2017 was an eventful year for the Netherlands and the world, and also for Kennisland. After ten years at the helm, we said goodbye to our chair Chris Sigaloff. Nora van der Linden and Kimon Moerbeek took over as the new generation of leaders.
The change of management was a good moment to critically re-examine our values, goals and approaches, and to determine together how we can do even more to promote an open, inclusive and sustainable society.
We’re proud of all the successes of 2017, and the groundwork we have laid for the years to come. One great example of this is the new Team Zorg (Care Team), which will work on ambitious projects on innovation in healthcare.
Here you can read an overview of what we achieved in 2017 and our ambitions for 2018.
In 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for a new copyright directive in the Digital Single Market. Many people hoped that this proposal would provide greater clarity about when copyrighted material can and cannot be used for educational purposes. Unfortunately, this was not the case. That is why we launched the online campaign rightcopyright.eu in 2017. The aim of the campaign was to gather support for better copyright regulations for education. In three months, we collected more than 4,500 signatures from across Europe, and presented the petition to the European Parliament.
The Amsterdammers, Maak je Stad! (People of Amsterdam, Make your City!) programme, which resulted from Amsterdam being named iCapital, has made great progress in promoting bottom-up innovation in the city. Following a thorough campaign and review of the 475 (!) submissions, we began a development process with 37 initiatives. This focused on skills such as determining impact, building partnerships and communication. In 2018, together with our partners, Kennisland will continue this programme and will work towards new and more effective partnerships between government, business, knowledge institutions and city-makers under the guise of the “Amsterdam Approach”.
After four years of LinC, a vibrant network of 140 leaders in culture has emerged. Its members can find and consult each other both physically and digitally, organise masterclasses, inspire one another, make international learning and working visits, and stimulate each other’s careers. We observed a strong increase in labour mobility among participants, in a sector where such mobility is traditionally low. In four years, the number of applications for the programme has grown to 900. Unfortunately, there were only 140 places available. Finally, the participants and their managers indicated that the programme had a major impact on broadening their horizons, sharpening their visions and on helping them act as professionals and as leaders in culture.
We ran the mentoring programme for the European Social Innovation Competition for the fifth year in a row. This year, the theme was digital inequality: how can we ensure that everyone reaps the benefits of digital progress? Through matching with coaches, and an intensive academy programme in Madrid, we helped prepare thirty semi-finalists to translate their innovative ideas into real initiatives. They investigated the impact they wished to achieve, the methods they used to do so, and how you can learn quickly from small-scale experiments. The ten finalists took to the stage in Brussels in October. The three winners each received a cash prize of €50,000.
To make sure that digitised cultural heritage is used, we developed the Art Up Your Tab browser extension together with our partners Parkers, Europeana and Sara Kolster. Every time you open a new tab, a beautiful, stimulating image from one of the many digitised collections from across the world appears. The extension was installed more than 3,000 times in one year, and the images were viewed more than four million times. The plugin is now available not just for Chrome, but also for Firefox. As such, we expect the number of users to continue to grow.
In Broedplaats010 (Incubator010, the dialling code for Rotterdam), the first two groups of ambitious teachers from various educational sectors in Rotterdam came together to work on their personal leadership, to broaden their networks, and to develop innovative initiatives and solutions for pressing local educational issues. The first group worked on initiatives in the field of equal opportunities (such as the Heldenbrigade [Heroes Brigade]), getting the most out of school and local networks, and stimulating teachers to learn more from each other. The baton has now been passed on to the second group, who is also working on innovative, motivating and inclusive education. With a third group on the way, Broedplaats010’s profile as a challenging learning environment for teachers in Rotterdam is steadily growing.
What began at the end of 2016 as an experiment in having the community arts play a connecting role in the fragmented working-class neighbourhood of Kreta in the 10th district of Vienna, grew to become an indispensable place for collaboration between local residents, welfare organisations, artists and researchers in 2017. Liebes Kreta was, among other things, a breeding ground for an annual four-day Olympiad and a social alternative to gambling, which won a design award. The project will continue as a creative experimental space for collaboration in the Ankerbrotfabrik building.
At Out of Office, we discuss subjects we find important and would like to know more about. During the past year, we discussed a wide variety of topics with more than 300 people at these monthly meetings. These topics ranged from care for the elderly to exclusion in Dutch society, and from education for newcomers to copyright reform. We gained inspiration for new projects, made new connections and collected new insights from experts and end users these areas, as well as artists, musicians, policymakers, teachers and many others who took part.
In the Open Overheid in de Praktijk – Aardgasvrije Wijken (Open Government in Practice – Natural Gas-Free Neighbourhoods) programme, we worked with five municipalities to investigate how “open government” might look during a transition, such as the heating energy transition. How can we collectively wean all seven million Dutch households off natural gas by 2050? How can you do so in a democratic way, while taking account of residents’ wishes? One important conclusion was that the concept of “open government” is often interpreted rigidly, which means it is of little practical use to municipalities dealing with transitions. In addition, openness requires an understanding of how to switch between the various roles played by government – an area where there is much room for improvement.
gewonnen kan worden.
How do you promote activity, social contact and mutual trust in a neighbourhood where complaints and nuisance reports have long been a major topic of conversation? During our lab in De Aker, residents’ stories played a key role in improving contact between residents, the Nieuw-West district council and professional organisations. Plaatsmakers resulted in three new initiatives that aim to improve relationships in the area. One of these initiatives is the resident-run Ecucollectief initiative, which organises activities in De Aker on an ongoing basis. This got off to a flying start with the district’s best-attended event ever: De Aker Neighbourhood Safari.
