About KL

Kennisland researches and designs social progress.

The Netherlands is prospering in many respects, at least on paper. But who benefits from this? Where do old ideas, systems and types of organisation clash with new values, needs and opportunities? Our education system is excellent, but it is under pressure. Are we really teaching the right things? Our population is ageing and is becoming increasingly diverse, but can our care system keep up? Our cities are booming, but how do we tackle rising inequality? Which knowledge is needed to give leadership to innovation?

We are critical, but also optimistic, and we see much untapped potential in society. KL is always searching for what is going on under the surface, for ideas for how things can be done differently, how they can be done better. We design new concepts, strategies, learning programmes and methods that help society to progress – and not just on paper, but most of all in practice.

We shake up existing systems. Our most important goal: to make society better. Based on an ever-growing reserve of knowledge, insights and experience, we create space to experiment and to learn from this. We uncover the underlying questions, and seek out different, more useful knowledge. Our research is action-based: we learn through practice, and apply what we learn to achieve real-world progress. And we share the results, because we believe the whole of society should benefit from such solutions. We do this openly and transparently, and bring people together to create learning communities, where knowledge is developed and shared.

No hidden agenda.

However different the strategists, researchers, designers, lobbyists, technologists and activists who work at KL are, they share a large dose of critical optimism and strongly-held values. We strive for a world in which social systems support people, rather than holding them back, in which everyone can benefit, rather than just the happy few. We work to achieve a world that is inclusive and sustainable in all respects.


Taking the road less travelled.

We believe that those who claim there is just one tried-and-tested method of tackling complex social issues are part of the problem. After almost twenty years of working on innovation, we know that new and better ways are to be found beyond the mainstream, by breaking free of old patterns. So don’t come to us for a ready-to-use methodology or instrument. But what can we supply instead? An original approach that generates solutions.

KL is a stichting (a foundation under Dutch law), and does not receive any structural subsidies. We also regularly invest in our own initiatives. This means we can continue to operate independently.

See also this selection of our partners, clients, financiers and spin-offs.


Kennisland was founded in 1998 by Frans Nauta in collaboration with, among others, Joeri van den Steenhoven. Kennisland put the Netherlands on the map as a knowledge economy. Under the leadership of Chris Sigaloff and Paul Keller, KL later developed into a front runner in the fields of social innovation, education, copyright and digital heritage. Over the years, our focus has changed: we no longer work only on social progress in Dutch society, but also in Europe and even Asia. Read more about Kennisland’s history



Why KL

We can help you locate and support innovators. We are committed to the development and dissemination of knowledge. Commissioned and on our own initiative. Kennisland:

  • designs experiments and approaches, and continuously tests and develops these.
  • combines lessons from practice with scientific knowledge and our own insights.
  • forges unconventional partnerships and builds new movements and learning communities.
  • works top-down and bottom-up, with people who are involved with a problem from many different contexts.
  • pays particular attention to perspectives that are not always heard.
  • supplies ammunition to innovators, changemakers and dreamers.
Check our cases

It's the people who get things done.

At KL political scientists, sociologists, social geographers, anthropologists, philosophers, communications specialists and generalists work together on social progress. Get to know our team. Nora van der Linden and Kimon Moerbeek form the board of Kennisland.

Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board supervises the organisation and advises the Board of Directors. It meets three times per year. Click here for an overview of additional posts held by members of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board. The current members of the Supervisory Board are:

  • Marc Vermeulen
    Marc Vermeulen
    Professor of strategy for non-profit organisations at the TIAS School for Business & Society | Tilburg University

    Previously, he was director of IVA Policy Research and professor/director of the Ruud de Moor Center at the Open University. He combines his (applied) scientific work with supervisory and advisory work in the public and non-profit sector. He is chairman of the Supervisory Board. Photo: Giorgos Gripeos (CC BY)

  • Gijsbert van Herk
    Gijsbert van Herk
    Chairman of the Executive Board of Humanitas Rotterdam

    Humanitas is committed to nursing care, social assistance and welfare. Gijsbert was already active in the public sector in the social domain and involved in urban development. Amongst others, he was Director of Development and later municipal secretary in Breda. He was also on the main board of DIVOSA, trade association for Work, Income and Care. Photo: Studio DiaDame (CC BY)
  • Valerie Frissen
    Valerie Frissen
    Director SIDN Fund and Professor Digital Technologies and Social Change at Leiden University / eLaw- Center for Law and Digital Technologies

    She works nationally and internationally at the interface between media, technology, innovation and creativity. Image: All rights reserved

  • Tofik Dibi
    Tofik Dibi

    After six years of working for GroenLinks in the Dutch House of Representatives, he is now an activist writer. Among other things, of the autobiographical book Djinn and the play Milk & Dates. Besides that he is board advisor in the Amsterdam 'Nieuw-West' district. Photo: Lisa Zilver (All rights reserved)
  • Liesbeth Bijvoet
    Liesbeth Bijvoet
    Managing director of the Jewish Historical Museum

    She is also responsible for the Portuguese Synagogue and the Hollandsche Schouwburg. She made ​​the transition from the sustainability sector to the cultural sector and has experience in both the profit and non-profit sector. Liesbeth was previously manager of operations at Premsela. Image: Giorgos Gripeos (CC BY)

Contact and practical information

Bank account
Apollolaan 153, 1077 AS Amsterdam
IBAN: NL62 RABO 0168 7809 76

Chamber of commerce: 33304517
VAT: NL8079.61.395.B.01


Deze tekst heeft een Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-licentie (CC BY) en is gekopieerd van de Kennisland-website. Ga voor de volledige versie met afbeeldingen, streamers en noten naar https://www.kl.nl/en/about-kl/

This text has a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) and has been copied from the Kennisland website. For a full version with images, streamers and notes go to https://www.kl.nl/en/about-kl/