Since 2012, Kennisland has selected the most inspiring, innovative and creative people and organisations on an annual basis: those who do things differently because they believe that things can be done better.
Dutch secret weapons
Radical innovators are people or organisations who, on their own initiative, find solutions to problems in society and then implement these with courage, vision and creativity in order to make the world a better place. They are part of a larger movement, one that searches for new solutionsRadical Innovators are part of a larger movement, one that searches for new solutions, new concepts and new types of collaboration within society., new concepts and new types of collaboration within society. This is the fabric of the knowledge-driven society, our knowledge capital in its most hopeful form.
This movement is characterised by bottom-up change, brought about by ‘unusual suspects’ and not by large institutions and companies. Technology is often used by these actors to enable new ways of sharing and collaboration. Most of these initiatives are aimed at restoring relationships or improving the quality of relationships amongst people, between people and organisations or between humankind and nature. This common denominator indicates how these relationships are in much need of improvement.
Laboratories of hope
Over the years, the selection of innovators has been diverse. It has included several platforms that facilitate connections between supply and demand in science, care and renewable energy. Furthermore, there have been people seeking to change the system from within (teachers, local government office holders, those working in youth protection) and indeed those working on innovation from the outside (artists, makers, activists). All these initiatives show an urge to innovateAll these initiatives show an urge to innovate and a disregard for inflexible systems, rigid conventions and opposition. and a disregard for inflexible systems, rigid conventions and opposition. Radical Innovators don’t wait for permission, commissions or instructions. They set out to work without any kind of structural support whatsoever. This requires guts, perseverance and defiance.
Herman Wijffels, chairman of the jury in 2013, emphasises the importance of highlighting these initiatives. He considers them to be ‘laboratories of hope’, experimental spaces for working towards the society of the future. These initiatives are not simply trying to make things faster, better or cheaper, but are searching for solutions that are truly new and that are based on fundamentally different values, principles and ways of working and organising.
In 2015, Kennisland continued its quest to track and highlight Radical Innovation in the Netherlands. We do this because it’s fun, inspiring and necessary, but also because a lot can be learned from the strengths and perseverance of Radical Innovators. For this edition we teamed up not only with weekly magazine Vrij Nederland, but also with creative agency Vandejong, who designed the branding and a new website: www.radicalevernieuwers.nl.
Another first was that we hostedProf. Vanessa Evers: “Don’t give up, we see the weight on your shoulders, we are impressed by your drive and efforts. We hope that this prize will focus attention on your work, and society and businesses will be convinced to support you.” the ‘Night of Radical Innovation’, which was programmed with workshops and exciting demonstrations of Radical Innovators. This event took place at Spring House, our new office and headquarters for Radical Innovators.
During the Night of Radical Innovation jury member Prof. Vanessa Evers emphasized that this prize is meant to support all Radical Innovators in the Netherlands:
“Don’t give up, we see the weight on your shoulders, we are impressed by your drive and efforts. We hope that this prize will focus attention on your work, and society and businesses will be convinced to support you.”
The chairwoman of the jury this year was Neelie Kroes, who, as the ambassador of ++StartupDeltaThe StartupDelta is an initiative aimed at establishing the Netherlands as the perfect ecosystem for start ups. , is an advocate for young entrepreneurs.
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