No one becomes a teacher to fill in forms all day long. Nevertheless, bureaucracy imposes unnecessary workload and regulations on teachers. The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science asked Kennisland to begin scrapping superfluous administrative tasks at five primary schools and one secondary school, to give teachers more time for what they would much rather be doing: teaching. We saw that reducing the regulatory burden is indeed possible if teachers are given space and trust by the Education Inspectorate (Inspectie van het Onderwijs), their school leaders and school administrators. Our advice when it comes to regulations is: less is more. The programme with six schools served as the basis for the Regels Ruimen (Ripping up Rules) toolkit, and the Ruimte in regels (Relaxing the Rules) guide, which helps other schools to reduce their regulatory burden.
In 2017, we were once again approached by various international parties to share our knowledge and experience optimally. We explained Kennisland’s work and projects in a variety of contexts. For example, we organised a three-day workshop for Finnish city-makers and a workshop for the directors of Sitra, a Finnish innovation fund. We met the Swedish organisation Vinnova and the Social Entrepreneurship Forum, and also welcomed guests from Asia: Seoul Digital Foundation, Social Innovation Park from Seoul and a Korean delegation with SIX visited us to learn about collaborating with city residents.
We asked 250 mbo and hbo (Intermediate and Higher Vocational Education) students to take on the role of policymakers and to develop solutions for the often difficult transition from mbo to hbo. The students turned their own experiences into something positive: with the help of Kennisland, they devised 29 plans for a better transition. Thanks to StudentLab, more and more schools are now involving their students with organisational questions and developing policy. This approach, which gives end users a voice and takes their experiences seriously, is a great example for organisations in other sectors, such as healthcare.
To boost the capacity of pupils, teachers and schools to learn and to innovate, Kennisland experimented with the Spring High Expedition during the 2016/2017 school year. Together with Spring High, an educational initiative in the Nieuw-West district in Amsterdam for pupils from 10 to 16 years, Kennisland investigated how schools and neighbourhoods can work together to tackle local challenges. Forty pupils developed solutions to tourism-related issues for eight different commissioning parties. They concluded the project by presenting their results to a large audience in June.
A growing innovative teachers’ movement and high-impact city-makers from Finland to Korea, a vibrant network of leaders in culture, municipalities that think about the complex heating energy transition and more than 4,500 signatures for better copyright for education. In 2017, Kennisland once again worked hard to develop effective approaches to sustainable social innovation.
We also have great plans for 2018. For example, as well as the areas in which we are already working hard, we want to make cities more inclusive through democratic innovation and smarter solutions to the housing problem, among other measures. The social effects of technology will also receive a lot more attention in 2018: issues connected to privacy and the future of work are directly related to our mission. Finally, we see that many vulnerable groups often fall through the cracks, and that there is too much poverty and loneliness – and Kennisland will continue to fight these and other forms of inequality.
In recent years, technology has come to play an increasingly important role in educational processes. However, there is relatively little understanding of the social consequences of this development. In 2018, we will therefore investigate the privacy aspects of pupil tracking systems and online learning environments. While such systems now occupy an ever-more important place in education, there is little understanding of how publishers, schools and other providers handle the resulting data streams. We will investigate the practical implementation of these, together with all involved parties, in order to help schools and publishers make use of these systems in a responsible manner.
Cities are doing well. For example, employment opportunities are growing spectacularly. However, the success of cities also gives rise to undesirable effects such as gentrification, segregation and inequality. These complex urban issues require new partnerships, space for experiment and alternative ways of making policy. Which type of governance will produce a city that is successful, but also open and inclusive? And what role can governments, citizens, community initiatives and business play in this? We will work on these issues in 2018, and will investigate new ways of involving all the experience and expertise the city has to offer.
In 2018, the European Union will make important decisions that will determine the framework for copyright law for the coming decade. Together with our partners, we will continue to fight for copyright that meets the needs of the digital society. During the coming months, we will work hard to create more opportunities for heritage institutions to show their collections online, and more room for innovative education and research. We will continue to fight mandatory upload filters for online platforms that impede fundamental rights.
We will look beyond the proposals currently being considered in Brussels; this year we will search for an answer to the question of: how can copyright frameworks be designed so that they allow space for access to information and culture, while at the same time stimulating creativity?
In 2018, we want to create more space and attention for new collaborations within education, between different school types and between education and the rest of society. We are working on innovative leadership from all involved parties, including pupils, teachers, school leaders and administrators. This involves, for example, combating the island mentality, and building new learning communities that can contribute to education for an open and inclusive society. These learning communities may be temporary and experimental, or indeed the start of a more structural change. We use the term “intermediate space” for this. This intermediate space creates time and space for encounters, reflection and innovation. In the coming year, we will investigate how these intermediate spaces can take shape in and around education.
The crisis is now behind us: unemployment is falling and purchasing power is on the increase. However, not everyone benefits from this progress and prosperity, and inequality is growing in many areas in the Netherlands and globally. Kennisland strives for social innovation with everyone and for everyone. This year, we will work with young people who fall outside the system, the ongoing flow of newcomers to society and the opportunities presented by “lifelong learning” – provided that this ambition really applies to everyone. In the context of new population structures and using new approaches, how can we ensure that the gap between different groups does not widen, but in fact narrows?
We see that there is a pressing need to look differently at what constitutes good care and how we can continue to organise care well in the future, both in care homes and in the community. All too often, we still talk about instead of with those affected. This is not the way to bring care closer to people. We want to find out what happens when care really connects with the people who need it – because we believe that innovation is a lot more than making sure the basics are in order and optimising the existing system.