Kennisland researches and designs social progress
The Netherlands is prospering in many respects, at least on paper. But who benefits from this? Old ideas, systems and organisation structures often clash with new values, needs and opportunities. Our education system is excellent, but under enormous pressure. Our population is ageing and is becoming increasingly diverse, but too few people are willing and able to deliver good care. Our cities are booming, but inequality is increasing. These are just a few of the complex social problems that stand in the way of an open, learning, inclusive and sustainable society. For more than twenty years, we have worked tirelessly to realise such a knowledge society – with knowledge in all its forms as a source of prosperity and well-being, through social innovation.
Sustainable social progress rooted in practice
Kennisland excels when dealing with complex situations that affect everyone. Instead of allowing ourselves to become paralysed by the complexity of social problems, we roll up our sleeves and get to work. Because we are not just a think tank – we are also a do tank. We make society smarter, more social and more creative through practical experiments with new opportunities for the future – because this is the only way of finding the best answers and questions. We apply what we learn in practice to improve that same practical environment.
Always together with those directly involved
Whatever we do, we do it together with those directly involved. We harness the knowledge and experience of people closest to the problem. These include teachers, nurses and residents, but also policymakers, politicians and scientists. Together with these stakeholders, we experiment to develop future-proof, positive change that benefits society as a whole, rather than just the happy few. Our projects create space, time and resources to step out of the daily routine and innovate. Thankfully there are many courageous people who share our concerns, dreams and ambitions. We find them in every layer of society and bring them together. Based on the principle of equality, we work together to develop interventions, strategies and methods that realise social progress.
See how our projects and custom made methods and approaches contribute to a better society.
Connecting the living world and system world
We bring the world where people actually live and the world of systems closer together. We operate in the space between policymakers, organisations and citizens. We transform “target groups” back into people. We are not afraid of shaking up or challenging traditional mindsets by asking the question: do they still work for the people who have to live with them? We seek out and create space for innovation, because better ways are often found off the beaten track. We work to create a society where social systems support people rather than holding them back, where new technologies lead to progress rather than inequality. Our goal is to bring together knowledge, experience and policy.
Sustainable innovation through increasing learning capacity
A solution that works today may be outdated tomorrow. That is why we encourage others to be enthusiastic and curious about innovation. After all, innovation imposed from the top down does not work that well – it must come from people themselves. Complex social problems demand that we are always willing to learn and be inquisitive. We challenge people to be part of the solution themselves, within their own sphere of influence. Our ambition is to anchor learning capacity in policy. We believe in an open knowledge society. That is why we share everything we learn from our projects and research, so society as a whole can benefit from our solutions and approaches.
Work with us to create a better society
KL is a stichting (a foundation under Dutch law), an independent group of academics, strategists, researchers, designers, prototypers and lobbyists. We are the driving force behind positive innovation, a fighter for the public interest. We are a reliable, empathic and dedicated partner. Our flexible, pragmatic attitude means we can rapidly transform plans into action. We are a critical but optimistic ally with infectious enthusiasm for everything that can be done better in our society. We believe in the power of collaboration and diversity. That is why we forge strong and often unexpected coalitions with other pioneers and maverick thinkers. Are you ready to work with us to create a better society?
You can view a selection of our partners, clients, funders and spin-offs here.