Kennisland’s Nora van der Linden on The Amsterdam Approach

Amsterdam proudly represented the title of Europe’s capital of innovation in 2016-2017. The city was awarded this title because of its so-called ‘Amsterdam Approach’: an innovation ecosystem which focusses on the collaboration between citizens, civil society, the private sector, knowledge institutions and the municipality to address social issues. Watch our director Nora van der Linden reflect on Amsterdam as iCapital 2016-2017 and on what lies ahead for the Amsterdam Approach.


Kennisland's Nora van der Linden discusses what the future of our city could entail and how we can create a more inclusive city.
7 November 2017

Amsterdam proudly represented the title of Innovation Capital (‘iCapital’) of Europe++iCapital of EuropeOn November 7th Paris was announced to be the new iCapital at the Lisbon Web Summit.  in 2016-2017. The city was awarded this title because of its unique ‘Amsterdam Approach’: an innovation ecosystem which focusses on the collaboration between citizens, civil society, the private sector, knowledge institutions and the municipality to address social issues. Watch Kennisland’s Nora van der Linden reflect on Amsterdam as iCapital 2016-2017 and on what lies ahead for the Amsterdam Approach as part of a series of videos.  

Nora van der Linden discusses in this video what the future of our city could entail if citizens and civil society would be more involved in finding solutions for complex social issues that occur in our city. She describes how this could lead to a more inclusive city, where the experience and knowledge of citizens is paramount in setting the agenda.

Amsterdam Approach: Amsterdammers, Make your City!

Kennisland is one of the driving forces behindNora van der Linden discusses in this video what the future of our city could entail. Amsterdammers, Make your City!++Amsterdammers, Make you City!Read on about Kennisland’s role in designing and implementing the Amsterdammers, Make your City! programme. (in Dutch: Amsterdammers, Maak je Stad!), the programme that has been set up with the prize money of iCapital. Through this programme, the Amsterdam Approach is translated into practice. Make your City! supports 37 creative city makers who are committed to developing an inclusive, healthy and talented Amsterdam. These city makers were selected out of almost 500 entries that were received after an extensive campaign++‘Challenge-prize’ modelMake your City! Is not the only programme Kennisland runs using a ‘challenge-prize’ model. Here you can read more about challenges and accelerators organised by Kennisland. in early 2017. In addition to seed funding, these 37 city makers also receive workshops and access to the network of consortium partners++Consortium partnersThe consortium consists of the municipality of Amsterdam, Kennisland, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Waag Society with support of Amsterdam Economic Board, Amsterdam Smart City and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS)..Kennisland is one of the driving forces behind the programme that has been set up with the prize money of iCapital.

iCapital 2018-2019: social innovation as default?

According to Robert-Jan Smits, director-general of the Directorate Research and Innovation, the department that initiated the iCapital prize, the next iCapital of Europe will have a hard time surpassing Amsterdam’s efforts. If anything, it is striking to observe that all ten cities who are finalists in the iCapital 2018-2019 competition use collaboration with civil society and citizens as well as social innovation as a way to profile their innovation capacity and conquer the iCapital title. This could suggest that ‘The Amsterdam Approach’ has set the tone for the way cities in Europe understand and conceptualise the meaning and purpose of innovation.   

In Amsterdam meanwhile, we are anticipating on how we can strengthen the legacy of iCapital. The next major event on urban innovation is set for June 2018: WeMakeThe.City. During this event we will critically evaluate our city again and discuss the question: how can collaborative social innovation be used to effectively cope with urban challenges?