Kennisland joins forces with CAOP

On 1 April 2022, Kennisland will merge with CAOP, a non-profit organisation that works on social problems in education, healthcare and government, just as we do. While we will retain our identity, we will be in a better position to realise our ambitions by joining forces. For example, it will be easier to upscale successful projects and concepts, and take them further thanks to the extensive network, organisational capacity and expertise of CAOP. At the same time, CAOP can benefit from our innovative capacity and creativity. Read more about our considerations and what it means for Kennisland.

Joint forces

KL and CAOP join forces.

Maker: KL


10 February 2022

We have worked on social progress as an independent organisation since our founding in 1999. The challenges in the public sector are growing and becoming increasingly complex. This demands more social innovation. By working with CAOP++Stichting CAOPSince 1 January 2023, CAOP has also merged with Sardes, a research and consultancy agency in the field of equality of opportunity in education, care and upbringing. Network organisation Alles is Gezondheid (Everything is Health) has been part of Sardes since 2017 and works with more than three thousand partners on a more vital and healthier society. Together, CAOP, Kennisland and Sardes form Stichting CAOP (CAOP Foundation). Read more, we can enhance our position and put innovative solutions and experiments into practice on a larger scale.

The merger offers strategic benefits to KL and CAOP, and new opportunities to do what we do best: working towards an open, learning, inclusive and sustainable society, together with those directly involved.

“We have constantly developed during the past twenty years and have reinvented ourselves many times. I see this new phase with CAOP as a great next step. It will allow us to take social innovation in the Netherlands to the next level.”

– Nora van der Linden, Kennisland director

KL and CAOP complement one another

Both organisations have a social missionBoth organisations have a social mission., which guides their efforts to create a better society. While we focus on innovation in practice with the people most closely involved with social problems, CAOP operates on a more political/administrative level. CAOP are experts in labour market issues in sectors such as healthcare, education and government, and they have much experience with (strategic) partnerships at project and programme level. KL has a broader scope and focuses more on innovative solutions to social problems with a bottom-up approach. For us, this is a great opportunity to scale up our concepts and projects. Through strategic collaboration, we can also exert greater influence nationallyThrough strategic collaboration, we can exert greater influence nationally. on the frameworks, legislation, regulations and culture that make social progress possible.

“By merging, we can increase our innovative capacity and move closer to social innovation in practice. How can you involve people? How can you make sure that lessons are learned? Kennisland are experts in these issues.”

– Philip Geelkerken, CAOP director

Kennisland will retain its identity

Pioneering is in our DNA. To retain that position, we must invest in continually developing new methods and approaches. By becoming part of CAOP++Large organisationMore than two hundred people work at CAOP, and twelve at Kennisland (numbers on 1 January 2022)., we can gain more space to experiment, investigate, doubt, express opinions, debate and learn.We gain more space to experiment, investigate, doubt, express opinions, debate and learn. We can also develop our innovative capacity, creativity and critical capacity++Critical capacityIndependent thinking, which has always been one of Kennisland’s most important strengths, allows us to get to the heart of social problems faster.. Thanks to the merger, we can take our ideas about social innovation further and help other organisations to innovate better. By combining the strengths of CAOP and KL, we can work together to achieve social progress beyond sectoral boundaries, based on theory and practice, with much greater muscle and strategic capacity. Kennisland will retain its identity. We will keep our name, our own director++Supervisory BoardThe Supervisory Board of CAOP will also become the Supervisory Board of Kennisland. Following the merger, the current Supervisory Board of Kennisland will become an Advisory Board that will act as a sounding board for Kennisland., our home base will continue to be the Marineterrein in Amsterdam, and we will remain responsible for our own team, communication and the content and implementation of our projects and other activities.We will remain responsible for our own team, communication and the content and implementation of our projects and other activities.

 “This is a fantastic opportunity for both Kennisland and CAOP. The problems in our society demand new approaches and new partnerships. The merger itself is a great example of this.”

– Marc Vermeulen, chair of the Supervisory Board of Kennisland

KL and CAOP have worked together for many years

We know each other well, as our partnership goes back more than a decade. Kennisland and CAOP were responsible for developing and implementing the Innovation Impulse for Education programme, which tested innovation experiments in 150 schools across the Netherlands. KL and CAOP developed Education Pioneers, which later became the Teachers’ Development Fund++TDFEducation Pioneers was an answer to top-down innovations in education, in which teachers are often not involved and experience a lack of professional autonomy. After thousands of Pioneers, we are delighted that our initiative has won an enduring place in education within the framework of the Teachers’ Development Fund (TDF).. In healthcare, we worked together on the Flexible Working in Healthcare (Dutch only) action research++Action researchA type of research that combines learning and changing. Action researchers don’t simply focus on research, but also develop solutions while taking action (and subsequently investigate whether these have the desired effect). programme, which aimed to find out more about the underlying motives for flexible working in various healthcare institutions by experimenting with interventions.

We have every confidence in this new phase for Kennisland and can’t wait to begin! If you have any questions about the merger with CAOP, please contact Marieke van Doorninck on

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

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