsterdam, Barcelona and New York for various Dutch- and English-language media, including the Atlantic Council, EUobserver, NRC, Trouw and World Politics Review.

Nick writes about the politics of France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States in his newsletter, Atlantic Sentinel, and Wynia’s Week. In his spare time, he edits the online magazines Never Was and Forgotten Trek.

He is a member of the board of Liberal Green, the sustainability network of the Dutch liberal party VVD.

Download CV


Board Member

Liberal Green

May 2023 – Present

Organize and moderate events and meetings with party members and politicians. Research innovations in agriculture and food. Write policy papers and op-eds.


Wynia’s Week

Jul 2021 – Present

Research and write stories about Dutch energy, housing, labor and migration policy as well as the politics of Spain and the United States.


Atlantic Sentinel

Nov 2009 – Present

Blog about American, Dutch, French and Spanish politics.

Research Manager (Health)


Mar 2021 – Jan 2022

Coordinate and facilitate the research program management life cycle: from inception to implementation, reporting and presenting of findings.

Conduct desk research and interviews. Plan and lead interactive workshops with external experts. Regularly update the CEO and Board of Directors.

Develop, write and pitch designs for four $30M to $65M moonshot prize competitions in home care, medical imaging and mental health, including prize objectives, budgets, timelines, and testing and judging criteria.

Project Manager


Jun 2018 – Jan 2022

Lead expert consultations for XPRIZE’s future studies into housing, food, forests and human longevity.

Develop methodologies to crowdsource external expert opinion on the design of XPRIZE’s incentive prize competitions, including a $15M prize for meat alternatives and a $5M prize for rapid reskilling.

Coordinate with research staff to assess expert needs and implement outreach.

Train and supervise two expert community managers.

Political Risk Analyst (Europe)


Oct 2017 – May 2018

Daily political risk assessments for France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Project Manager

School of International Futures

Apr – Sep 2017

Manage an online interactive research project about political trends in South America.

Project Manager


Jan 2014 – Feb 2017

Develop unique research methodologies to crowdsource policy and scenario planning, trend analysis and interactive wargames. Plan and manage budgets, team composition, art direction, timelines and deliverables.

Manage supervisors and editors. Monitor multiplayer online simulations involving dozens of expert participants.

Conduct analysis and write blogs and reports about Brexit, Catalonia’s independence movement, immigration, Russia’s military intervention in Syria and the War in Donbas.

Revise and finalize 39 project deliverables for private- and public-sector clients including Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, NATO and USAFRICOM.

Contributing Analyst


Apr 2011 – Jan 2014

Foreign Desk Intern

EW Magazine

Mar – Jun 2012


MPhil History of European Expansion and Globalization

Leiden University

2009 – 2011

BA History

Leiden University

August 2012


Dutch journalist Nick Ottens warns that the decision of the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, to ignore the Catalan demands could lead to an escalation of the independence crisis in Catalonia. He recalls that the Republican Left, “the most moderate of the Catalan independence parties,” decided to keep Sánchez in power, but now finds “it has few results to show for it.”

Newsweek Newsweek 2022

“Italy’s Democratic Party spent more time in the campaign defending abortion, LGBT and immigration rights from the threat of the far-right,” said Nick Ottens, a European politics analyst. “That helped the right more than it helped the left. Social justice resonates with university-educated Italians in big cities like Bologna and Florence. It doesn’t convince the garbage collector in Naples or the unemployed single mother in Palermo that the left has their interests at heart.”

In light of the slogan “no farmers, no food,” how will the Dutch policy affect the supply of food in the country, in Europe and in the world? Nick Ottens believes these warnings are exaggerated: “Half of Dutch food exports, mostly meat and dairy products, go to Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Belgium. I do not expect food shortages there if Dutch exports are reduced. I would also point out that we need to import a lot of cereals, soybeans and other feed for animal husbandry. These crops are mostly from less developed parts of the world, where they could be used to feed the local population.”

“Italy is, not for the first time, in political crisis,” said Nick Ottens, chief editor of the transatlantic opinion website Atlantic Sentinel. “But this time, what happens in Rome could have a big impact on financial markets, the euro, and the longer-term future of the European Union as a whole.”

Get In Touch